From <i>trattoria</i> kitchen to lakeside palace, from Tuscan countryside to Sicily’s seaside idyll and from Roman ruin to Renaissance cathedral, Italy has allure in abundance. With 51 UNESCO-listed treasures to its name, no country features more World Heritage Sites.
Indeed, when confronted with Italy’s sheer abundance of cultural delights, it’s often easiest to think of the country as a collection of 20 regions, each with its own distinct identity. Sicily is a case in point; Greek temples crouch in valleys, vineyards terrace green contours and playful Mediterranean cuisine is served up in seaside villages. It’s a world away from Rome’s architectural exuberance where you can trace the source of whole empires and religion between the crumbling colonnades of the Roman Forum and the Michelangelos of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel. Then there’s the rural charm of Tuscany where medieval towns dot a rolling countryside broken only by wineries.
That’s they joy of Italy. One moment you could be relaxing in a Belle Époque palace on the Italian Lakes, and the next looking out over Amalfi's bright patchwork. Here, centuries-old houses spill down dramatic cliffs to the beach-fringed waters below. And our multi-stop itineraries will bring you between the country’s richly varied highlights in style, enjoying stays in luxury accommodation and the services of private drivers and guides throughout. But, there’s one thing that’s found throughout the country – an appreciation of la dolce vita, the good life. You’ll be well looked after whether you’re feasting on a Fiorentina steak, sipping prosecco in Venice or waking up to an espresso in a piazza-side café.
Enjoy a private gozzo tour of the Amalfi Coast to a secluded restaurant or explore the region’s bohemian towns – whether you cruise around in a classic sports car or on a Vespa is up to you. Alternatively, take a hot air balloon and float over the ancient village towns and vineyards of the rolling Chianti hills. Let your charismatic guide bring alive the days of the Roman Empire while you investigate the eerie remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum or ask about how to visit after the crowds have departed. Explore the striking coastlines of the Aeolian Islands on a gullet-style tall ship or discover Sardinia’s pristine beaches and glamorous nightlife aboard a super yacht. Wander between the villas and gardens on the shores of Lake Como or explore the Italian Lakes aboard a timelessly elegant Riva yacht. Take to the roads of northern Italy and drive the route of the Mille Miglia in a classic Gran Turismo sports car. Lose yourself in the mystique of the masked carnival in Venice, we can even help you to arrange your own private masked ball in a palazzo, and experience a behind-closed-doors visit to St Marks or the Sistine Chapel. Enjoy a private visit to the most prestigious Murano glass factories or see behind the scenes of a fashion superbrand. Join a local and his dog to look for truffles in the Abruzzo or learn how to make the most amazing pasta in a cookery lesson with either a local family or an Italian Mamma. Imagine the stories you’ll tell.
Spoil yourself with a stay in an opulent Venetian palazzo such as Baglioni Hotel Luna or base yourself in a private Roman residence. Take time out in a traditional Tuscan farmhouse or restored fort, experience life in a converted Franciscan monastery or traditional Puglian masserie and immerse yourself in a restored alberghi diffusi in the Abruzzo. Indulge yourself with vintages available at your hilltop winery retreat or bask in the luxury and privacy on offer at your private lakefront Como villa or stunning coastal escape. Ask us too about travelling on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express to experience old world glamour and serious style on a great rail journey across Europe.
Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea, Taormina, Sicily
7-night luxury holiday from £1,695 pp incl. flights & transfersSave up to £185 pp – ends 31 Aug
A private swathe of beach, almost tropical gardens, laidback elegance, old-fashioned, fine Italian furnishings and cutting-edge art make the Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea the most glamorous stay in Taormina.
Baglioni Hotel Luna, Venice
Just off the Grand Canal, this Venetian palace is old-world luxury at its finest, complete with chandeliers, frescoes and gilded furnishings. Its private pier and fine-dining restaurant don’t hurt, either.
Baglioni Hotel Cala del Porto, Tuscan Coast
4-night luxury holiday from £840 pp incl. flights & transfersSave up to £215 pp – ends 31 Aug
Most of the rooms at the delectable Hotel Cala Del Porto overlook the bay of Punta Ala, a glorious swathe of blue punctuated by the island of Elba. The Maremma, a less explored but most exciting corner of Tuscany provides the perfect counterpoint.
Relais Santa Croce, Florence
3-night luxury holiday from £580 pp incl. flights & transfersSave up to £220 pp – ends 2 Sep
Set in an old palazzo, with original murals still gracing the walls, the Relais Santa Croce is as beautiful as the Florentine views it enjoys. Frescoed ceilings and fine art feature throughout, as do high standards and lashings of luxury.
