Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Where to Stay in Italy

Version 20.10

The View from Poggio ai Santi

With 2010 coming to an end, over 25 private trips planned and several of my own research "adventures", I am pleased to share my Italian accommodations picks of the year (starting in the north and ending in the super south).

Grand Duca di York


A lovely 3-star hotel in the heart of Milan, just a 3 minute walk to the Duomo. Good size (and exceptionally clean!) room and modern bathrooms.



A small, boutique 3-star hotel with luxurious looking rooms, comfortable beds in the Cannaregio neighborhood (my preferred area of the island).

Luxurious Rooms at Ca' Gottardi

Baur B&B

Acqui Terme

Upscale, beautifully decorated, top notch service (oh the breakfasts!) and what I refer to as my “little sanctuary in the north”. Diana and Micha have created a really special place to stay in the heart of Piemonte wine country.

Punta Est

Finale Ligure, Liguria

Old world charm, lovely gardens and terrific views of the sea at this 4-star hotel located in a nice Riviera resort town. (Note, rooms could use a revamp but the all over experience is very nice.)

Outdoor dining at Punta Est

Villa Rosmarino

Camogli, Liguria

Chic but laid back, minimalist feel in a gorgeous old Noble villa overlooking the picturesque seaside village of Camogli and north to Genova.

Alle Corte degli Angeli

Lucca, Tuscany

Each room is decorated differently in rich colors with frescoes and equipped every modern comfort. Located within the walls and a short walk from everything.

The "Poppy" Room at Alle Corte degli Angeli

Hotel degli Orafi

Florence, Tuscany

Excellently located along the Arno, warm service and reasonably priced for a 4-star hotel in the heart of Florence. They even have the real "Room with a View" (from the movie!).

Poggio ai Santi

Upper Maremma Coast, Tuscany

Serenity, tranquility and comfort in this Tuscan seaside estate near San Vincenzo. Love the spacious suites (with mini-kitchens in an armoire!). The restaurant, Il Sale, is wonderful. You almost don’t need to leave the property!

A Suite at Poggio ai Santi

Fattoria Tregole

Castellina in Chianti, Tuscany

Rustic charm surrounded by vineyards and panoramic views of the Chianti countryside. Edith, the owner, is also an excellent cook. Do not miss her twice a week dinners!

The Pool & Gorgeous Garden of Fattoria Tregole

Alla Madonna del Piatto

Assisi, Umbria

What a special place in the hills above Assisi! Simple but lovely rooms and gorgeous views. Be sure to sign up for one of the owner’s (the lovely Letizia) cooking classes. She is a WHIZ in the kitchen!

Rose Garden Palace


This is a great pick for those who want to be in the Via Veneto area and have a wide range of modern amenities (even an indoor pool!). Rooms are classy. comfortable and (usually) well-priced for a 4-star hotel in an expensive city.

Torre Maizza

Savelletri, Puglia

One of the finest hotels not only in Puglia, but all of Italy. It is 5-star luxury without any pomp and circumstance. All rooms come with a fireplace and private patio (some even with small pools). It’s “sister” hotel, Torre Coccaro, is just a kilometer away (also noteworthy) where you can enjoy their spa and beach club.

Sunset Aperitivo at Torre Maizza

La Rascina

Ostuni, Puglia

Another personal favorite, this gorgeous masseria offers both bed & breakfast rooms and 4 lovely apartments around a lush garden and pool area just outside fabulous Ostuni. The owners are warm and helpful (a welcome aperitivo is a must!) and the location is excellent for exploring the area.

Palazzo Failla

Modica, Sicily

This elegant, family run hotel was actual the family home until a few years ago. It is located in Modica alto, but you can easily meander down the old baroque streets into the historical center. They have two restaurants, one of which has been awarded with a Michelin 1 star (Gazza Ladra).


Palma di Montechiaro (Agrigento), Sicily

An oasis in a rather unattractive area, but if you are traveling by car and want to see the Valley of the Temples (or do a little wine tasting at Morgante), this is the place to stay. It is a working olive oil farm (and Giuseppe will be happy to show you around it and offer you some fabulous “green gold” to try!). They also serve wonderful homemade dinners. If a cassata has been made, you cannot resist it!

Lovely Rooms at Mandranova

La Foresteria

Menfi, Sicily

A brand new “locanda” from the Planeta family featuring a fantastic (and huge!) kitchen, fabulous herb garden, charming rooms and a sea view. Make sure to visit their wonderful winery, Ulmo, located about a 30 minute drive away.

Hotel Signum

Salina, Sicily

NUMERO UNO, heaven on earth, where you could put me for the rest of my life. Ok, I may be exaggerating a little, but I love this hotel and this island. There is an incredible sense of peace and relaxation here (both at the hotel and on the island itself). Signum is family run but also includes a robust staff of wonderful people who seem to love their jobs and love helping the guests. There is a superb restaurant specializing in Sicilian dishes with a twist (I will never forget the sublime raw anchovies mixed with honey and pistacchios!). They also a terrific spa with turkish sauna and several different natural thermal baths. Rooms vary in style and price, but everyone can enjoy the extensive gardens and magnificent views. 4-star but a perfect 10 in my opinion.

Hotel Signum

Room with a View on the Island of Salina


Laura said...

We stayed at Hotel Signum in 2006. It is a wonderful memory we have returned to in our conversations over and over since. We took an unplanned excursion to Salina (chosen randomly) and fortunately we were able to get a room for 2 nights. I hope to return someday for a longer stay. From the moment you walk down the flower-scented path it is a peaceful wonderland. And the food - yummm...we had a fig panna cotta that has gone unmatched since! Thank you for taking me back there today.

Louise | Italy said...

What a fantastic list! You make me want to start travelling in Italy right now! Sorry to say that I've been living here for more than 7 years now and still haven't seen Florece, Siena, Rome, Venice...etc. Only Carmine Superiore. But this year's the year!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

What a great list. Thank you for all these suggestions. I must bookmark this post.

There are so many places I want to go. I wish I had a trust fund.

diana said...

ciao meg -- I left a thank you comment a few days ago! I don't know what happened to it. Buon anno, mia amica!!! and thank you for all that you do for us. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Megan,
how very wondeful that our house is listed here among so many beautiful places. I know you have standards so this is an honor!