It sure has been a long time between trips, but with international travel starting to become a real possibility, it’s time to at least start thinking of that long overdue Italian vacation. Chase down the magic of la dolce vita from the top to the toe of the boot with centuries-old palazzos, design showstoppers, eco retreats, spa hideaways and indulgent private villas.
From the beaches to the lakes, here are some of Italy’s most spectacular and luxurious stays.
Hotel Il Pellicano – Tuscany
Hotel Il Pellicano — Photo courtesy of Pellicano Hotels
Over the past half-century Il Pellicano has gained a dazzling reputation as a favorite hideaway of the rich and famous, and it continues to ooze that vintage allure while simultaneously adding a modern, beachy freshness. Located overlooking its own private bay on Tuscany’s rugged Argentario coast, it’s the ultimate summer hot spot with a fun retro vibe.
A renowned beach club along with a gorgeous Michelin-starred restaurant and breezy yet impeccable service will ensure that the laid-back glamour of Il Pellicano leaves you feeling thoroughly spoiled.
Rocco Forte Verdura Private Villas – Sicily
Verdura Private Villas — Photo courtesy of Rocco Forte Verdura Resort
Set in the sprawling Verdura Resort overlooking the shimmering waters of the Sicilian coast, Rocco Forte’s exclusive private villas offer a unique concept of luxury accommodation. The 3- or 4-bedroom villas are ideal for larger groups or multi-generational family stays, providing privacy, comfort and tailor-made services to meet your individual needs.
The spacious living spaces have been carefully designed to pay homage to Sicilian style with earthy colors, dashes of Sicilian art and echoes of local traditions. Guests have access to a range of A-list amenities including unspoiled beaches, private pools, a world-class spa and 18-hole golf course.
Rocco Forte Villa Igiea – Palermo
Villa Igiea — Photo courtesy of Rocco Forte Villa Igiea
The heritage-listed Villa Igiea prides itself on a time-honored place in Palermo history with its majestic interior playing host to celebrities and royalty for over a century. A complete restoration with all the stunning hallmarks of designer Olga Polizzi has maintained the opulent elegance of the palazzo while introducing flashes of contemporary panache; think sumptuous fabrics and antique objects set in bright, light rooms which evoke the seafront location and offer a cool respite from the summer heat.
For refreshment, sample the flavors of Sicily at the beautiful Belle Époque restaurant or sip a cocktail at the refined terrace bar overlooking the Gulf of Palermo.
Mandarin Oriental – Lake Como
Suite with private pool at the Mandarin Oriental Lake Como — Photo courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Lake Como
The first and only eco-resort on Lake Como, the plush Mandarin Oriental blends a spectacular landscape with a dose of Italian elegance and a subtle twist of the global brand’s oriental style. The stately lakefront villa perfectly epitomizes the luxurious sophistication of Como exclusivity while harmoniously complementing the amazing natural surroundings.
Whether you dine on the fabulous lakefront terrace, take a dip in the incredible floating pool or relax at the largest spa in the area, this is a serenely spectacular spot for the ultimate romantic getaway.
Mezzatorre Hotel and Thermal Spa – Ischia
Mezzatorre Hotel and Thermal Spa — Photo courtesy of Pellicano Hotels
Clinging to the northwestern tip of the island of Ischia, the distinctive 16th century watchtower of the Mezzatorre Hotel and Thermal Spa looks out over its own private bay. Utilizing the natural products and restorative waters of the island, this iconic luxury retreat slows down the pace and encourages you to unwind.
With fresh, chic decor and the wafting scent of pine from the surrounding forest, Mezzatorre invites guests to rejuvenate in its three therapy pools and indulge in plenty of prestigious pampering at the spa before dining on Ischian specialties at its celebrated restaurant that has you gazing out to sea.
Il Borro – Tuscany
Il Borro — Photo courtesy of Francesca Pagliai
The minute you step into the medieval atmosphere of this Ferragamo family estate, you would be forgiven for thinking that time has stood still. The 5-star Il Borro wine resort is a Tuscan dream destination, catering for all with everything from luxury suites to country farmhouses spread across its 1100 hectares, as well as wine tastings, spa, sports facilities, nature trails, gourmet dining and much more to keep you occupied.
The focus here is on eco-sustainability, and the estate not only generates its own solar electricity, but also uses natural, traditional methods to produce its own wine, olive oil and honey.
Borgo Egnazia – Puglia
Borgo Egnazia — Photo courtesy of Stephanie Russo
From its panoramic position between countryside and sea, the whitewashed resort of Borgo Egnazia proposes a romantically rural escape albeit with deluxe amenities. Traditional architecture, neutral tones and candlelit interiors seamlessly blend to produce a new concept of vacation, focusing on authentic experiences in the southern region of Puglia.
Accommodation is spread between suites, rooms and villas dotted around the complex creating an authentic village-like atmosphere. In-house services are strictly top-drawer with two private beaches, a Michelin-starred restaurant, golf course and a spacious spa which takes inspiration from ancient practices and natural products of the area.
