From holidaying Roman emperors to the Grand Tours of the 19th-century British aristocracy, Italy has a rich, accommodating history that continues to this day. You can stay in the likes of Venetian palaces, Tuscan farmhouses and Belle Époque villas on the shores of the Italian lakes. And the following represent the best in Italian getaways, all handpicked by our destination experts.
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.
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.
Baglioni Hotel Cala del Porto
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.
Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea
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.
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.
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.
Relais Santa Croce
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 Villa San Michele, Florence
A façade by Michelangelo, frescoes of The Last Supper and fine dining informed by Tuscan heritage – this is a truly unique proposition.
Belmond Hotel Splendido, Portofino
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 Caruso, Ravello
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.
San Clemente Palace Kempinski, Venice
A private Venetian island, complete with spectacular lagoon views from pool bars, stylish rooms and fine-dining restaurants.
Palazzo Avino, Ravello
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 Lungarno, Florence
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.