Belmond Castello di Casole, Tuscany
3-night luxury holiday from £1,155 pp incl. flights & transfersSave up to £425 pp – ends 31 Oct
Stay in a 10th-century castle ringed by vineyards, enjoying fine dining, spectacular views and superb spa treatments.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como
4-night luxury holiday from £1,005 pp incl. flights & transfersSave up to £230 pp – ends 31 Aug
This century-old grand dame is the best-located hotel on Lake Como – a setting taken in by a superb array of facilities. Expect everything from private-balcony rooms to an infinity spa pool
Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, Taormina
7-night luxury holiday from £2,765 pp incl. flights & transfersSave up to £505 pp – ends 31 Oct
The Belmond Grand Hotel sits high on Sicilian cliffs, with glorious views of the sea and Mount Etna.
Belmond Hotel Splendido, Portofino
4-night luxury holiday from £1,420 pp incl. flights & transfersSave up to £470 pp – ends 31 Oct
Choose between luxury stays in a 500-year-old convent or down by the waterfront at this opulent property, complete with spa, gourmet restaurants and stunning setting.
Belmond Hotel Cipriani, Venice
The Belmond Hotel Cipriani is true old-world Venetian glamour at its best, prestigiously located on Giudecca Island. It features complimentary rides to the splendours of the city, chandelier-adorned rooms, a swimming pool and two exquisite restaurants offering authentic Italian dining.
Belmond Villa San Michele, Florence
3-night luxury holiday from £1,065 pp incl. flights & transfersSave up to £385 pp – ends 31 Oct
A façade by Michelangelo, frescoes of The Last Supper and fine dining informed by Tuscan heritage – this is a truly unique proposition.
Il Borro, Tuscany
Nestled within a 700-hectare estate in the heart of rural Tuscany, this historic hotel combines fine food and wine, and indulgent spa treatments, with Relais & Châteaux’s signature brand of elegant luxury.
Casa Angelina, Amalfi Coast
4-night luxury holiday from £1,105 pp incl. flights & transfersSave up to £285 pp – ends 31 Aug
Simply, this is the Amalfi Coast at its chic best. Expect everything from a private beach club to a rooftop fine dining restaurant.
Belmond Hotel Caruso, Ravello
3-night luxury holiday from £915 pp incl. flights & transfers
Escape to a historic palace with spectacular views over the Amalfi Coast. Here, infinity-pool modernity is paired with classic fine dining and paintings by old masters.
Alberi Del Paradiso, Cefalù
Secluded above the beautiful town of Cefalù, this four-star hotel, with its pool, wellness centre and extensive gardens, is just 20 minutes' walk from the beach.
Villa Athena, Sicily
At the heart of Sicily’s Valley of the Temples, the deluxe Villa Athena is blissfully boutique, with just 27 rooms. The only five star property in this historic part of the island, with five-star views of the Temple of Concordia.
Belmond Villa Margherita, Amalfi Coast
Perhaps the Amalfi Coast’s most exclusive property, this two-suite villa offers gorgeous views, butler-served luxury and a delightful sense of seclusion.
Borgo Santo Pietro, Tuscany
From Michelin-starred dining to exclusive spa treatments, this is your chance to stay in one of the Tuscany’s most luxurious properties.
Hotel Lungarno, Florence
3-night luxury holiday from £915 pp incl. flights & transfersSave up to £125 pp – ends 31 Aug
Discover luxury amid Florence's myriad delights in this opulent hotel whose walls are adorned with more than 400 pieces of art, some dating back to the 900s. Evenings are spent in the Michelin-starred restaurant on the banks of the river – with the option to dine on your own private terrace.
Bauer Palazzo, Venice
Set in an 18th-century palazzo in Venice's cultural epicentre, the Bauer Palazzo blends traditional Venetian and art-deco design with Grand Canal views and Venice's highest roof terrace.
Palazzo Avino, Ravello
4-night luxury holiday from £1,275 pp incl. flights & transfers
This exquisite five-star hotel was once a 12th-century private villa, perched above the dazzling coast of Amalfi in medieval Ravello. Opulent rooms are adorned with hand-made Vietri tiles and the highest-level suites feature private decks with hot tubs.
Hotel Danieli, Venice
Spread across three canal-side palaces, this landmark hotel offers rooftop fine dining, grand architecture and sweeping views across the Venetian Lagoon.
Grand Hotel Gardone, Lake Garda
Having welcomed the likes of Winston Churchill through its grand waterside doors, this elegant hotel was one of the first to grace Lake Garda’s picturesque shores.
Step back to the Golden Age of Travel aboard the world’s most iconic rail journey. And, as Europe’s great vistas sweep past, you’ll sit back to enjoy piano-accompanied cocktails, multi-course gourmet dining and that famous white-gloved service.
San Clemente Palace Kempinski, Venice
3-night luxury holiday from £980 pp incl. flights & transfersSave up to £130 pp – ends 30 Sep
A private Venetian island, complete with spectacular lagoon views from pool bars, stylish rooms and fine-dining restaurants.
