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 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 and hotel in a village. Located on the magical island of Ischia, in the village of Casamicciola, the Terme Manzi Hotel & Spa is an architectural gem built in the 19th century. This elegant and sophisticated palace, with its beautiful furnishings and decor, is where the mind and body become one to embrace the warm thermal waters of the Gurgitello Spring, well-known since antiquity for their regenerating, healing and therapeutic properties. They best combine with the fabulous qualities of organic volcanic clay for a revitalizing synthesis, the mud therapy. At all three restaurants, the chef chooses from the genuine ingredients that the Ischian sea and countryside have to offer, creating dishes that bring together the great Mediterranean tradition with new Italian culinary creativity, and will take you on a journey to discover the “emotional cuisine”. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the country. Silvia and Riccardo Baracchi’s 17th century family residence, set amongst the vineyards and olive trees that surround the small Etruscan city of Cortona, is a true delight. The guest rooms, located around the main residence, have all the simplicity of a Tuscan villa. The terraces of the former winter garden, with their heady aromas of rose, offer superb vistas over the neighbouring countryside. A sophisticated restaurant serves cuisine, reflecting the flavours and fragrances of the terroir. The Thesan Etruscan spa offers exclusive, luxury rituals. Riccardo Baracchi is delighted to show you his cellar and welcome you to the cookery classes organised by Silvia. ... 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 the mountains. On the hills overlooking the valley of Merano, clinging to the sunbathed slopes of the Dolomites, sits Castel Fragsburg in all its splendour. This elegant hunting manor of noble origin, dating back to the 17th century, is now one of the most charming hotels in the region, boasting a terrace with stunning panoramic views of Merano and the Alto Adige Valley as well as the orchards of South Tyrol. The warm welcome, excellent hospitality, individual service, absolute discretion, love of detail, fine dining and the 10.000 m2 private park make Castel Fragsburg the ideal place to recharge one’s batteries in the heart of the Italian Alps. ... 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
Restaurant and hotel on a lake. Just a few steps from Lake Orta, Villa Crespi is a spectacular property built in 1879. The villa’s arabesque architecture, stunning gardens and the hospitality of Chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo and his wife Cinzia make a stay here magical. Antonino’s masterful cuisine is deeply influenced by the places and flavours experienced during his professional journey. His menu is an itinerary from southern to northern Italy, starting with a brochette of scallops and scampi and ending with pigeon and foie gras. From Villa Crespi you can contemplate a magnificent Italy, just 45 minutes away from Milan Malpensa: the medieval village of Orta and the Island of San Giulio, the famous site of Sacro Monte, and the Lake Maggiore. ... 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