From trattoria kitchen to lakeside palace, from Tuscan countryside to Sicily’s seaside idyll, Italy is one of the world's great masterpieces. And, with a history steeped in the Romans and the Renaissance, along with more than 50 UNESCO-listed treasures to its name, it has a history to match its abundant natural allure.
Indeed, when confronted with Italy’s myriad cultural delights, it’s often easiest to think of the country as a collection of 20 regions, each with its own distinct identity. Sicily is a case in point; Greek temples crouch in valleys, vineyards terrace green hills and playful Mediterranean cuisine is served up in seaside villages. It’s a world away from Rome’s architectural exuberance – where you can trace the source of whole empires and religions between the crumbling colonnades of the Roman Forum and the Michelangelos of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel. Then there’s the rural charm of Tuscany where medieval towns and wineries are dotted across rolling countryside.
That’s the joy of Italy. One moment you could be relaxing in a Belle Époque palace on the Italian Lakes, and the next looking out over the Amalfi coast. Here, centuries-old houses overlook dramatic cliffs to the beach-fringed waters below. And our multi-stop itineraries will bring you between the country’s richly varied highlights in style, enjoying stays in luxury accommodation and the services of private drivers and guides throughout. But, there’s one thing that’s found throughout the country – an appreciation of la dolce vita, the good life. You’ll be well looked after whether you’re feasting on a Fiorentina steak, sipping prosecco in Venice or waking up to an espresso in a piazza-side café.
Enjoy a private gozzo tour of the Amalfi Coast to a secluded restaurant or explore the region’s bohemian towns – whether you cruise around in a classic sports car or on a Vespa is up to you. Alternatively, take a hot air balloon and float over the ancient village towns and vineyards of the rolling Chianti hills. Let your charismatic guide bring alive the days of the Roman Empire while you investigate the eerie remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum or ask about how to visit after the crowds have departed. Explore the striking coastlines of the Aeolian Islands on a gullet-style tall ship or discover Sardinia’s pristine beaches and glamorous nightlife aboard a super yacht. Wander between the villas and gardens on the shores of Lake Como or explore the Italian Lakes aboard a timelessly elegant Riva yacht. Take to the roads of northern Italy and drive the route of the Mille Miglia in a classic Gran Turismo sports car. Lose yourself in the mystique of the masked carnival in Venice, we can even help you to arrange your own private masked ball in a palazzo, and experience a behind-closed-doors visit to St Marks or the Sistine Chapel. Enjoy a private visit to the most prestigious Murano glass factories or see behind the scenes of a fashion superbrand. Join a local and his dog to look for truffles in the Abruzzo or learn how to make the most amazing pasta in a cookery lesson with either a local family or an Italian Mamma. Imagine the stories you’ll tell.
Spoil yourself with a stay in an opulent Venetian palazzo such as Baglioni Hotel Luna or base yourself in a private Roman residence. Take time out in a traditional Tuscan farmhouse or restored fort, experience life in a converted Franciscan monastery or traditional Puglian masserie and immerse yourself in a restored alberghi diffusi in the Abruzzo. Indulge yourself with vintages available at your hilltop winery retreat or bask in the luxury and privacy on offer at your private lakefront Como villa or stunning coastal escape. Ask us too about travelling on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express to experience old world glamour and serious style on a great rail journey across Europe.
Baglioni Hotel Luna, Venice
Just off the Grand Canal, this Venetian palace is old-world luxury at its finest, complete with chandeliers, frescoes and gilded furnishings. Its private pier and fine-dining restaurant don’t hurt, either.
Baglioni Resort Cala del Porto, Tuscan Coast
Enjoy the best in Tuscan seaside luxury alongside stunning coastal views punctuated by the island of Elba. The Maremma, a less explored but most exciting corner of Tuscany provides the perfect counterpoint.
Relais Santa Croce by Baglioni Hotels, Florence
Set in an old palazzo, with original murals still gracing the walls, the Relais Santa Croce is as beautiful as the Florentine views it enjoys. Frescoed ceilings and fine art feature throughout, as do high standards and lashings of luxury.
Castello di Casole, Tuscany
Stay in a 10th-century castle ringed by vineyards, enjoying fine dining, spectacular views and superb spa treatments.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como
This century-old grand dame is the best-located hotel on Lake Como – a setting taken in by a superb array of facilities. Expect everything from private-balcony rooms to an infinity spa pool.
Grand Hotel Timeo, Taormina
4-night luxury holiday from £1,540 pp incl. flights & transfers
The Belmond Grand Hotel sits high on Sicilian cliffs, with glorious views of the sea and Mount Etna.
Hotel Splendido, Portofino
Choose between luxury stays in a 500-year-old convent or down by the waterfront at this opulent property, complete with spa, gourmet restaurants and stunning setting.
