Italy. We could leave it right here and be done. What more can be said about this country?

The fact that the Giro d’Italia is the most beautiful of the grand tours. Fact.

Proscuitto is best of the cured, salted meats.

Julius Caesar believed he came from the land of the gods.

The Dolomites is challenging and demanding like few other regions of the world while providing vistas and roads for days on end. There are other mountain passes, other climbs and other roads that may be as difficult or even individually as beautiful, but there is nothing like northern Italy for its warmth and offerings.

As part of BG Travel: Italy, we take our extensive experience and connections in the area and pass the knowledge on in the form of hotels and restaurants that are more infamous than famous, making for life moments rather than gratuitous box-ticking.

The Passo Giau, Marmolada and Sellaronda link up with valley roads and long descents that do their best to distract and steal your focus. And then there are apple strudels at the top and aperitivo at the base.

It’s not for the faint of heart, but even as you keep the tears at bay, it’s still hard to keep the smile off your face. From the first day to the last, the sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and at times disbelief of what your witnessing never fades. That goes for first time travellers as it does for veterans.

Julius Caesar, maybe he was right.