a grand Venetian palace along a canal
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Aman Venice

The Aman Venice, hidden away on the Grand Canal, is a hotel beloved by celebrities for its privacy, authenticity, magnificent art and opulence.

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view out over wooden deck with plunge pool and views over Capri's mountains, towns and sea
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Capri Tiberio Palace

Capri Tiberio Palace is a whimsical boutique hotel just a few minutes walk to the piazzetta with sweeping ocean views, pop-art design and a low-key vibe.

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terrace with table with white tablecloth and blue water glasses overlooking amalfi coast with its hills leading down to the sea
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Caruso, A Belmond Hotel, Ravello

Belmond Hotel Caruso, located in the hills of Ravello, is a choice destination for travelers looking for peace and sanctuary above the Amalfi Coast, Italy.

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hotel room with traditional venetian decor
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Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel, Venice

The world-famous Belmond Hotel Cipriani offers a resort experience in Venice on Giudecca Island, a five-minute boat ride from San Marco.

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large outdoor pool with view of pink stucco villa behind
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Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli

Built in 1892 for a wealthy Italian family, the waterfront Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli has since become one of Italy’s premier five-star properties.

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view over hotel grounds in sicily with pool to the right and aetna volcano in background
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Grand Hotel Timeo, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina

Honeymooners, couples and families looking for luxury in the heart of Taormina will find it at Grand Hotel Timeo, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina, Sicily.

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ornate sitting area in venetian hotel
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Gritti Palace

For its 2013 reopening, the Gritti Palace -- a Venecian Grand Canal icon housed in a 15th-century building turned into a luxury hotel in 1895 -- was meticulously renovated to introduce contemporary amenities alongside Rubelli fabrics, delicate Murano glassworks and the stunning restored terrazzo floors.

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gardens in rome with pink and white grand staircase in center at a hotel
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Hotel de Russie, A Rocco Forte Hotel

Near Piazza de Popolo and the Spanish steps, the Hotel de Russie by Rocco Forte is one of Rome's most stylish, well-located hotels.

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bedroom of historic rome hotel suite with tall windows opening out to views of rome
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Hotel Eden

One of the most luxurious hotels in Rome, Hotel Eden set the standard for excellence when it opened in 1889; now, it is managed by Dorchester Collection.

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a row of lounge chairs on a cement deck by the sea
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Il Pellicano

Carved into the rocky coastline of Tuscany’s Monte Argentario peninsula, Il Pellicano hotel showcases sea views with old-world pomp.

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aerial view over a cliffside coastal hotel in italy with green grounds plunging into sea
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Il San Pietro

A short drive from Positano, Italy and perched on the edge of a stunning cliff 240 feet above the sea, the sprawling Il San Pietro has some of the best views along the coast. The fantastic outdoor spaces include a large terrace where cocktails are served; a separate pool patio; and beautifully planted gardens.

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hotel living room with white couch and blue walls and a view to mediterranean
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J.K. Place Capri

Perched on a cliffside between the harbor and Capri Town, J.K. Place has sweeping views and only 22 beautifully appointed rooms.

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view of positano with red hotel building on left
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Le Sirenuse

The sixty-two-room Le Sirenuse is built into the steep hillside of Positano and exudes an uncanny mix of serenity and elegance in the midst of the town’s sometimes overrun and overheated streets.

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Outdoor dining at Il Refettorio at Monastero​ Santa Rosa​, Amalfi Coast, Italy
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Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa

A small luxury hotel in a former convent right on the Amalfi Coast, Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa is still a bit of a secret address.

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italian villa with palm trees in front and lake como in distance
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Passalacqua

With a premier location and views of the iconic Lake Como, Passalacqua is a dreamy sister property to the iconic Grand Hotel Tremezzo.

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a road leading though historic italian town towards castle ruins behind
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Rosewood Castiglion Del Bosco

A Ferragamo family-owned hideaway in Tuscany, Italy, Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco hotel has a golf course, stables and impeccable amenities.

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grand multi-story hotel on hill overlooking italian coast
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Splendido, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino

The Belmond Hotel Splendido in Portofino, Italy has always been a seaside hideaway for style icons (like Elizabeth Taylor), with a distinct sense of place.

