The heir to the Roman civilisation and instigator of the most famous art movements, including the Renaissance, Italy is a land of culture, monuments and beauty of all kinds.
The empress, the grande dame, the bejeweled matriarch… Rome is one of the most awe-inspiring capitals in the world. No other city offers so many strata of beauty, from Roman ruins to medieval campaniles, Renaissance palaces, Baroque basilicas, 18th century steps and modernist buildings. And all of these jewels are set in a verdant showcase of parks, gardens, flower-filled terraces and historic villas, with the sun as its spotlight and the Tiber as an embellishing ribbon. To discover Rome in all its splendor, the visitor need only climb one of its seven hills, like Quirinal or Janiculum. Or enter any church to discover the artists who have immortalized the Eternal City: Caravaggio at San Luigi dei Francesi, Michelangelo at San Pietro in Vincoli, Raphael at Sant’Agostino. Out in the streets the spectacle continues with fountains by Bernini, façades by Borromini and Bramante’s Tempietto. On the horizon, the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica, designed by Michelangelo, is balanced by the even older cupola of the Pantheon. In no other city in the world do the ruins feel so alive: a Forum nestled in greenery, a Colosseum as heavily frequented as in the gladiators’ time, a Circus Maximus where visitors can relax on the grass or run with the ghosts of charioteers.
The focal point of one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, the Gulf of Naples defies all comparison. Sun-drenched, edgy, elegant and down-home, the eponymous city takes center stage, with the majesty of Vesuvius as its backdrop. This is a multifaceted city, full of baroque churches and noble palaces, with the seafront on one side and the historic pizzerias and friggitorie of the Spaccanapoli district on the other. The charm of this ancient metropolis arises from the tension that energizes these two vital halves of its soul. The past is not forgotten - as a visit to the ruins of Pompeii, Herculanum or Paestum so eloquently demonstrates.
Hotel and restaurant in a park. Taormina’s ancient Greek theatre is one of the best-preserved treasures in the Mediterranean, with stunning views of the sea and Mount Etna. During the summer, the theatre where the ancient Greeks sat, is used for concerts under the stars. Welcome to Taormina… the Grand Hotel San Pietro Taormina is the ideal place to discover this land of historic ruins and steep cliffs and to enjoy a relaxing vacation in a setting of incredible beauty. For a tranquil dinner on a terrace overlooking the sea, why not try the restaurant Il Giardino degli Ulivi. The “Rotonda sul Mare” has just one single table, facing Isola Bella, where you can spend a truly memorable romantic evening. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in a village. In this superb 700 hectare Tuscan estate, time would appear to have stood still.This property belonging to the Ferragamo family is an oasis of charm in the image of a mediaeval village with a 19th century villa, farm and farm buildings. Wines and olive oil are produced here by traditional methods – they are an integral part of the landscape of the region. Whether you are strolling through the narrow streets of the village, relaxing at the pools, enjoying treatments at Il Borro Spa or the traditional cuisine at Osteria del Borro with local ingredients, you will experience the same pleasure: that of a particular art of living imbued with calm and elegance. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in town. Right in the centre of Milan, a very special and originally styled hotel has brought a splendid Art Nouveau mansion from the early 20th century back to life. Château Monfort draws its inspiration from the worlds of fairy tale and opera and is a magical spot where dreams and reality merge in a retro chic ambiance. This “urban castle” with pastel-coloured walls adorned with flowers and butterflies, mosaics on the floors, mirrors and princely alcoves is marked by a romantic and tasteful atmosphere, particularly in the magnificent "heart-stealer" Restaurant Rubacuori. At midnight, enjoy the Mezzanotte Bar Lounge with its magnificent glass dome. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant in the country. You have to go back to 1815 to find the first Vivalda at the helm of this typical Italian restaurant whose reputation has been handed down from generation to generation for more than 200 years. Chef Gian Piero Vivalda is heir to this tradition. His cuisine, which is deeply rooted in the Piedmont region, draws on the very best of local ingredients: game and vegetables and herbs from the cottage garden, for traditional recipes such as foie gras with Madernassa pears and ravioli with ceps and white Alba truffles during the season, to which he gives a modern twist. The sense of family and the authentic ambiance of this historic property add to its charm. