Italy has perhaps the largest and most diverse collection of must-visit destinations in Europe and worldwide. To journey through all of the country would be to journey through countless worlds and eras. Wherever you end up, 5 star hotels are the best accompaniment to a dream vacation within a diverse and dreamy natural landscape, in an ancient city center, or right on a sun-drenched beach.
Where to stay at a 5 star hotel in Italy? Important regions at a glance:
Florence and Tuscany: The Cradle of the Renaissance
© Bagni Di Pisa Palace & Spa Florence is known as one of the most magnificent places in the world, in terms of historical significance and cultural heritage, as well as architectural merit. Cultural connoisseurs have already heard of the Uffizi Gallery, host to the world’s largest and most impressive collection of Italian Renaissance art, including some super-star pieces like Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus.” Traverse tiny alleys and wide boulevards into the birthplace of Gucci at the Gucci Garden, and later to the top of the iconic duomo for sweeping views of the city. One of Europe’s “Cities of Love,” waking up together in a 5 star hotel, with a view of the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge, sets you up just right for a perfect day of nibbling pizza and gelato, and sipping Tuscan wines. Speaking of Tuscany, this region of which Florence is the capital is where you’ll find some of the most poetic landscapes you can conjure up. Head to a 5 star hotel inland or in on the coast in Maremma for amazing cuisine and some of the most important destinations in terms of the Italian Renaissance.
Rome: Opulence in the Eternal City
© Hotel d’Inghilterra A city so majestic as Rome is best indulged in to the fullest extent. A perfect balance of modernity and antiquity is what the city has going for it, and what you’ll find in the myriad 5 star establishments which populate the parts of the city not already occupied by the 2,000-year-old Colosseum or the small, independent country of Vatican City. Filled with its own extensive list of bucket-list sights, and some of the mightiest and spectacular ones you may ever see, spend days snacking on gelato and strolling around the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Your 5 star hotel promises a perfect location, top-of-the-line amenities, and an atmosphere that reflects the old-world style of the city itself. The fourth-most populous city in the European Union, revel in the company of friendly locals and other internationals after the same thing your are: that is, a chance to discover a new world, one so steeped in the old, it’s almost blinding. To get a real feel of how contemporary Romans live, make sure to check out the city’s ancient district, Trastevere, crisscrossed by windy cobbled alleys and busting life.
Amalfi Coast and the South of Italy: Dreamy coasts and natural beauty
© Palazzo Gattini Luxury Hotel The Amalfi Coast is what dreams are made of: welters of multicolored buildings stepping down dramatic cliff faces into bright-blue water like you’ve never seen. Positano, Amalfi, and the island of Capris deserve to be experienced by everyone in their lifetime. The 5 star hotels in the region are paradisiacal—fit for a honeymoon and then some. On the way just north to Naples, make sure to stop at the iconic and thought-provoking Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. Once in Naples, prepare for a surprise as you stumble into a huge metropolis with a Neolithic history. One of the purest iterations of where old meets new, real-city grit meets opulence, discover the city with the most Michelin stars in Italy, a suite of natural beauties worth a visit, and the spirit of renaissance. The rest of the Southern Italy consists of breathtaking natural sites, ranging from volcanos to rugged mountains to mystical grottos. Bring your beloved along for all-mornings in the hotel’s spa center, looking out over dramatic landscapes, followed by bike rides along the special part of Italy’s coast where the Adriatic meets the Ionian and the Med.
Italian Lakes and Milan: Laidback holidays
© Lefay Resort & Spa Lago Di Garda The Romans had it right when they began cashing in on the Italian Lakes as a holiday destination centuries ago—today Lake Garda, Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, and Lake Orta are favorite locations for all kinds of travelers. Come for the crystal-clear water, hiking and biking trails, and deluxe hotels, and stay for the quiet, unlike experienced anywhere else. In a particularly beautiful corner of the earth, where the foothills of the Alps meet the soft terrain of Northern Italy, find the landscapes of dreams: green-gray mountainsides meeting blue skies and still water to form a feeling of total tranquility. Lake Garda is known for its seriously posh ambiance and exciting lake town culture. Bring the whole family along for water sports, bike rides, and even a trip to Gardaland theme park. The 5 star hotels on Lake Garda, Lake Orta, and Lake Lugano are equipped with high-quality wellness centers and restaurants serving up the finest regional cuisine. For a little bit of urban in your natural, head to the nearby Milan, a bustling city-of-the-future with its roots in an old-world kind of travel. Time here is spent eating and drinking, discovering the world-class collection of contemporary art, and wandering the streets lined with architecture that oscillates between futuristic skyscrapers from Zaha Hadid and the magnificent fifth-largest cathedral in the world, Duomo di Milano. A 5 star stay here ensures you get all the glitz, glam, and laidback energy the city has to offer.
Venice and the Adriatic Coast: Awe-inspiring city and coastal landscapes
© Palazzina Grassi Venice is unlike anywhere in the world. Steeped in history and obsessed with its own beauty, there’s no experience like traversing alleys that turn into canals, and cruising down canals to be deposited in Renaissance squares and Byzantine chapels. St. Mark’s Basilica and Square are some of the most famous destinations in the world, and for good reason. 5 star hotels in Venice promise royal living. Some establishments even offer limousine pickup and high terraces overlooking the twisty skyline. Down the Italian Adriatic Coast, find beach resorts that take the act of luxuriating very seriously. In Rimini, find seas of sunbeds, happening nightlife, and 5 star establishments which have been providing perfect beach holidays for the last 30 years. Experience for yourself the long tradition of fun in the sun in Rimini. Elsewhere on the coast, for example in Pesaro or Cesenatico, find grand hotels with classically designed interiors, massive indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and private beaches. Bring your beloved along for a deluxe seaside holiday as if from a dream.
The Italian Riviera: Peerless beauty and beach vacations
© Royal Hotel Sanremo The Italian Riviera, or the Ligurian Riviera, is known the world over as a destination in which to escape whichever issues may be plaguing you and settle into otherworldy seaside bliss. The “coast of the setting sun” spans from Genoa to the French border, while the “coast of the rising sun” occupies the rest of the Riviera from Genoa to Cape Corvo. Regardless of which sun-activity fancies you most, all of Italy’s Ligurian shoreline promises an extra special, laidback way of live and a year-round perfect climate. Cinque Terre makes up a very beautiful and special chunk of the Riviera. These five villages have an 11th-century history and are composed wonderful masses of brightly colored houses stepping down from tall cliffs to the deep blue of the sea. Genoa, the birthplace of the violin virtuoso Niccolò Paganini and the infamous Christopher Columbus, is a lovely port city boasting 5 star hotels which operate as the perfect home base for your explorations of both the city itself, and the rest of the Riviera. Further down and around the coastline both east and west, get comfortable in totally luxurious, beachside hotels housed in historic buildings and equipped with only the finest of amenities.
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