Nature had one of her finest moments in Switzerland. Where else can you find such varied and intense beauty – colossal glaciers, raging falls, hidden valleys and 4000m mountains – in such a small country?
No one could imagine Paris today without it. But Gustave Eiffel only constructed this elegant, 320m-tall signature spire as a temporary exhibit for the 1889 World’s Fair. But the tower stood time’s harsh effects and stood tall. There’s so much more to Paris nevertheless, this is a destination you should visit in your life time.
Nice, the capital of the Côte d’Azur, is beautifully curved round the Bay of Angels, desirable and as lively as you like. Its reputation for glamour is enhanced by an equal reputation for top-end scandal. The clearest-possible light spangles the Mediterranean to create a setting for sybarites, and shadows for well-dressed decadence.
In Rome, classical ruins and early Christian places of worship stand next to – or lie beneath – Renaissance palazzos and Baroque fountains. But there are also great neighbourhood trattorias, quirky shops and a buzzing aperitivo scene. The city’s mild Mediterranean climate is another persuasive draw for visitors from the cool north, but for me the main draw will always be the pulsating energy of a place which lives life as a form of theatre.
Venice never loses its capacity to enchant. Summer brings some of the most daunting crowds, but there’s a reason why they come: the sheer loveliness of an exquisite city that seems miraculously built on water. Venice’s churches and museums offer antique glories aplenty, but there is also a vibrant contemporary art scene, even away from the Art Biennale.
Visit a different kind of a place, a place which is unlike any. It’s beautiful how big of a culture shock Europe is, yet so homely. If this one’s in your bucket list, travel with us.