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grand italian hotel on Lake Como with gold-painted trim on windows
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Villa d’Este

The first summer home built on the shores of Lake Como, Villa d’Este is now one of the most indulgent waterfront resorts in all of Italy—and Europe.

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looking over water to italianate villa-style hotel buildings on a coastal cliff
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Villa Igiea, A Rocco Forte Hotel

Reopening Summer 2021 under the Rocco Forte brand, Villa Igiea is the must-stay property in Palermo thanks to its seaside location and bustling vibe.

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Bedroom - 47 Hotel, Rome

47Hotel

In a lovely location, across the river from Trastevere and near the Colosseum, 47Hotel is a good choice for families.
Room  at 7 Rooms, Sicily

7 Rooms

Part of the Palazzo Nicolaci and hidden at the end of a gorgeous courtyard, this small hotel has a vivacious owner and a lot of style.
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Aethos Saragano

The magic of Umbria’s Aethos, an experiential boutique hotel that occupies the 13th-century hilltop village of Saragano, unfolds slowly. It may happen on a walk down to the pool when you realize the path is scented by wild rosemary growing along the path. It may happen when you’re sitting on a terrace staring at the unfolding greens of the Umbrian valley and notice that all you can hear is the wind. It may happen when you take a bite of the ragout that chef Delfina Vincareti has refined with slivers of chicken liver so that it tastes like velvet. For travelers who “get it,” Aethos delivers something much more special than great bedrooms and rain showers (though it has both of those things, too). Here, you feel like you’re being given permission to simply relax into the rhythms and beauty this part of Italy offers in spades.

Ironically it is one of the few Umbrian hotels that is part of a growing hotel portfolio – the Aethos group, founded by two tech entrepreneurs. Still it has a sense of place literally built inot its honey-colored stone walls, thanks to the fact that it is interwoven with the borgo of Saragano, a piccolo village with roots in the 13th century that still has 30 inhabitants. Here, you can leave your hotel room and drop into a beautiful little church from the 13th century, where the town still holds baptisms and weddings. Sometimes the hotel hosts celebratory drinks for everyone in the town square, itself a petit piazza beside reception.

Aethos has done a beautiful job integrating its 15 rooms into the existing borgo. It is, in Italian, an albergo diffuso – a hotel that is spread out. Rooms are the kind of understated, modern, simple luxury that you crave in a place that can overwhelm with colors, sights and scents. In the new building, the floor is a warm blonde wood, as are closets (ample space). The bathrooms have big walk-in rain showers and a line of delicious products, handcrafted for Aethos. Lovely in-room touches (yoga mat, potted plants, full-length mirrors, plugs just where you need them) are in inobtrusive but clearly someone has thought through with focus and intention what a modern-day traveler needs. Another detail to facilitate absolute unplugging: there are no televisions in the rooms.

Days are spent largely lounging by the pool or on the large sun terrace that overlooks the valley. There is no room service No room service but lovely restaurant Ceci is just downstairs from most accommodations and many rooms come with kitchenettes or full kitchens.

Driving Distances:

  • To Arezzo: 1h45 min
  • To Assisi: 45 minutes
  • To Bevagna: 25 min
  • To Florence (Tuscany): 2h30 min
  • To Montepulciano (Tuscany): 1h30 min
  • To Orvieto: 1 hour
  • To Spoleto: 40 min
  • To Todi: 30 min
Room at Algila Ortigia, Sicily, Italy

Algila Ortigia

A few doors down from the Hotel Gutkowski, the Agila is larger (with 30 rooms) and offers a few more services and amenities (including larger rooms and room service). Get one of the larger suites, some of which come with terraces, and enjoy the sea views and the prime location in walking distance to Ortygia’s pretty maze of streets. One day and night in Syracuse is enough to have a great lunch, tour the Greek Theater, stroll along the beautiful Piazza del Duomo at dusk and have a wonderful Sicilian dinner.

