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.
Restaurant in the country. When Antonio Santini’s grandparents opened the Pescatore in 1926, it was a small family restaurant. Today it is one of the most renowned restaurants in Italy. Between Cremona and Mantua, in the Parco dell’Oglio nature reserve, family members share the tasks. In the kitchen, Nadia and Giovanni prepare refined, generous cuisine: lobster terrine with caviar or the renowned tortelli di zucca, with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano, a recipe perfected and handed down over three generations. In the dining room, Antonio, Alberto and Valentina create a warm atmosphere and uncork their best bottles – grands crus from France and Italy. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in a vineyard. In the heart of the Piedmont vineyards and the white truffle region, this former Franciscan monastery was transformed into the Relais San Maurizio, a place dedicated to the wellness of body and soul. Every suite offers a different view of the Langhe hills, designated a Unesco World Heritage Site. The spa offers thalassotherapy, in a former salt cave. Treatments skilfully combine cutting-edge medical knowledge with water and salt-based products. The restaurant, Guido da Costigliole, located in the beautiful vaulted cellars of the building, has been the undisputed benchmark for fine dining in the region for more than fifty years. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. Mediterranean maquis, pines, white sand beach and blue sea are all part of the landscape at Punta Ala, a natural gem of the Maremma in Tuscany. The Hotel Cala del Porto enjoys stunning views over the Tuscan archipelago, notably the island of Elba, Capraia, and, on a clear day, Corsica. A wellness centre, a private beach and its restaurant, a beautiful golf course and a pool with views over the marina guarantee total relaxation and pleasure. In the environs, explore Bolgheri, the cradle of Italy’s finest wines and the tiny medieval city of Massa Marittima; a two-hour drive at most will take you to Lucca, Pisa, Sienna and Florence. ... 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
Restaurant and hotel in the country. The Albereta welcomes you to a refined setting, which is marked by good taste: antique-style lounges and terraces with extraordinary vistas of Lake Iseo, between the hills and vineyards of Franciacorta. From the first coffee in the morning to the last glass in the evening, the Albereta reinterprets the bistro tradition in an Italian way, whilst the new restaurant highlights the cuisine of yesteryear. Add to this the magic of the opening ceiling of your room to gaze up at the stars from the comfort of your bed and an exclusive visit to the family cellars at Bellavista and Contadi Castaldi. Finally the Albereta is a place dedicated to health and beauty thanks to its Medical Spa Espace Vitalité Henri Chenot. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in town. The former Ciofi Jacometti Palace in the heart of Florence, restored in a manner that faithfully respects its architecture and original frescoes, is home to the Relais Santa Croce. It is an ideal setting, both charming and intimate, just a stone’s throw from the city’s main attractions. The magnificent rooms and suites with views of the rooftops and Basilica combine period furniture with contemporary design, elegant details and a sumptuous finish. The attentive, impeccable service gives the impression of being welcomed into a private residence. The restaurant Guelfi e Ghibellini offers a seasonal menu that skilfully combines tradition and innovation. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in town. Norcia, the town of St. Benedict, nestling in the National Park of the Sibillini Mountains, is the Italian capital of the black truffle. The Palazzo Seneca tells the story of this region from the 16th century onwards, and the Bianconi family can look back on a glorious, more than 160 year-old tradition of hospitality. The best Umbrian artisans worked on the detailed refurbishing of the property and used unique materials and decorative objects to create perfect harmony between colours and lights, tradition and design. The fragrances of the herb garden and the quality of the local products delight in the restaurant Vespasia. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the country. The luxuriant green countryside of Umbria, the “Garden of Italy”, is the perfect setting for this ancient mediaeval fortress. It is an impressive collection of neo-Gothic buildings, a Baroque chapel, surrounded by parkland planted with trees over one hundred years old and an olive grove, which offers outstanding hospitality. Outside, the infinity pool, the flower-bedecked courtyards and the shaded paths offer a cool haven of peace. Inside, the contemporary décor of the rooms and the elegance of the lounges also combine to create a wonderfully relaxing atmosphere. The restaurant serves traditional dishes in a vaulted dining room or on a terrace overlooking the hills. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. This elegant property was the first Italian hotel to join Relais & Châteaux in 1973, and the Gallia-Ansaldi family has been welcoming guests for three generations. On the fine sandy private beach, in front of the island of Elba, La Pagoda restaurant reigns supreme, thanks to its unique architecture and spectacular sea views. Completely relax in the Turkish baths, pool or wellness centre and gym. Golfers will enjoy the 18-hole golf course, set in a pine forest that is over hundred years old. A private yacht awaits for memorable excursions to the Tuscan archipelago. ... Learn moreless