As a place to visit, the Italian Dolomites have everything to recommend them no matter what season you visit.
Located in the Trentino-Alto Adige area of Northern Italy, which shares its border with Austria and Switzerland, it is also known as South Tyrol, where the fabulous food, wine, scenery and culture are quite different to the rest of Italy.
Highly mountainous, in the winter season it is a popular skiing area, especially with the Italians who flock there in their droves for settimana bianca (white week).
Summer sees them heading there for mountain climbing, hiking and cycling, or even just to see the flowers.
Having visited in both early summer and mid-winter over the past year, I have been able to observe the contrasts in scenery and weather. But what remains constant is the fabulous food.
Speck, dairy produce, vegetables, fruit and great wines are par for the course and local dishes such as canedorli and apple strudel are on most menus.
When I visited in summer last year, the gentle sunshine and flower-filled meadows were a sight to behold. These gave way to snow in winter when I arrived with a large group of friends for settimana bianca which illustrated another type of beauty altogether.
Meeting at rifugi high in the mountains for lunch is a fantastic experience: culinary and visual bliss.