Lounge at Armani Hotel Milano, Milan, Italy

Armani Hotel Milano

If ever there was a hotel that fully embodies the aesthetic of a fashion icon, it would be the Armani Hotel Milano. Situated atop Giorgio Armani’s flagship store, at the entrance of famed shopping street Via Montenapoleone, this hotel made a huge splash when it opened in 2011 and remains one of the most difficult to book during the high season, especially fashion week.

Its vividly personal design philosophy makes absolutely no compromises—from the overall architecture (the footprint of the hotel is in the shape of an “A”) to the smallest details (black shower caps), guests here are unmistakably in the word of Signore Armani. It's Zen, minimalist and undeniably sexy, without a single superfluous flourish or adornment—just like a perfect little black dress.

Instead of checking in on the ground floor, visitors are whisked to the seventh floor where massive window walls clad in solar-paneled blinds showcase expansive views across the rooftops of Milan, all the way towards the Duomo. The ambience is hushed, the lighting dim, and the color palate a muted mix of gold and silver, of black and red onyx. Suffice it to say that you feel like you should dress up for the hotel, and that anything other than heels won't do to catwalk down the polished black floors.

The 95 rooms and suites are located on floors two through six, so guests take an elevator down (reminiscent of hotels in Asia), then make their way through darkened hallways dotted with discreet doorways secured by touch panels. The accommodations start at a sizable 480 square-feet, and while masculine at the core, interiors maintain a sense of warmth, furnished with sensual leather, marble and raw silk dipped in neutral hues of grays, creams and browns. The furniture hails from Armani Casa, of course, and the beds in particular are extremely comfortable. Bathrooms are massive and have an Asian-bathhouse vibe, with smooth stone floors, spacious vanities and a separate bathtub and shower. Several floor-to-ceiling mirrors remind that you're staying in the house of a fashion designer (as does the lack of drawers in the room; apparently, everything in a style-maven's closet should be hung up). Some of the rooms on the sixth-floor come with balconies with vistas of the city, and the duplex Signature Suites offer either a private cinema or an in-room gym.

Public spaces are impressive, in particular the top-floor, 13,000-square-foot Armani Spa. There are six treatment rooms, a glass-enclosed relaxation pool and a state-of-the-art fitness center, but best are the white-leather relaxation loungers set in front of the window walls, surely one of the best vantage point from which to view Milan.

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Superior Double Bedroom at Augustus Hotel & Resort, Forte dei Marmi, Italy

Augustus Hotel & Resort

Comprised of three separate buildings and a set of seven villas, the sprawling Augustus sits two streets behind the beach (no hotels in Forte de Marmi are actually on the beach), and its verdant landscaping, hedge-enclosed pool and interior dining courtyard offer a lush and quiet oasis from the fashionable crowds lounging on the beach and strolling about town. Guests can enjoy a newly redone and sizeable gym, a family-friendly pool and a variety of spa treatments on property.

A quirk of the Augustus is the wide variety in the style of rooms. The primary building, Villa Pesenti, has the convenience of being located near all of the hotel’s main facilities. A few steps away, the annexed La Nave building mimics the structure and visual panache of a ship, with open-air corridors, nautical themed bedrooms and colorful tile bathrooms. One street closer to the sea (outside the gates of the Augustus Hotel) sits the resort’s third building, the Augustus Lido. Once an 18th-century private villa, the Augustus Lido is reminiscent of Forte dei Marmi’s glamorous history, with more classical décor featuring brightly colored pink and blue florals, matching tile floors and small antiques throughout. The Lidino building, a small annex building on the grounds of the Augustus Lido, added four double rooms and an apartment to the resort’s repertoire in 2013.

With a welcoming and attentive staff, kid-friendly amenities and a tranquil environment, the Augustus is ideal for families or couples looking for a low-key, five-star beach vacation experience.

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Bedroom at Babuino 181, Rome, Italy

Babuino 181

With its prime location on the Via del Babuino, boutique hotel Babuino 181 offers contemporary décor and good value in the heart of Rome.

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Penthouse master bedroom at Regina Baglioni, Rome, Italy

Baglioni Hotel Regina

Steps away from Villa Borghese, Regina Baglioni in Rome boasts traditional Italian aesthetics and refined service in a historical property.

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