Italy is definitely a destination where travelers of all types can find something for them, but if you really have money to spend, this is where Italy comes into its own. Italians are known for being smart, well-dressed and sophisticated, so it should come as no surprise that in pretty much every city and region of the country, you will find upmarket districts and towns.
While these are great to visit, if you want to extend your stay, you can opt to book yourself into one of the many luxury hotels that Italy is famed for. If you are looking to add a bit of bling to your vacation, here is an insider guide on where to stay in Italy – the best luxury areas and accommodation.
Where to Stay In Italy?
Monti and Villa Spalletti Trivelli Dimora d’Epoca
As Rome’s most famous quarter, you will definitely find yourself in Monti at some point during your visit to the capital. Dating all the way back to the days of the Roman Forum, it was initially a crowded district where the city’s poor lived.
Fast forward more than 1,000 years and Monti is now one of the hippest places to be in Rome, with plenty of cool cafes, restaurants and vintage boutiques to take your pick from. Additionally, it is also extremely close to the city center; it only takes a few minutes to walk to the iconic tourist attraction, the Colosseum.
Rome is full of beauty if you’d like to know more about the eternal city check my recommendations on the historical sights of Rome post.
There are, of course, many luxurious hotels in Rome, but one which puts you right at the heart of Monti is Villa Spalletti Trivelli Dimora d’Epoca. Situated on one of the original Seven Hills of Rome, here you will find warmly decorated rooms furnished with antique pieces, giving off a quaint and charming atmosphere, but also complete with the mod-cons we are used to, such as free WiFi and flat-screen TVs and a luxury spa.
Oltrarno and Oltrarno Splendid Hotel
Literally translating as ‘beyond the Arno’, this quarter of Florence lies to the south of the River Arno and is famous for containing some of the city’s most notable historical sights, such as the Belvedere, Palazzo Pitti, and Piazzale Michelangelo. While many travelers who only make a flying visit to Florence tend to skip Oltrarno, if you are staying for longer it really is worth heading over Ponte Vecchio to check out what the district has to offer.
Aside from the beautiful architecture, Oltrarno is also the place where you can dine in the best restaurants.
More of a boutique guesthouse than a hotel, the Oltrarno Splendid offers guests 14 individually-designed rooms in one of the most unique properties in Florence. Housed in an 18th-century palazzo, your room will overlook either a tranquil courtyard or the historic Via Dei Serragli. Due to its location in Oltrarno, it is only a short walk to the center of Florence, so you are perfectly situated to enjoy everything the city has to offer.
San Polo and Ca Maria Adele
The smallest of Venice’s neighborhoods – known as sestieri in Italian – San Polo sits by the Grand Canal and is considered to be the most vibrant of the city’s districts. Its most famous sight is the Rialto Bridge, which you can guarantee will have plenty of tourists flocking around it day and night.
However, if you venture off into the maze of alleyways, you will feel like you have entered a completely different city completely devoid of people. In addition to the beautiful architecture you can see here, San Polo is a shopper’s paradise, with its many handicraft shops and artisan boutiques. It is in San Polo that you will find Alberto Sarria’s shop, famous for its Venetian Carnival masks.
If you’d like to know more curious Venice history facts, see this.
Just a ten-minute walk away from San Polo is the district of Dorsoduro, an area that is predominantly frequented by university students. However, it is also where you will find many important Venetian landmarks, such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, which happens to be situated just a short hop away from Venice’s best luxury accommodation, Ca Maria Adele.
Their sumptuously decorated rooms will make you feel you have been transported to a faraway land with their mix of African and Arab furnishings which perfectly mix with the Venetian décor. Since 2014 Ca Maria Adele has been renowned for being the most romantic boutique hotel in the world, so it is the perfect choice for a romantic getaway.
Historical Centre and Palazzo Monga Boutique Guesthouse
When it comes to the loveliest part of Verona, you cannot get much better than the famous historic center. Verona is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Italy and there is certainly much for visitors to see. There are a number of important Roman remains to see here, such as Verona Arena, a 2,000-year-old amphitheater which still hosts concerts and other events, plus you can also take the Romeo and Juliet Trail.
While Shakespeare is highly unlikely to have ever made it to Verona, he set one of his most famous plays in the city which Verona has, of course, capitalized on. Nowadays, you can visit Juliet’s house and balcony, Juliet’s tomb, and Romeo’s house.
During your visit to Verona’s historical center, you will need accommodation that reflects the city’s ambiance, and the Palazzo Monga Boutique Guesthouse does exactly just that. Located just 400 meters away from Verona Arena, this opulent hotel only has three suites and one spacious room, meaning that you will get the staff’s full attention when staying there. All rooms have stone balconies, high ceilings, and Swarovski chandeliers as well as all the usual amenities you could expect from such a property.
Alta Badia Ski Resort and Hotel Ciasa Salares
Centrally located in the Dolomiti Superski area, the Alta Badia Ski Resort has long been the perfect destination for those looking for a skiing and snowboarding vacation. It was way back in 1947 that the first chair lift was built, and since then the resort has gone from strength to strength.
Nowadays, there are 53 ski lifts of varying kinds, from chair lifts to cable cars, covering a wide variety of ski slopes suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. The ski season runs from November to mid-April with a whole host of excellent facilities to ensure a fantastic active time, but this is not the only reason to come here. To complete your holiday, you will have amazing scenery, warm hospitality, and a delicious culinary experience.
Know more about Italy in winter – what to do and see.
