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Whether you’re hankering for a high-brow weekend, nights of hedonism in Italy’s fair cities or a peachy rural bolthole surrounded by lakes and mountains we’ve hand-picked five of the finest Italian hotels with serious wow factor.
Tuscan Monastic Marvels
Tuscany holidays are just the ticket. Make your base at the simply stunning Castel Monastero, an 11th century hotel situated 6km from the town of Castelnuovo Berardenga and a short drive to the magical walled city of Siena. While the original Monastery architecture has been lovingly restored, monastic it sure isn’t.
If you fancy strolling around beautiful ancient towns with Italy’s finest vineyards and wine tasting opportunities on tap. Picture frescoed walls, vast bathrooms with rainforest-style showers, elegant artwork, luxury swimming pools and a seriously posh spa and you’ll get the idea. Whichever view you choose—rooms overlook either the pretty piazza, landscaped gardens or the rolling Tuscan countryside— tranquility is guaranteed. In the safe hands of resident Chef Fabrizio Peruzzi, the hotel’s restaurant remains one of Italy’s smartest dining rooms. Its wine list is, of course, a match for the cuisine but if you can tear yourselves away from the grounds, follow the Tuscan wine tasting trail—the towns of Chianti and Montepulciano are on your doorstep.
Florence For All Seasons
Have you ever known a Four Seasons Hotel fail to be fabulous? The upmarket hotel chain’s prize property in Florence’s historic centre is in a league of its own. Housed in a 15th century palazzo and former convent, Four Seasons Hotel Firenze is literally dripping in history and showcases original pieces of art from the city’s historical monuments.
Here, you get the best of both worlds: a base in the thick of the action with the best bars and restaurants and landmark attractions, including the Duomo and Uffizi gallery a short stroll away—and a luxury retreat away from it all. The hotel is surrounded by a private 11-acre park with guestrooms overlooking gorgeous landscaped gardens filled with beautiful sculptures. In the summer months you can soak up the view and feast on fine regional cuisine at the Al Fresco restaurant or dine at Il Palagio; located on the ground floor of the original Palazzo della Gherardesca, it features vaulted ceilings, elegant décor and lovely views of the inner gardens whatever time of year you visit. Vintage wines flow at The Winery and a world class on-site spa completes the wow factor.
Cocktails In Venice
When in Venice, only a Grand Canal address will do. Check into the Ca Sagredo, order a Bellini cocktail from room service and fling open your windows to toast your arrival in style. Housed in a beautiful historic building, listed as a National Monument and perfectly situated between the Ca’ D’oro and the Rialto Bridge, the Ca Sagredo Hotel is one of the most luxurious hotels overlooking the magnificent Grand Canal. Treat yourselves to a Prestige Room and you’ll get floor to ceiling windows offering wonderful views of the canal and passing gondolas.
The hotel itself is lavishly decorated in 17th century palatial style, with frescoes and artwork from the most important Venetian painters in the 17th and 18th century. Dining at the hotel’s L’Alcova Restaurant which serves fine Venetian cuisine on an elegant terrace with panoramic views of the Grand Canal is a real event. And don’t forget to sample the charming afternoon tea served at the equally elegant Bar L’Incontro.
Dreaming of a luxury sunshine break on Italy’s chic Amalfi Coast? The small cliff-top resort town of Ravello is a captivating little world of aristocratic buildings and stunning gardens, and home to a gem of hotel. Nestled on the highest point of Ravello, 1000 ft above sea level, offers some of the most spectacular views over the Mediterranean and Amalfi Coast—just waiting to be soaked up from its infinity pool!
Originally built as an 11th century palazzo, it’s an intimate boutique-style hotel with 48 sumptuously decorated guestrooms with stunning sea or garden views. This grand hotel’s guestbook is filled with famous names and it’s a destination for fine dining for guests and locals alike. Set in the hotel’s gardens, the al fresco Restaurant Belvedere serves traditional Neapolitan cuisine and is a popular haunt on hot summer nights. And when you want to go exploring, the centre of Ravello is just a few minutes’ walk away.
Lake Como Celebrity-Style
When it comes to offering up breathtaking natural views, Italian lakes holidays take some beating. Come to Lake Como and you can revel in the rugged beauty that inspired the poets Shelley and Byron, – and you might even be lucky enough to spot gorgeous George (Mr Clooney owns a home here). For A-list style luxe, check into the aptly named CastaDiva Resort.
The star attractions of this exclusive retreat located on the water’s edge, include a floating swimming pool with views across Lake Como and the resort of Blevio, a celebrity-endorsed spa and its own vast botanical gardens. The hotel blends traditional architecture with thoroughly modern creature comforts—it’s the ultimate hideaway for peace and quiet and five-star R and R. All guestrooms come with fabulous lake views as standard and the hotel’s two restaurants ‘L’Orangerie’ and ‘Le Jardin serve a feast of Italian and Mediterranean delights.
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