Long before the tourists arrived, donkeys and mules travelled these roads, carrying goods for the community.
The people may not have been wealthy but they worked closely together and enjoyed spectacular views like this one from their mountain homes.
There's an orderliness to the countryside that is very pleasing to the eye - whether it's the neat olive groves or rows of tall, cone-shaped Italian Cypress.
I am with a Canadian tour group. We are driving through the Appenines from Tuscany to Umbria, then up the Adriatic coast to Venice before heading west.
Beyond the old-world charm of Venice and Florence, I marvel at all the Renaissance art, including Michelangelo's magnificent marble statue of "David."
We visit these places to see the unparalleled richness and beauty of the Renaissance.
Our tour ends with Rome, once the seat of the mighty Roman Empire. As we explore the ruins of the Roman Forum (less than 1/3 of the original building structures remain), I am filled with a sense of devastation and loss.
Present-day Italy is a land of contrasts - from the peacefulness of the hill tops and their medieval towns to the bustling cities - as well as a mecca of well-preserved art and history.
What may strike you the most, if you go, is the wonderful food (traditional & preservative-free) and the warmth of a people who greet you with an enthusiastic "buon giorno" every day.