6 unforgettable Italy hotels, from Tuscany and Lake Como to Rome and Milan
From the city to the countryside, Italy has dozens of iconic hotels. Here's our pick of the big-hitters worth the splurge.
1. Villa d'Este, Lake Como
Accomodation on Como doesn't get better than this huge palace, built for a Catholic cardinal, lived in by a Queen of England, and now celebrating its 151st anniversary as a hotel. Packed full of art, and with rambling gardens dating back to the Renaissance, it's the lake's worthy grande dame. Open the windows of your huge bedroom, listen to the water lapping at the shore and relax. From £1,150, B&B.
2. Hotel Hassler, Rome
Swaggering at the top of the Spanish Steps, the Hassler is synonymous with the Eternal City. From here you can see Roman remains, gawp at the dome of St Peter's, see inside the famous Trinità dei Monti church and drink in the Dolce Vita at the hotel's jaw-dropping rooftop terrace. This is one of the few family-owned five-stars left in Rome – and it's at the absolute top of its game. From £750, room only.
3. Sextantio Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Abruzzo
Yes it's out of the way – half an hour outside L'Aquila in the mountains of Abruzzo – but that just means you have to stay longer in this medieval village that doubles as a 'scattered hotel', with former peasant cottages turned into rooms. Luxury here hits different – everything is faithful to how farmers slept (though still wildly comfortable), and everything on the menu is hyper-local. From £186, B&B.
4. Forestis, Dolomites
Teetering on a hillside in the Dolomites, and squaring off against those toothy peaks on the other side of the valley, are three modern tower blocks: glass-fronted, clad in wood and with balconies facing the void. This is Forestis, where the spa treatments are tree-based, the yoga is Celtic-influenced and dinner puts those peaks centre stage in an amphitheatre-like restaurant. From £549 per room, half board.
5. Galleria Vik, Milan
The Rodin sculpture in the lobby is the first clue that this is a rather special hotel. The second is the view from (most of) the rooms, straight into the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan's iconic 19th-century shopping arcade beside the Duomo. Book one with a balcony and you'll be suspended over the tourists taking photos, and the Milanese on their daily passeggiata (stroll). A modern classic in a historic setting. From £440, B&B.
6. Oasyhotel, Tuscany
This hotel, in a nature reserve north of Pistoia, lets you enjoy Italy's wilderness to the full. Its timber-framed lodges sit in grounds where you can wildlife-spot, go for a spin through the woods on an e-bike or take a turn on the lake. It's largely self-sufficient, thanks to an on-site farm, with its produce, from pork to apples, appearing on its restaurant menus. If you tire of nature, check out the hotel's art gallery, cinema and spa. From £422, B&B.
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