The tiny island of Poveglia off Venice was once a quarantine station, a dumping ground for plague victims, and more recently a mental hospital. Needless to say that there is an air of melancholy around. Stories abound of it being a haunted place. Even though the state put the island on auction for a 99-year lease in 2014 to raise revenue, it did not come through.

Instead of visiting this gloomy place, allow us to take you to the happy Cinque Terre. There’s still a feeling of remote authenticity – few roads, perfectly preserved architecture and a network of mountain trails and stunning coastal beauty that adds a charm to this Unesco World Heritage site. Cinque Terra is a group of five fishing villages that can bolster the even the most jaded of spirits. Join us on a journey of a lifetime.