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the country. Tiny traditional stone houses, tucked away in five hectares of forest, in the shade of juniper bushes and holm oaks, have been converted into sophisticated rooms where you can relax. The air is fragrant with the scents of the garrigue, and there are delightful views to be enjoyed over the Gulf of Arzachena and the Archipelago of Maddalena. The wellness centre, housed in natural granite grottos, offers a treatments specialising in Oriental techniques. The Italian regional cuisine served in the restaurant is light and appetising. Unless lunch on board a boat on a private excursion on the clear waters of the Costa Smeralda exercises an even greater attraction. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant in town. Anthony Genovese has travelled widely to England, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand. Now, with Il Pagliaccio (The Clown) right in the heart of Renaissance Rome, he has returned to his roots. His cuisine is both Italian and cutting-edge. It is complex, technically demanding and inspired above all by his personal tastes and choice of ingredients – it is more than simply fusion cuisine. His pairings are inspired: linguine with cod, pistachios and dried tomatoes; pigeon with kumquat cream and Thai rice. His carousel of flavours extends well beyond the secondo piatto. Pear with caramel, lime and eucalyptus jelly – Marion Lichte’s desserts are bold and reach for the stars. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant in town. Agli Amici, which was thus named in the 1960s when it was a meeting place for a group of friends from the village, is a wonderful family adventure, which started in 1887 as a café-tobacconist. At present it is run by siblings: Michela ensures that the tradition of hospitality lives on and promotes wines from small producers and forgotten vineyards. In the kitchen, Emanuele reinvents traditional dishes and gives pride of place to the produce of this region which boasts both mountains and the sea – sea bass, sea urchins, pork, vegetables –, whilst wild herbs gathered in the surrounding area add an original finishing touch to meticulously produced dishes. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in town. Palazzo Manfredi is an elegant hideaway in the centre of what was once imperial Rome. The charming 17th century palace has spectacular views of the Colosseum, the Forum, and the Domus Aurea, combined with superb hospitality. Built over the ruins of the Ludus Magnus, the gymnasium used by Roman gladiators, Palazzo Manfredi was the hunting pavilion of the Guidi gardens. Today it is tastefully adorned with art ranging from 16th century antique paintings to contemporary pieces. The hotel offers an intimate experience, crowned only by a meal at the hotel’s Aroma restaurant where the unparalleled vistas of ancient Rome are beautifully matched by the culinary delights. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant and hotel in a village. At the foot of the Alps, close to Lake Orta – one of the most romantic places in the Padan Plain – Chef Luisa Marelli has created a stellar reputation for her celebrated cuisine. This self-taught former humanities student has forged her culinary style by scouring cookery books and experimenting, with the help of her husband, Angelo Valazza. She describes it as “a combination of Piedmont, Mediterranean and international influences, brought together and inspired by the mountains” where she loves to walk. Ingredients like the white Alba truffles and the porcini mushrooms come from there: potato with eggs and served with white truffles is a delight not to be missed. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the mountains. This sleek, modern building, perched at an altitude of 1 622 metres, almost takes a back seat to the magnificence of the landscape. Yet, inside, its beauty is apparent: tree trunks, raw timber and light colours make for a resolutely contemporary style, from its large guest rooms to its superb dining room which is fully glazed, light-drenched and offers panoramic views of the Dolomites – the perfect setting to savour Heinrich Schneider’s refined cuisine, prepared with ingredients from the South Tyrol. His sister, Gisela, a sommelier, is the other half of the partnership at the helm of this property which was created by their parents and has recently been refurbished. ... Learn moreless