The Belmond Hotel Cipriani is true old-world Venice at its refined best. Expect complimentary rides to the splendours of the city, chandelier-adorned rooms, a gorgeous swimming pool and two exquisite restaurants offering superb authentic Italian dining.
Villa San Michele, Florence
A façade by Michelangelo, frescoes of The Last Supper and fine dining informed by Tuscan heritage – this is a truly unique proposition.
Il Borro, Tuscany
Nestled within a 700-hectare estate in the heart of rural Tuscany, this historic hotel combines fine food and wine, and indulgent spa treatments, with Relais & Châteaux’s signature brand of elegant luxury.
Casa Angelina, Amalfi Coast
Simply, this is the Amalfi Coast at its chic best. Expect everything from a private beach club to a rooftop fine dining restaurant.
Escape to a historic palace with spectacular views over the Amalfi Coast. Here, infinity-pool modernity is paired with classic fine dining and paintings by old masters.
Alberi Del Paradiso, Cefalù
Secluded above the beautiful town of Cefalù, this four-star hotel, with its pool, wellness centre and extensive gardens, is just 20 minutes' walk from the beach.
Villa Athena, Sicily
At the heart of Sicily’s Valley of the Temples, the deluxe Villa Athena is blissfully boutique, with just 27 rooms. The only five star property in this historic part of the island, with five-star views of the Temple of Concordia.
Hotel Lungarno, Florence
3-night luxury holiday from £970 pp incl. flights & transfersSave up to £210 pp – ends 31 Jan
Discover luxury amid Florence's myriad delights in this opulent hotel whose walls are adorned with more than 400 pieces of art, some dating back to the 900s. Evenings are spent in the Michelin-starred restaurant on the banks of the river – with the option to dine on your own private terrace.
Palazzo Avino, Ravello
This exquisite five-star hotel was once a 12th-century private villa, perched above the dazzling coast of Amalfi in medieval Ravello. Opulent rooms are adorned with hand-made Vietri tiles and the highest-level suites feature private decks with hot tubs.
Hotel Danieli, Venice
Spread across three canal-side palaces, this landmark hotel offers rooftop fine dining, grand architecture and sweeping views across the Venetian Lagoon.
Due Torri, Verona
This esteemed Verona hotel lies just moments from the cobbled lanes and Shakespearean sights of Verona's ever-so-romantic streets, with handcrafted marble rooms, a Michelin-starred restaurant and a wonderful panoramic roof terrace.
Hotel de Russie, Rome
The historic but hip Hotel de Russie sits right at the heart of Rome, a five star setting for a five star hotel.
Golden Eagle Danube Express
Travel in style aboard this elegant hotel on wheels, enjoying superb full-board dining, lounge and bar-car relaxation and beautifully appointed cabins and suites that provide home-from-home comforts on some of Europe's most spectacular rail routes.
S.S. La Venezia
Completely updated for 2020, the SS La Venezia invites in its Italian setting with all-included fine Venetian dining, open-bar cocktails and interiors from local design house, Fortuny.
Villa Cordevigo, Lake Garda
A stunning 18th-century property, in an unrivalled Italian country setting, combining Renaissance charm, elegant decor and Michelin-starred dining, for an idyllic luxury getaway.
Orient Express La Dolce Vita
A new luxury train, inspired by the creativity of 1960s and 1970s Italy and taking in routes across the Continent from 2023.
Anantara Palazzo Naiadi, Rome
3-night luxury holiday from £885 pp incl. flights & transfers
The façade of Palazzo Naiadi embraces the grandeur of Piazza della Repubblica. Overlooking the world-famous fountain, it strikes the perfect balance between international luxury and Roman authenticity.
Ca' di Oro, Venice
An elegant Venetian bolthole that captures the spirit of the floating city, blending history with luxurious modernity
Baglioni Hotel Regina, Rome
Staying in Art Deco luxury where fine dining vies for your attention against spa indulgences, you'll be sited right among the movie-star cafés and restaurants of the leafy Via Veneto. The next-door Borghese Gardens making for a tranquil retreat from the city's bustle.
Baglioni Resort Sardinia
The latest gem to join the Baglioni Hotels & Resorts Italian Collection, this stunning resort is immersed in a sublime natural landscape, almost without parallel in the entire Mediterranean.
Grand Hotel La Favorita, Sorrento
A stylish and very comfortable new hotel in central Sorrento, just minutes from the beaches and beautiful terraces overlooking the Bay of Naples. The best rooms, garden and pool also have sea views of their own.
Masseria Torre Coccaro, Fasano
7-night luxury holiday from £1,515 pp incl. flights & transfers
A 16th century country house set within a large estate, immersed in olive groves. Experience the heritage of the most authentic Masseria in the area overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Because Italy can be exceptionally busy, ask us about how to explore the country in the shoulder seasons, travelling to the cities and countryside in spring or autumn instead of high summer. Alternatively, grab a towel to travel to the beach in June or September. Otherwise, look out for annual events such as the Venice Carnival in February or the Palio in Sienna in July and August and plan ahead to secure the best bases from which to experience these exceptional events.
