Luxury Holidays in Italy: An Overview

More UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other country on the planet, food that is tantalisingly close to perfection and landscape that has something for pretty much everyone. Sold.

Harriet, Pip, Flora and Claudia are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • Pizza, pasta, coffee and ice cream. Often imitated, never bettered and rarely sold at such thoroughly reasonable prices. The south of Italy, particularly Puglia and the Campania region (including the Amalfi coast) is perhaps best for the food
  • Rome, the "Eternal City". History at every turn, with more jaw-droppingly grandiose architecture than anywhere else
  • The Dolomites - Europe's undiscovered skiing gem. If mind-melting scenery and low-key Michelin-starred eateries on a budget are your thing, you'll love this superb skiing area

Luxury Italian Holidays: The Detail

You may not have cottoned on yet, but we're major fans of Italy and all it has to offer for a luxury holiday. Where do we start? The fact that Rome has a vibrancy and buzz that is almost indescribable. Not to mention that it has more must-see cultural attractions than you can shake a stick at. Perhaps it's the stark contrast between the glitz and glamour of the Amalfi Coast and the relatively undiscovered gem that is Puglia. Or maybe it's the cultural overdose of sights to be experienced in the small area of Sicily, from classical ruins to picture perfect beaches. And that's before we even mention Florence or Venice. It's a heady mix and, in our humble opinion, Italy is the whole package when it comes to luxury holidays.

Did you know

  • The name Italy comes from the word 'italia', meaning 'calf land'
  • Italy has more volcanoes than any other country in Europe
  • There are two independent states within Italy: the Republic of San Marino (25 square miles) and the Vatican City (just 109 acres)
  • In 2007, a dog named Rocco discovered a truffle in Tuscany that weighed 3.3 pounds. It sold at auction for $333,000; a world record for a truffle

We've been sending clients on luxury Italian holidays since we started out, and as well as being home to some of the most popular regions in the world (think Rome, Venice, Tuscany), it is also perfect for those who want to experience something a little more off the beaten track. The Dolomites remain a relatively undiscovered skiing gem and even less appreciated is that they are a gorgeous place to visit during the summer months. There are activities galore (think walking, cycling, riding, Via Ferrata mountaineering) and, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the views aren't bad either. Puglia, on the heel of Italy's boot, has garnered more and more attention over the last couple of years but remains relatively undiscovered and is well worth exploring, if only for the legendary trulli houses.

Private Luxury Villas in Italy

There's something particularly alluring about the Italian way of life. As far as we're concerned, it really doesn't get much sweeter than la dolce vita, and staying in a luxury villa in Italy - be it in the hills near Florence or by the beach in Sardinia - it's the consummate way to spend a summer soggiorno.

Parade around the narrow streets of a Tuscan hilltop town on a sunset passeggiata or sample fresh Sardinian white wines at a seafront restaurant as oligarch-laden megayachts glide by - it's all part and parcel of an Italian luxury villa holiday, and Original Travel knows the finest luxury villas around.

When to go...

From April to June and late September to October are the best months for travelling in Italy; the temperatures are usually mild and the crowds aren't quite so intense. Starting in mid-June, the summer rush really picks up, and from July to mid-September the country goes on vacation at least from august 15 to the end of the month, and many Italians take off the entire month. Many hotels, restaurants, and shops are closed (except for spas, beaches, and islands, where 70% of Italians head).

Our fantastic Europe team are here to help with every detail of your trip, from where to eat the best Tagliatelle Vongole ever (at the Monastero Santa Rosa on the Amalfi Coast in case you were actually wondering) to what time of day is best to visit Rome's main attractions. In essence, Italy is an oldie but a goodie when it comes to luxury holidays, which is why we've sent hundreds of our clients there in the past and will continue to do so until the end of time. Enough said.


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Original Highlight

Italian coast - luxury holiday destination

Marvelling at incredibly well-preserved Baroque architecture, swish boutiques and drinking some of Europe’s best wines in the sun…even in November. South-eastern Sicily has it all.

Harriet, Original Traveller

A note on price

A no-expense-spared, tailor made Italian holiday exploring the country's artistic and cultural centres over a week – think Venice, Verona, Florence, Siena and Rome - staying in some of the world’s finest hotels can cost around £8,000 per person. However, a weekend city break can be done for £400 per person including flights. Learn more about our pricing

Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 8°C / 46°F
  • Rainfall — 7cm / 3.1 inches
Language

Italian

Currency

Euro

Visa Requirements

Not required for stays under 30 nights

Religion

Catholic

Food & Drink

Pizza, pasta, gelato, polenta, coffee

What to pack

Anything with stretchy waistbands for all the delicious food you’re going to eat

Flight from London

2:15 hrs

Time Difference

GMT +1 hr

Best visit months

Year round


Top picks for Italy

Kite Surfing on the Italian Lakes

Kite Surfing on the Italian Lakes

Italian Lakes

Kite-surfing? In the Italian Lakes? Surely not? Actually, it’s one of the best spots in Europe to try this, the fastest growing watersport in the world.

What to do

Kite Surfing on the Italian Lakes
Borgo Egnazia, luxury hotel in Italy

Borgo Egnazia

Puglia

From the owners of the Masserias San Domenico and Cimono respectively comes Borgo Egnazia, the single smartest luxury hotel on the Puglian coast, with private villas for families and a boutique hotel for couples.

Where to stay

Borgo Egnazia
Puglia

Puglia

Italy

Puglia, on the heel of Italy's boot, is a destination apart, both culturally and geographically.

