If you want to reach the highest tips of the Alps you must go to Italy (although the location of the highest cliff of Mount Blanc is still an open controversy between Italy and France): Mont Blanc, Matterhorn and the Pink Mount are all in Italy, (although they are accessible also from France and Swizterland)
One thing that most of the visitors often take for granted is that Italy has always been one single Country. The truth is pretty different. I think it might be useful to offer you with another perspective and suggest a different travel itinerary based on the process which led the Italian Peninsula to unify itself under the flag of a single Monarch: the House of Savoy.
23 years ago the municipality of Torino decided to gather a group of artists and to ask each one of them to provide an installation to placed in the city centre, suitable not only to celebrate Christmas but also the city itself as the cradle of the new trends in arts.
Torino is a blessed city. Most of the conteporary architectures are well inserted within the city context and allow keeping the original elegance by also experimenting contemporary and innovative architecture.
Italy ranks n. 1 in the UNESCO world heritage list with 55 sites all across the Country, most of which are pretty famous worldwide such as Venice, Florence, Rome and the Holy See, Pompeii. Others are less known and cover aspects of my Country that are natural, historical, artistic and even industrial.
Torino is nowadays the third or fouth largest city in the Country (depending if you consider the hinterland or not) and underwent a dramatic and successful change in the past 20 years, turning its local economomy from industry based to tourism based after the XXth Winter Olympics, held in the city in 2006.
From the market of Humauaca in the Jujuy Province of Argentina to the central market of Arusha in Tanzania and from the Borough Market in London to Ballarò in Palermo, I have been visiting so many markets that I learnt about vegetables which I didn't even know as well as so many different recipes that I sometimes feel there is no better way to understand the local culture then visiting a food market.