|You’ve done it. You’ve taken the time off, planned where you want to go in Italy and bought your plane ticket. Now comes the next question—where should you stay?You have a wealth of lodging options. After all, Italy is one of the top destinations in the world, and is certainly no stranger to tourism. You’ll find everything from luxury resorts to farmhouse stays to castle suites. And while budget accommodations are scarce in Italy, affordable options do exist.
|The gardens at I Tigli, an Abercrombie & Kent private villa in Umbria.
Before you decide where to stay, though, consider how you will be getting around. If you’re driving a car, you’ll be able to reach out-of-the-way locations in the Umbrian and Tuscan countryside. These can save some money, offer a unique experience and provide a good base to explore the surrounding countryside and cities.
But if you’re driving a car and want to stay in a big city, consider staying at the edge of the town, parking the car and then taking public transportation into the city to sightsee. This is especially important in cities like Florence, Rome and Milan, where the driving is horrific and parking is almost non-existent.
Selecting a hotel from afar is always a challenge, so we’ve polled our editorial team and have come up with a list of tried-and-true favorites. Here are some of the best places to stay in Italy.
Abercrombie & Kent Villas
Tel: +44 1242 547902
If you’ve always dreamed of staying in your own private Italian villa, Abercrombie & Kent Villas can help make that happen. They offer a wide collection of villas throughout Italy, with luxury properties ranging from a 16th-century farmhouse in the Tuscan countryside to a coastal villa on the Gulf of Naples. Villas range in size, and are perfect for families or groups.
We stayed at I Tigli, a beautiful home in the hills of Umbria. Set high on a hill, the villa offers wide views of the surrounding olive groves and of the huge castle just across the valley. The setting feels like something straight out of a movie, and it was relaxing to sit by the pool and enjoy a nice glass of local wine. The property is just minutes from the Antognolla Golf Course. Most Abercrombie & Kent Villas include daily maid service and a kitchen, so you can cook your own meals—if you want to. Many of the Italian villas are historic properties that have been carefully renovated, providing a unique place to experience the best of Italy.
Resort & Spa
Adler Thermae in Tuscany
I-53027 Bagno Vignoni
San Quirico d’Orcia (Siena), Italia
Tel: +39 0577 889 001
|The outdoor dining patio at Adler Thermae Spa Resort
The lovely Adler Thermae Spa Resort is all about health, well-being and tranquility. The setting itself is enough to heal the soul—tucked away in the Tuscan hill country near the tiny UNESCO World Heritage town of Bagno Vignoni. The main draw to this luxury resort is its world-class spa and natural hot springs, which draws visitors from around the world.
Adler takes a holistic approach to spa therapies and offers a wide array of services, including massage therapies, steam rooms, saunas, hot springs, fitness classes and wellness therapies. Guest rooms are quite large and luxuriously-appointed with the latest technology and comforts.
Our favorite experience at Adler, though, was dining at their onsite restaurant. The over-the-top breakfast buffet offered more than we could try during one visit, and dinner each night was a romantic, unforgettable experience. This is Italy, after all, and Adler is the kind of place where one lingers over a well-chosen bottle of wine and enjoys savory, melt-in-your-mouth cuisine. The chefs, sommeliers and wait staff are top-notch—and it shows. Many packages include breakfast and dinner, so be sure to ask about any available specials.
The Adler Thermae Spa Resort is family-friendly, and has children’s programs and treatments. The Adler is located in the heart of wine country, and visiting local wineries is a real treat. In this region, you can even enjoy tastings of locally-produced honey and Balsamic vinegar. Adler Thermae Spa Resort gets our pick for one of the best resort spas in Italy.
Hotel Relais Certosa
Via di Colle Ramole, 2
50124 Firenze, Italia
Tel: +39 055 2047171
This affordable property is located on the outskirts of Florence, making it easy to reach by car. Best of all, parking at the hotel is free—so is the daily free shuttle that takes guests into the heart of Florence.
The Villa of Relais Certosa originated as the guest quarters of the Certosa dei Galluzo Monastery back in 1400. The buildings were renovated and added to, and became part of the Bettoja Hotels Group in 1975. The rooms are simple, but large. The staff is friendly and helpful, and there’s an onsite restaurant and pool if you tire of looking at art in Florence.
Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal
San Marco 1332
30124 Venezia, Italia
Telephone +39 041 520 0211
Venice is one of our favorite places in Italy—or anywhere, for that matter—and the Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal is our favorite hotel there. Part of the hotel was once a 15th-century palace.
It’s all about location, location, location: the hotel stands along the Grand Canal; it’s a 3-minute walk to Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square); it’s about 100 feet to a vaporetto (water bus) stop; and it’s literally six steps across an alley-like street to legendary Harry’s Bar (although the Bellini cocktails at Hotel Monaco’s Bar Grand Canal are just as good as at Harry’s).
The restaurant at Hotel Monaco is one of the best dining spots in Venice, as attested to by the locals who swarm here, and it’s particularly enjoyable in summer when the restaurant terrace along the Grand Canal is open. The hotel itself also is a popular place to stay. There are only 99 rooms, so you need to book way in advance or you might be disappointed.
|The view from Ada’s House B&B in Venice
Bed and Breakfast, Venice
Ada’s House B&B
Fond.ta Rio Marin 913/A
Tel: +39 041 710974
Ada’s is a privately-owned B&B with a wonderful location on a canal in the historical section of Santa Croce in Venice. It can be reached easily on foot in just a few minutes. Ada and her family operate the B&B, which has three bedrooms, several bathrooms, a living room and kitchen. Rooms are large with comfortable furnishings, and the marble floors are lovely.
Our favorite part of our stay at Ada’s B&B was looking out over the canal from our bedroom window and eating breakfast on the patio overlooking the city. For Venice, the rate was quite affordable, starting at EU 100 a night.
Hotel Nord Nuova Roma
Via G. Amendola, 3
00185 Roma, Italia
+39 06 4885441
This 3-star property is located in the heart of Rome, near the Termini Railway Station. Set in a historic 1935 building, its 157 rooms have been sound-proofed (this is Rome, after all) and beautifully furnished. With its hardwood and marble floors and art-deco style, the hotel still retains its 1930s heritage. There’s an American Bar onsite, and the hotel is near the historic Massimo D’Azeglio Restaurant, which has been serving patrons for more than 100 years. This is a good base for your exploration of Rome.
Castello di Meleto
53013 Gaiole in Chianti (SI), Italia
+39 0577 749129
The Castello di Meleto is a 13th-century castle in a scenic setting in the heart of the Chianti region. Rooms are large and comfortable, but keep in mind that the castle is a very old, historic building. There is no air conditioning for hot days. Four fully-furnished apartments are available and can accommodate a small group or family. Meleto Castle is a popular spot for destination weddings and accommodates large groups with ease. Wine tastings are offered upon request, and nearby Gaiole is a charming little town. Melato Castle is a good base for exploring Siena and the surrounding Chianti wine country.