Where to go

Puglia
Grand Hotel Timeo, luxury hotel in Italy

Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

Sicily & the Aeolian Islands

If there was a 'hotel with the best location in the world' award, the Grand Hotel Timeo would be a serious contender... Set high in the rocky hills on the east coast of Sicily, Grand Hotel Timeo has long been known as one of Italy’s most glamorous retreats, and has now had a serious - and arguably much needed - overhaul by the Belmond group.

Where to stay

Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo
Hillside in Capri

Capri & Ischia

Italy

Rising dramatically from the waters of the Mediterranean are Capri and Ischia. Both can be reached by hydrofoil from Naples in under an hour and have excellent hotels at which to indulge in la dolce vita.

Where to go

Capri & Ischia
Masseria Torre Coccaro hotel, luxury hotel in Puglia, Italy

Masseria Torre Coccaro

Puglia

Masseria Torre Coccaro is a 16th-century watchtower just outside the ancient fishing village of Savelletri di Fasano near Brindisi.

Where to stay

Masseria Torre Coccaro
Masseria San Domenico hotel, luxury hotel in Italy

Masseria San Domenico

Puglia

Located on the Adriatic coast of Puglia, the Masseria San Domenico is one of the finest hotels in south east Italy.

Where to stay

Masseria San Domenico
Via Ferrata, Dolomites: Walking Holidays in Italy

Via Ferrata, Dolomites: Walking Holidays in Italy

The Dolomites

Not recommended for anyone with vertigo, the Via Ferrata in the Dolomites, consisting of iron wrung ladders, footpaths and rope bridges, are an exhilarating series of routes that allow non-mountaineers to experience the higher peaks and most dramatic scenery of this most beautiful of mountain ranges.

What to do

Via Ferrata, Dolomites: Walking Holidays in Italy
The Maddalena Archipelago

The Maddalena Archipelago

Sardinia

Rent an inflatable rib and head over to the beautiful Maddalena Archipelago where the uninhabited islands have pink sand beaches and the water is as clear as any in the world.

What to do

The Maddalena Archipelago
Blue Grotto

Blue Grotto

Capri & Ischia

A natural phenomenon and major attraction on the island of Capri, the Blue Grotto definitely lives up to its billing.

What to do

Blue Grotto
The Venice Canal

Venice

Italy

Simply one of the world's most beautiful and romantic cities and a must-visit destination.

Where to go

Venice
Belmond Splendido & Belmond Splendido Mare

Belmond Splendido & Belmond Splendido Mare

Liguria

Splendido by name and splendid by nature, the Belmond Hotel Splendido is one of the iconic Italian hotels. So what's so splendido? Quite a bit. First of all there's the spectacular setting, with the hotel perched above picture perfect Portofino, one of Europe's loveliest town. In fact, we're going to stick our collective necks out and go as far as saying the view down the hill of Portofino harbour is one of the best in the world.

Where to stay

Belmond Splendido & Belmond Splendido Mare
Capofaro hotel. luxury hotel in Italy

Capofaro

Sicily & the Aeolian Islands

Set amidst a working vineyard producing Malvasia wine, Capofaro is arguably the best boutique hotel on Salina Island.

Where to stay

Capofaro
Ski The Secret Dolomites

Ski The Secret Dolomites

The Dolomites

To many people the Dolomites are something of a secret anyway, but word is getting out about this staggeringly beautiful region, and its skiing (and eating) potential.

What to do

Ski The Secret Dolomites
Amalfi Coast View, Italy

The Amalfi Coast & Cilento

Italy

Enjoy fine food, cliffs, coves, and hilltop towns such as Positano or Amalfi or in unspoilt Puglia.

Where to go

The Amalfi Coast & Cilento
Canne Bianche

Canne Bianche

Puglia

Canne Bianche Hotel & Spa is a whitewashed, beachfront chic boutique hotel in Fasano, nestled between Brindisi and Bari on the Puglian coast.

Where to stay

Canne Bianche
One of Florence's Many Bridges

Florence

Italy

With its magnificent Duomo, Uffizi gallery and the Ponte Vecchio, Florence is quite simply one of the world’s finest open air museums.

Where to go

Florence
Grand Hotel Miramare

Grand Hotel Miramare

Liguria

Situated in the heart of the Italian Riviera, the Grand Hotel Miramare is a wonderful family owned luxury hotel, just a short stroll from the cable car down to Taormina Beach.

Where to stay

Grand Hotel Miramare
Boat Trips

Boat Trips

Capri & Ischia

While nothing beats a traditional passagiatta or wandering around the streets at sunset marvelling at the sites of Capri or Anacapri, a boat trip gives a sense of the dramatic nature of the island and allows visits to parts of the island not accessible by land. Plus you'll feel impossibly glamorous while doing it.

What to do

Boat Trips
View of the sea from Hotel Raya, Sicily

Sicily & the Aeolian Islands

Italy

An extraordinary diversity of sights in one small area, from the classical ruins and beaches of Sicily to the volcanic outcrops of the Aeolian Islands.

Where to go

Sicily & the Aeolian Islands
La Fiermontina

La Fiermontina

Puglia

In case you hadn’t already guessed, Puglia is easily one of our favourite places in Italy and so we’re really excited about the opening of boutique hotel La Fiermontina – a 16 suite labour of love set amidst the 18th century Baroque churches of Lecce’s historical centre.

Where to stay

La Fiermontina
Marcus Aurelius Column, Rome

Rome

Italy

The world’s greatest open-air museum is also one of the most alluring and vibrant of modern cities.

Where to go

Rome
Tuscany

Tuscany

Italy

Historic towns and cities, peaceful county retreats and outstanding regional cuisine - Tuscany has got the lot.

Where to go

Tuscany
Liguria

Liguria

Italy

From Portifino to pesto, Liguria includes some of our favourite Italian things.

Where to go

Liguria

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