La Posta Vecchia – Ladispoli
La Posta Vecchia Hotel — Photo courtesy of Pellicano Hotels
Combine a trip to Rome with a little Mediterranean magic by staying at this magnificent seafront palazzo on the Lazio coast. Housed in a noble villa dating back to 1640, La Posta Vecchia exudes the history, character and charm of an Italian aristocratic home with gorgeously ornate interiors bursting with art, antiques and artifacts from the ancient to the modern.
Add a private beach, spa facilities and a fabulous restaurant, and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.
Capofaro Locanda & Malvasia – Sicily
Capofaro Locanda & Malvasia — Photo courtesy of Alessandro Sala_Cesura
The fairytale island of Salina in Sicily’s Aeolians is the home of Capofaro, a heavenly haven which weaves together a passion for wine and the sea. Surrounded by endless vineyards, an imposing volcanic landscape and the sparkling turquoise sea, the luminous rooms are simple yet sophisticated with a thoughtful minimalistic theme.
The hotel restaurant makes the most of Salina’s agriculture, utilizing local ingredients for authentic seasonal fare. And it goes without saying that an extensive tasting of the homegrown Malvasia wine is not to be missed.
Adler Spa Resort Thermae – Tuscany
Adler Spa Resort Thermae in Tuscany — Photo courtesy of Adler Spa Resort
All-around wellness is the name of the game at this sleek luxury Adler Spa Resort situated in one of the most stunning parts of Tuscany. Clean, light interiors combine with Mediterranean charm and a focus on nature with thermal pools, a fitness center and a range of saunas adding the feel-good factor.
Gourmets will delight in the locally-sourced Tuscan cuisine and the top quality wines of the area, while the more adventurous can take advantage of a choice of outside sports and excursions into the rolling hills of the gorgeous Norcia valley.
Tiberio Palace – Capri
Relax at Capri Tiberio Palace — Photo courtesy of Capri Tiberio Palace
Soak up a slice of la dolce vita just a stone’s throw from Capri’s famous Piazzetta with a stay at the elegantly playful Tiberio Palace. Although central enough to enjoy the shopping and nightlife of the glitzy Capri scene, the hotel is hidden away from the crowds – a tranquil oasis with superlative service.
Decorated with a color palette that echoes the shades of Capri, and boasting a rooftop terrace restaurant with breathtaking views out to sea, it is sure to tick all the boxes for a blissful island getaway with a very definite sense of place.
Casa Maria Luigia – Modena
Casa Maria Luigia — Photo courtesy of Stefano Scatà
Chef Massimo Bottura and his wife Lara Gilmore extend their vision of hospitality beyond the walls of their celebrated restaurant Osteria Francescana with the luxury Casa Maria Luigia in the rolling hills of the Emilian countryside. With the aim of creating a home rather than a hotel, the picturesque property is designed and decorated in their signature style, a fusion of vintage features and contemporary flair.
The welcoming feel is continued with comfortable shared spaces and communal dining at the onsite restaurant, which serves some of the most notable dishes from the Bottura back catalog.
Belmond Cipriani – Venice
Check into the Belmond Cipriani as your home base in Venice — Photo courtesy of Belmond Cipriani
As your private launch pulls up to the iconic Cipriani, you’re enveloped by a sense of timeless class and total luxury. A byword in Venetian grandeur since 1958, its resplendent suites have welcomed international movie stars, politicians and royalty seeking tranquility and privacy.
The resort boasts a fabulous location on the eastern side of the island of Giudecca, a short boat ride away from the hustle of central Venice and the perfect place to sip a perfectly prepared Bellini while admiring the astonishing beauty of the lagoon.
Lefay Resort and SPA – Dolomiti
Pool at Lefay Resort and SPA — Photo courtesy of Lefay Resorts
If cutting-edge luxury in an alpine atmosphere is more your thing, this stylish Lefay spa resort will certainly fit the bill. A far cry from a traditional rustic mountain lodge, the hotel’s huge windows show off the ravishing surroundings, while the striking modern architecture echoes the jagged scenery with sharp lines, geometric patterns and pointed angles, softened by neutral furnishings in luxe fabrics.
The focus of the eco-resort is the state-of-the-art spa, a veritable temple to wellness. For die-hard ski fans, the pristine powdery slopes of Madonna di Campiglio are just minutes away.
COMO Castello Del Nero – Tuscany
Suite at COMO Castello del Nero — Photo courtesy of COMO Castello Del Nero
Set in a vast 740-acre estate of vineyards and olive groves, the 12th-century castle that is Castello Del Nero certainly has the wow factor. Step through the door into an awe-inspiring mix of past and present, with Renaissance frescoes and noble family crests merging with clean white marble and soothing shades of blue and grey.
With fine Michelin-starred dining featuring estate-to-table products, wine tasting in the exposed brick cellar and the area’s first destination spa, it is everything you would want from a lavish Chianti escape.