The Tuscan Coast & Florence
8 days from £2,155 pp
Tuscany is famous for Renaissance art and architecture, with the city of Florence at its forefront. Less well known perhaps are the region’s beaches, each as lovely as the Botticelli Venus. This trip combines the beauty of both.
Capri and the Amalfi Coast
10 days from £2,515 pp incl. flights
Capri and the Amalfi coast are characterised by vertiginous cliffs and grand, salt-encrusted villas. Crescent beaches in secluded coves line an aquamarine sea, and there’s history at every turn.
Best of Sicily
8 days from £1,740 pp incl. flights
From glorious swathes of golden sand to millennia-old ruins framed by scented lemon groves and sun-soaked vineyards, Sicily’s highlights are as enchanting as they are varied. Take it all in with stays in iconic hotels and scenic country drives.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: London to Venice
4 days from £7,665 pp incl. flights
Between indulgent fine dining, champagne receptions and private city tours, this elegant journey pairs the ultimate in luxury rail travel with a palace stay in the heart of ancient Venice.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express & Venice’s Islands
4 days from £4,520 pp incl. flights
Before travelling on the world’s exclusive train, hop between Venice’s archipelago, centring on a luxury stay on your very own private island.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express & Verona Opera
4 days from £4,425 pp incl. flights
This spectacular short break combines a journey on the world’s most elegant train with a stay in a converted palace and of opera at the iconic Arena di Verona.
Cinque Terre in Style
7 days from £1,665 pp
Explore the myriad coastal delights of Cinque Terre on this luxury tour, enjoying everything from wine tasting in world-class vineyards to sampling local bruschetta in cosy trattorias.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Venice to London
4 days from £3,610 pp incl. flights
A counterpoint to the classic London to Venice route, this journey aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express starts among the exquisite architecture of Italy's floating city before crossing the Alps in style en route to London.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Return to Venice
5 days from £5,960 pp
Travel from London to Venice, and back again, aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, enjoying all the luxury and elegance of the world’s most famous train.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Grand Suite Experience
4 days from £12,865 pp incl. flights
From free-flowing champagne to complimentary caviar, experience the ultimate in luxury rail travel with the butler-served indulgences of the new Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Grand Suites.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Paris & Venice
5 days from £5,125 pp incl. flights
This is the ultimate in European luxury rail travel – the iconic southbound journey from Paris to Venice aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, paired with stays in two legendary hotels.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: A festive journey to Venice
4 days from £4,070 pp incl. flights
Enjoy festive perfection on this pre-Christmas journey across Europe, pairing luxury hotels stays in Paris and Venice with the delights of the world's most famous train.
Lake Garda: From Grape to Glass
4 days from £1,185 pp incl. flights
Indulge on fine wines, dine on Michelin-starred Italian cuisine and explore Lake Garda's stunning scenery from the 18th-century charm of Villa Cordevigo – a truly luxurious gourmet getaway.
Sicily: Vineyards and Volcanoes
5 days from £1,900 pp incl. flights
Escape to Sicily for four nights of relaxation at a romantic boutique resort. Experience the island like a local, tasting authentic foods and wines throughout.
Amalfi Coast with private chef experience
4 days from £2,865 pp
A short break for foodies. Spend three nights at a luxurious coastal hotel, originally a 13th-century monastery, coupled with an exclusive culinary experience in the company of a private-chef.
Amalfi Coast with sports car experience
4 days from £1,185 pp
Explore Italy's Amalfi Coast in style, with a stay at a luxury clifftop hotel and a day's use of a Vintage Alfa Romeo Spyder.
Northern Italy Cruise & Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
12 days from £10,895 pp incl. flights
Experience one of travel's great pairings as you combine a cruise among the treasures of Northern Italy with the luxurious delights of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Florence to London
5 days from £4,875 pp incl. flights
Journey aboard the iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, starting amid the exquisite architecture of Florence before crossing the Alps in style en route to London.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Venice & Paris
5 days from £5,190 pp incl. flights
Travelling northbound aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, this classic journey pairs the Renaissance treasures of Venice with the sheer romance of the French capital.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Venice to Brussels
6 days from £5,225 pp incl. flights
This journey aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express starts among the exquisite architecture of Italy's floating city before crossing the Alps in style en route to the gastronomy, architecture and cafe culture of Brussels.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Venice to Amsterdam
6 days from £5,425 pp incl. flights
This journey aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express starts among the exquisite architecture of Italy's floating city before crossing the Alps in style en route to the canals and museums of Amsterdam.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Verona to London
4 days from £3,430 pp incl. flights
Beginning with a luxury city stay and included walking tour in Verona, you'll board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for an unforgettable journey across Europe, steeped in the elegant traditions of 1920s rail travel.