To add that little bit of luxury to your Alta Badia trip, you should stay at Hotel Ciasa Salares. It is the only luxury gourmet hotel within the Dolomites, making it easy for you to combine breathtaking nature, active fun, and culinary heaven all in one trip. Here you will have four restaurants at your disposal, all serving top-class dishes, along with a cheese room and a chocolate room for you to enjoy. There is also a great selection of beautiful rooms to choose from, as well as a spa if you need to relax after a hard day on the slopes.
Ravello and Hotel Villa Cimbrone
While you would be hard pushed to find somewhere not delightful on the Amalfi Coast, Ravello takes the prize for being one of the most splendid and luxurious places in Italy. In the past, Ravello attracted many famous faces, from writers and artists to actors and musicians, who came here to seek refuge and inspiration.
Ravello’s beauty certainly is reason enough to come here; its hilltop location gives you wonderful views over the coast, plus its medieval streets are just aching to be explored. However, you will also find lots here to occupy you, especially if you are interested in the arts – Ravello hosts a number of cultural events throughout the year.
Just a ten-minute walk away from the center of Ravello is Hotel Villa Cimbrone, a prestigious property housed in a 12th-century residence. One of its main benefits is that it cannot be reached by car, meaning you get the full experience of escaping real life to enjoy peaceful surroundings. Its amazing location and exquisitely decorated rooms have hosted some of the world’s most famous figures, such as Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, Churchill, and the Duke and Duchess of Kent, so you can imagine the luxury you will enter on a stay here.
Castiglione della Pescaia and L’Andana
Located on the Tuscan coast, Castiglione della Pescaia is a popular bathing town dating back to Roman times. It is part of the Maremma region of Tuscany and offers stunning beaches, a medieval fortress and nature reserve where it is possible to see lots of native wildlife, such as flamingoes, purple herons, and kites, as well as 15 species of orchid. Castiglione della Pescaia itself offers opportunities for relaxing, sightseeing, and sampling some amazing seafood, but the surrounding areas also offer activities such as hiking and cycling if you do fancy getting active as part of your stay.
For the ultimate luxury Tuscan stay, L’Andana should be top of your list when booking accommodation. The hotel is situated within the unspoiled Maremma area, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, but still within a ten-minute drive of Castiglione’s center, so you get the best of both worlds. L’Andana offers luxury rooms, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, spa, Michelin-starred restaurant, golf, and tennis on-site, and there are also opportunities for trekking, horse riding and birdwatching nearby.
Levanto and Park Hotel Argento
One of the most popular seaside resorts on the Italian Riviera, Levanto is the perfect jumping-off point for visiting Cinque Terre; you can easily reach the five Cinque Terre villages from Levanto by train, boat or on foot. It is also what is known as a citta slow, part of the slow travel movement, making it a great place to visit if you are looking to recharge and unwind rather than be busy.
Levanto itself has a beautiful medieval center with many churches and a castle, plus there are also lots of shops and restaurants to enjoy. The town is also one of the few places where you can get good surfing conditions in Italy, and you will see many surfers – as well as swimmers and kayakers – making use of the Blue Flag beach here.
Here’s a complete Cinque Terre travel guide for you.
To enjoy Levanto and Cinque Terre to their fullest, you need an accommodation option that gives you easy access. For this and opulence at its finest, you should choose the Park Hotel Argento. Their rooms have views over the sea and the rolling hillside, so you can admire the beautiful scenery when at the hotel and not just when you are out and about. On-site there is a spa, swimming pool, restaurant, bar, and a fantastic terrace, plus the hotel offers a variety of experiences for you to participate in, including wine tastings, cooking classes, and bike tours.
Como Town and Mandarin Oriental
Situated right on the Italian-Swiss border and on the south-west of Lake Como, the town of Como has a long history, from its founding by Celtic tribes through being a Roman town to the leisure playground for the rich and famous we see today.
Como is a great place to base yourself for a luxury vacation for many reasons: it has a beautiful centre with lots of old buildings, shops, restaurants, and interesting museums, there are plenty of opportunities to take a boat ride on the lake, and it is also ideally situated to explore other pretty towns in the area, such as Brunate, Cernobbio, and Bellagio.
The Mandarin Oriental sits right on the banks of Lake Como and offers five-star indulgence mixed with serene tranquillity. Its rooms and suites are simple yet elegant, and offer spectacular views over either the gardens or the lake itself. The hotel also features a state-of-the-art spa and wellness center with massage rooms, a heated pool, a beauty salon, and fitness centre, and a world-class restaurant.
Taormina and VOI Grand Hotel Mazzaro Sea Palace
Taormina has got much experience in welcoming travelers with budgets at the higher end of the scale; in the 1800s, Goethe spoke of its beauty in his book Italian Journey which led to the town becoming a firm fixture on the Grand Tour, the continental journey taken by young aristocrats to broaden their cultural knowledge.
Nowadays, travelers still flock to the hilltop town for its amazing historical sights, including the ancient theatre and the Odeon, the stunning views, and vibrant nightlife. Taormina is also in close proximity to Mount Etna, one of Europe’s most active volcanoes, which offers lots of hiking opportunities.
When it comes to where to stay in Taormina, VOI Grand Hotel Mazzaro Sea Palace remains a popular choice. All of its rooms have been decorated to the highest standard, with comfortable furnishings and marble bathrooms. A highlight of this hotel is its private beach, meaning you do not have to battle for a great spot, especially during high season when Sicily’s beaches can get pretty busy.
Elsewhere on the property are a first-rate spa and excellent restaurant, plus the hotel can book trips to enhance your vacation, including to Mount Etna and around the island.
For those of you who want to splash out when taking your Italy vacation, you can be sure that your money will be well spent. Italy really does have some wonderful upmarket places and luxurious hotels to indulge yourself with; the biggest problem is knowing which one to visit first.