Due Torri, Verona
This esteemed Verona hotel lies just moments from the cobbled lanes and Shakespearean sights of Verona's ever-so-romantic streets, with handcrafted marble rooms, a Michelin-starred restaurant and a wonderful panoramic roof terrace.
Hotel de Russie, Rome
The historic but hip Hotel de Russie sits right at the heart of Rome, a five star setting for a five star hotel.
Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes
The grandest hotel in a grand city, 'The Palms' exudes glamour and history. Originally built as an aristocratic palazzo in 1856, there’s even a secret passage underground to the church across the street – a typical detail in this house of many stories.
Capri Palace Hotel & Spa, Anacapri
Capri has long been an island dedicated to decadent pleasures, and the sophisticated Capri Palace Hotel specialises in the tradition.
Because Italy can be exceptionally busy, ask us about how to explore the country in the shoulder seasons, travelling to the cities and countryside in spring or autumn instead of high summer. Alternatively, grab a towel to travel to the beach in June or September. Otherwise, look out for annual events such as the Venice Carnival in February or the Palio in Sienna in July and August and plan ahead to secure the best bases from which to experience these exceptional events.
The Tuscan Coast & Florence
8 days from £1,595 pp incl. flights
Tuscany is famous for Renaissance art and architecture, with the city of Florence at its forefront. Less well known perhaps are the region’s beaches, each as lovely as the Botticelli Venus. This trip combines the beauty of both.
Capri and the Amalfi Coast
8 days from £2,125 pp incl. flights
Capri and the Amalfi coast are characterised by vertiginous cliffs and grand, salt-encrusted villas. Crescent beaches in secluded coves line an aquamarine sea, and there’s history at every turn.
Best of Sicily
8 days from £1,440 pp incl. flights
From glorious swathes of golden sand to millennia-old ruins framed by scented lemon groves and sun-soaked vineyards, Sicily’s highlights are as enchanting as they are varied. Take it all in with stays in iconic hotels and scenic country drives.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: London to Venice
4 days from £2,995 pp incl. flightsSave up to £400 pp – ends 14 September
Between indulgent fine dining, champagne receptions and private city tours, this elegant journey pairs the ultimate in luxury rail travel with a palace stay in the heart of ancient Venice.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Venice & London in Luxury
4 days from £3,515 pp incl. flights
This version of the classic the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express's northbound route pairs the world's most iconic rail experience with luxury stays in both Venice and London.
Venice by Belmond Hotel Cipriani
4 days from £2,345 pp incl. flights
Not only will this city break see you stay in one of Italy’s most iconic hotels, but you’ll indulge with sunset cruises, food and wine tastings, and private water-taxi transfers throughout.
Florence & the Tuscan countryside in luxury
7 days from £2,360 pp incl. flights
With ultra-luxury stays in a millennium-old castle and a monastery designed by Michelangelo himself, this curated itinerary showcases Florence and Tuscany at their very best.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express & Venice’s Islands
4 days from £3,235 pp incl. flights
Before travelling on the world’s exclusive train, hop between Venice’s archipelago, centring on a luxury stay on your very own private island.
Verona Opera & the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
4 days from £3,570 pp incl. flights
This spectacular short break combines a journey on the world’s most elegant train with a stay in a converted palace and of opera at the iconic Arena di Verona.
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express & Lake Como
6 days from £4,305 pp incl. flights
Travel from London to Verona onboard the world’s most famous train, finishing off with a truly opulent stay on the shores of Italian lake country.
Cinque Terre in Style
6 days from £950 pp incl. flights
The coast of Italy has long been known as the epitome of romance and charm, but this is perhaps nowhere more apparent than among the pastel-hued villages, rugged cliffs and charming yacht-lined harbours of world-famous Cinque Terre. Explore it all on this tailor-made, luxury trip.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express & Seabourn: London to Athens
14 days from £7,855 pp incl. flights
Combine one of the world's greatest rail journeys with an equally spectacular cruise to some of Europe's most iconic cities.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Venice, Paris & Berlin
7 days from £6,580 pp incl. flights
Experience the elegance and glamour of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express on this three-centre itinerary, travelling on board the world's most luxurious train between Venice, Paris and Berlin.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Venice to London
4 days from £2,625 pp incl. flightsSave up to £330 pp – ends 14 September
A counterpoint to the classic London-Venice route, this journey aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express starts among the exquisite architecture of Italy's floating city before the traversing the high passes of the Austrian Alps.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Return to Venice
5 days from £4,825 pp
Travel from London to Venice, and back again, aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, enjoying all the luxury and elegance of the world’s most famous train.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Grand Suite Experience
4 days from £7,985 pp incl. flights
From free-flowing champagne to complimentary caviar, experience the ultimate in luxury rail travel with the butler-served indulgences of the new Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Grand Suites.