I spent two months in northern Italy where I strolled through Turin in Piedmont and sampled wines in Langhe. I explored historic Valle d’Aosta, gazed at Mont Blanc and cruised on Lake Como to admire the Casino Royale villa.
Then, after visiting Lake Garda, I went on to marvel at the Dolomites and discover Trentino-Alto Adige. Along the way I photographed Friuli Venezia Giulia, documented the Carso and World Heritage Aquileia. Did I like northern Italy? Here are 24 photographs that say it all.
1. Barolo vineyards in northern Italy
If you're tempted by romantic Barolo, then you should consider a stay at La Rosa Gialla B&B.
2. Reggia di Venaria, near Turin
Don't miss the grand Reggia di Venaria Royal Palace set in 60 hectares of grounds just northwest of Turin.
3. Turin, one of the most famous northern Italy cities
If you want to explore Piedmont, begin in Turin, the region's most famous city and book NH Torino Santo Stefano in Turin centre.
Lake Braies is considered to be one of Italy's loveliest lakes. Famous for its bright blue-green waters, it sits right at the heart of the Dolomites. If you want to visit, think about doing a Dolomites in a day tour from Bolzano.
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To really view the Dolomites, climb up 2,950m to the legendary Pordoi Pass. It sounds daunting, but spectacular panoramas are available in minutes thanks to excellent, year-round cable cars.
6. The brightly painted streets of Limone sul Garda
Limone sul Garda is said to be the prettiest town on Lake Garda where the competition for charming lakeside communities is fierce. If you want to linger in lovely Limone sul Garda, stay at Hotel Castell.
7. Piazza Vittorio Veneto near Turin's River Po
The River Po flows through several northern Italian cities, but catch it in Turin for riverside walks, beautiful bridges and grand squares like Piazza Vittorio de Veneto. If you're inclined to hang out and explore beyond the river, stay at B&B Piazza Vittorio in Turin.
8. Limone sul Garda clings to the mountains
Wandering the quaint and colourful streets of Limone sul Garda is delightful. But if you really want to appreciate the town and its spectacular setting, take a boattour of Lake Garda and see it from the water.
9. Views of Muslone di Gargnano on Lake Garda
For the experience of waking up to Lake Garda stay at Borgo Al Tempo Perduto in the time-stood-still medieval village of Muslone. Elevated above the lake, it offers wonderful views and an air of absolute tranquillity.
Tucked between Bellagio and Como, Nesso might not be as famous as the neighbours but it's one of the most enchanting towns on Lake Como. Visit for a gentle atmosphere, medieval architecture, stepped streets and spectacular lake views.
12. The crystal clear western shore of Lake Garda
Get to know Garda from a local perspective and take a guided trike tour of the lake's intriguing western shore.
13. Villa del Balbianello, setting for the James Bond classic Casino Royale
17. Views of Lake Como from the small hilltop resort of Brunate
For some of the best views down Lake Como, consider staying at Hotel Paradiso in the hilltop town of Brunate.
18. The Castello di Duino overlooking the Gulf of Trieste
Visit both the old and new Castello di Duino on the Gulf of Trieste. The castles are near neighbours, surrounded by beautiful gardens and set on a clifftop which commands incredible, wide-open sea views.
19. Birds-eye view of the Dolomites from Sass Pordoi
Book Pìcola Cèsa de Sèn Nicolò. It's close to the Sass Pordoi cable car which gives you access to amazing, long-range views over the Dolomites.
20. Trekking in the area of Madonna di Campiglio
Explore the Dolomiti di Brenta in spring or summer. It's a favourite area for walking and hiking and Ambiez Residence in Madonna di Campiglio is a good base for a trekking trip.
21. Castel Tirolo high above the city of Merano
Visit Trentino in northern Italy and discover Castel Tirolo. This impressive 12th century castle gave South Tyrol its name and is now home to the South Tyrolean Museum of Cultural and Provincial History.
22. Lago di Carezza at the foot of Latemar mountain
The Dolomite's loveliest alpine lake Lago di Carezza is renowned for its vivid green waters and stunning mountain backdrop.
23. The jagged peaks of the Dolomites
High drama in northern Italy doesn't come more lofty than the mighty, jagged peaks of the world famous Dolomites. These magnificent mountains are eternally enthralling, but if you're short on time, try the Dolomites in a day guided tour.
Known for its mild climate and lush vegetation, Lake Toblino is lovely. But its 12th century Castel Toblino that's the real attraction here. Once the summer residence of Prince-Bishop Madruzzo, the fairy-tale castle is now a restaurant, so think about booking dinner on the lake.
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Raised bilingually in London and Turin, Kiki Deere is a travel writer specialising in Italy. She has seen her work published in a number of magazines and UK broadsheets, including The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and Lonely Planet online. She has completed numerous guidebook writing assignments for Rough Guides that have taken her to far-flung corners of the globe, from the Brazilian Amazon to the remotest province of the Philippines. Follow her @kikideere on Instagram and Twitter.