From Lombardy in the north to Sicily in the south, Italy's regions are divinely diverse in climate, tradition and flavor. And because variety is the spice of la dolce vita, we've used this criterion to create our selection of Italy's finest hotels. We've also taken into account style, history, service and, of course, setting. Whether you want a view of the Grand Canal, the Tuscan countryside or the Mediterranean Sea, we've made sure that your wish will come true. While you may have to wait in line to see the Vatican and the Uffizi, in these singular properties exclusivity is ensured.
Grand Hotel Majestic "già Baglioni"
Opulent is an understatement when it comes to the historic Grand Hotel Majestic "già Baglioni," dating back to the 1700s and situated in the heart of Bologna. With its white marble, chandeliers and grand stairway, the lobby feels like its own palace. The hallways are regal, adorned with Renaissance art, and the public spaces are decked out with magnificent antique furnishings. Although the 109 guest rooms are time capsules for rich eighteenth-century traditions, modern needs are met. For relaxation, the wellness center features a sauna and Turkish bath. I Carracci restaurant (with an incredible frescoed ceiling) specializes in regional cuisine - you'll never dismiss spaghetti as commonplace again after you've had handmade pasta and authentic Bolognese sauce here.
La Scalinatella means "little stairway," but we'd like to take poetic license and expand that definition to "stairway to heaven." Sitting atop a hill in one of the most picturesque settings on Capri, this pristine white boutique hotel has romantic flair and just 30 spacious, light-infused rooms with Majolica floor tiles, discreet antiques and terraces that serve as open air living rooms overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The two beautiful pools are as timeless and fashionable as Sophia Loren circa "It Started in Naples," which was filmed on the island. Their terraces also provide the setting for complimentary continental breakfast - we can think of no more enjoyable way to greet the day.
Borgo Santo Pietro
Cypress-lined paths lead the way to this thirteenth-century villa. Once a resting place for pilgrims making the journey to Rome, it is now an elegant retreat for contemporary seekers of serenity. In the guest rooms, hand-painted murals provide the backdrop for antiques and tapestries, while outdoors, a rustic bar with candlelit alcoves overlooks the freshwater pool. As a working estate, Borgo Santo Pietro produces herbs, spices and vegetables, which are incorporated into the restaurant's cuisine, as well as the spa treatments. Also a highlight for lovers of local flavor is the wine cellar, with its thoughtful collection of regional vintages.
Hotel Savoy is a designer's dream ... literally. The contemporary and discreetly quirky interiors are the product of international designer Olga Polizzi, sister of Sir Rocco Forte of the eponymous hotel empire. (No surprise: this property flies under his banner.) The house restaurant, L'Incontro, enjoys a convivial location overlooking Piazza della Repubblica. This is just the beginning of having the city at your doorstep - the Uffizi Gallery and the Ponte Vecchio are a pleasant stroll away. Or, visit Relais Santa Croce in Florence, one of the Top 10 boutique Hotels in the World.