Luxury holidays in Italy

Destinations in Italy

  • Abruzzo is rustic, rural, romantic Italy at its undiscovered finest, where sheep roam free and mediaeval villages dot the landscape…
  • The ‘seven sisters’ of the volcanic Aeolian Islands are scattered like stars across the deep blue Tyrrhenian Sea, north of Sicily.
  • Craggy, winding and riddled with caves and secret beaches, the Amalfi Coast is one of the most spectacular stretches of coastline in the world. The volcanic headland reaches out from the ankle of Italy towards the Tyrrhenian, sheer mountainside plummeting into the sun-sparkled sea.
  • Come for year-round Alpine adventures in the Aosta Valley, a mountainous corner of north-west Italy.
  • Basilicata rivals Rome in terms of culture, beauty, history and charm, and it comes without the torrent of tourists.
  • The tiny island with a big following.
  • A popular Dolomite playground for Milanese millionaires, Cortina d’Ampezzo is a snow-capped comune in the Veneto, near the Austrian border, for skiing, strolling and, er, shopping.
  • With a capital like Rome, it’s understandable that the rest of Lazio is often overlooked – but with historic towns, mile-long beaches and a patchwork of vineyards to see and sip your way through, it’s time to take note of Tuscany’s next-door neighbour.
  • Culture-lovers and country bumpkins alike will find themselves at home in Lombardy: head to grand tour-worthy Lake Como and Milan for swimming, shopping and showing-off, and to the north’s snow-dusted Alps for slopes and slaloms.
  • Art, fashion, furniture and football are Milan’s healthy obsessions.
  • The birthplace of pizza, tri-coloured ice-cream and an oversized take on the rum baba, Italy’s ancient ‘new city’ has always known how to attract attention.
  • The windswept Italian island of Pantelleria's so tiny that when the locals say 'the mainland' they mean Sicily.
  • This northwestern region is a reminder that until just over a hundred years ago, Italy wasn’t a country, but a collection of states, each with its own distinct identity.
  • Located in Italy’s sunny south, Puglia has a unique character and charm, little known to outsiders; the Italians who flock here in the summer keep this laidback playground of blue sea, golden sands and olive groves strictly a family affair.
  • This Mediterranean island has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and if you venture inland you’ll find breathtaking countryside.
  • Shrugging off size limitations to reveal bustling cities, dramatic coastlines and mountainous countryside, this have-it-all Mediterranean island is Italy in microcosm.
  • The Ancients believed that mariners were lured to the islands and towering cliffs of the Amalfi Coast by the songs of the Sirens, mythical temptresses who gave their name to the seductive town of Sorrento.
  • Austrian until 1919, the South Tyrol – or Südtirol – is Italy’s most northerly province, with a uniquely Teutonic tone. Two-thirds of the population speak German as their mother tongue, and handsome schlossen dot every hillside, but still an Italian sensibility prevails, creating an intriguing cultural mix.
  • Best known for the majestic beauty of its peaks, Trentino is a mountainous region in northern Italy, with a stunning aspect of alpine forest, snow-capped mountains and shimmering lakes.
  • Venice's compact cousin has history, culture and gastronomic prowess to rival the City of Bridges, but it's a far more peaceful proposition.
  • Mother Nature blessed Tuscany with acres of olive groves and farmland, but the addition of luxury villas and boutique hotels is very welcome. Here’s Smith’s collection of the best…
  • Umbria is a rustic playground of pleasures, where food, fortified towns and fine wines will sate your every cultural and culinary need.
  • It may seem curious in a city that sits out in the sea and is characterised by its glittering waterways, but it’s walking you should prepare for when you visit Venice.
  • Shakespeare chose to set his smouldering tragedy, Romeo & Juliet, in this green- and honey-coloured historic city, and no wonder: these are streets to fall in love in.

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Villa Cora

Villa Cora

In the 1870s, Baron Oppenheim built Villa Cora, close to Florence's city centre, for his wife. He certainly put his heart into it: armies of statues, frescoes and rose motifs show a love for embellishment equal to that for his spouse. He may have tried to burn the villa down later, when he thought his spouse had been unfaithful, but it's still a lovely gesture… Lavish canopied beds beckon for drama-seeking twosomes and the hotel also has the only outdoor heated pool in Florence, and manicured gardens for arm-in-arm strolling.