From Tuscany's picture-perfect countryside and rambling hill-towns to Venice's dreamy canals and palazzos, there's no end to Italy's beauty. It's really no wonder that the country attracts nearly 50 million visitors a year. Here, we've picked 21 of our favourite pictures of Italy from the Rough Guides archive. If these don't make you want to jump on a plane, we don't know what will...

1. The Basilica di San Pietro in The Vatican illuminated at night

St Peter's dome, Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican City, Italy, Rome

2. Picture-perfect Tuscan countryside seen from the walls of Pienza

Pienza, Tuscany, Italy

3. Venice at its finest

Italy, Venice, Canal

4. Cafe culture in Verona

Cafe scene, Verona, Italy

5. The Pantheon at night in Rome

Pantheon at night, Rome, Italy

6. A rocky shoreline near Calasetta on Sant'Antioco

 Sant'Antioco Island, nr Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy

7. Reflections in Adamello Brenta Natural Park in Trentino-Alto Adige

Adamello Brenta Natural Park, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy

8. The view from Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

View from Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence, Italy

9. Fishing on Sardinia's Sinis peninsula

Fishing on Sardinia's Sinis peninsula, Italy

10. Gelato, gelato and more gelato

Gelato, Italy

11. Verona's arena after darkArena, Verona, Italy

12. High summer at Positano on the Amalfi Coast

Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

13. A cheese-lover's dream in Bologna

Parmesan, Bologna, Italy

14. The morning mist lifts in ChiantiVineyard, Chianti, Italy

15. The backstreets of Taormina, Sicily

Taormina, Sicily, Italy

16. Up on the roof of Milan's famous duomoDuomo roof, Milan, Italy

17. A road for the brave in Piemonte

Piemonte, Italy

18. A tropical view from Villa Cipressi across Lake Como

Villa Cipressi, Lake Como, Italy

19. Looking towards the town of Mercatale from Sassocorvaro

Mercatale, Sassocorvaro, Italy

20. Crystal-clear seas in Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro

Zingaro National Park, Sicily, Italy

21. The perfect espresso

Espresso, Italy

Explore more of Italy with The Rough Guide to ItalyCompare flightsbook hostels or hotels for your trip, and don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before you go.  

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