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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 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. 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
Hotel and restaurant in the country. A large stone-built house at the end of a drive lined with Cypress trees, rolling hills for as far as the eye can see, a garden stocked with different species and fragrances – this is the Tuscany of our dreams. It is sheer delight to stroll between the flower beds, and the infinity pool offers stunning views over the valley. The stone walls, that once housed a staging post for pilgrims, have retained their peacefulness, but the décor has been enlivened by antique furniture and murals, which gleam in the light of crystal chandeliers. As in the past, the garden provides aromatic herbs and vegetables and the bees offer honey from the flowers on the grounds. ... 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 on a hill. Hidden behind the main church, a beautiful 16th century palace blends into the whitewashed walls of the town. It is La Sommità (lit. The Summit), perched high above the historic centre of Ostuni. Behind the Catalan-style portal, a veritable oasis is unveiled. The harmony of white and cream tones, natural stone, and minimalist decor invite you to disconnect and recharge. Take the time to read under the shade of an alcove or at the edge of the little pool, get lost staring across the roofs of the city and the groves of olive trees stretching to the Adriatic, before savouring a refined and reinvented Puglian cuisine. ... 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 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
Restaurant in town. Chef Annie Féolde, also known as The Diva of Cuisine, was the first woman Chef to earn 3 stars in Italy and the fourth one in the world. She serves innovative cuisine created from all top-quality Italian ingredients. The fine wines selected by sommelier Giorgio Pinchiorri, her companion for forty years, are the perfect accompaniment to her cuisine. Enoteca is located in a Renaissance palazzo in the heart of Florence, as is Relais Santa Croce Hotel. On the menu: fusilli al ferretto and squids in white wine, artichokes and botargo, double squab breast and peas in mint, potato doughnut with fegatini sauce; truffle and caramelised chocolate, pink grapefruit and almond milk. Impeccable service and a warm welcome add the finishing touches to a truly memorable meal. ... 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 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