After my senses achieved equilibrium again after being accosted by glamour I nestled in for my flight. Little did I know what was in store for me.

At first there was nothing to see, clouds enveloped the plane and it was like flying through white cotton candy; but then it cleared.

Right outside my window were the historical Alps, that brought Hannibal’s elephants to their doom and yet provide millions of winter sportsmen boundless opportunities for activity. I have never, in my entire life, seen anything as gorgeous as the Alps. Massive , jagged, expansive, and colorful they look like God spent centuries carefully sculpting and painting them. The only way I can describe them is as rustically beautiful. They are bigger, bolder, and more roughhewn than any mountains I have ever seen but still manage to maintain a sort of ­­elegance. They go on forever and each one is more impressive than the rest. Even their color was mind boggling, with the whitest snow imaginable and the purest and boldest gray stone you could hope for composing their appearance. These colors are furthered more by rich, earthy brown trees dotting the lower parts of the mountains in groves and sparkling blue lakes wedged in to their valleys.

To top it all off they have fairy tale-esque red roofed Italian villages nestled in among them. These tremendous towns are complete with bell towers and church steeples throughout their skyline. The pilot then turned the plane almost parallel with the Alps and started descending into Torino. It was amazing how fast those bold mountains gave way to gentle hills and plains with more towns strewn every few miles. The glint of the sun off the Mediterranean then caught my eyes and I stared in disbelief at it as we began to land. This was my first impression of Italy and Torino.