Grand Tour of Italy
Discover the true must-sees of Italy, exploring its history, food, natural beauty and architecture
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- Private transfers
- Private tours and experiences focused around Italy's history, beauty and identity
- Full support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
- Our help with restaurant recommendations and reservations
- Expert guides in each destination
At a glance
A country of incredible diversity, beauty and history, Italy is one of the world’s most fascinating and rewarding holiday destinations. Captivating culture vultures through its ancient cities, satisfying foodies with its sublime cuisine, thrilling nature lovers through blissful natural landscapes and charming romantics with its poetic character, this 21-day adventure is designed to showcase each individual ingredient which contributes to Italy’s undeniable allure.
Your grand tour of Italy will begin in the far north, soaking up the art of Milan and the beautiful foothills of the Piedmont region, before a memorable experience hiking the incredible Cinque Terre, with its famous colourful fishing villages and dramatic coastal vistas. Tuscany is the next port of call, beginning in stunning renaissance Florence where you’ll encounter incredible architecture and delicious gelato, followed by time spent in the Tuscan countryside, discovering the wonderful wine of Chianti.
The awe-inspiring ancient city of Rome awaits, where you will spend three nights encountering its Roman history and grand landmarks, before retreating to the calming and cooling coast for a few days exploring the Gulf of Naples and the Amalfi Coast. You’ll end your tour on the stunning island of Sicily, witnessing baroque architecture, Greek ruins and Europe’s largest active volcano.
Example Trip Itinerary
Private transfer to your hotel in Milan
Accommodation in Milan
- 65 rooms
- 33 suites
- Bistro lounge
- Indoor pool
A city known for its elegance and style, it’s no surprise that Milan’s five-star Palazzo Parigi is achingly chic. With culture, history and fashion on your doorstep, you’re ideally situated to experience all that this city is about. The sweeping marble staircase that greets you is a sign of things to come, with every corner of the hotel beautifully styled. 65 bright and spacious rooms and 33 lavishly decorated suites provide a haven for city explorers, each featuring a balcony or terrace overlooking the hotel garden or Milan’s characterful streets. Staying true to Italian culinary traditions, the hotel’s restaurant serves honest yet creative dishes; the glass tunnel and food alter add a real sense of theatre. The walls are adorned with works of art ranging from the 17th to 19th century and a private garden is the perfect place to spend a balmy summer evening. The more relaxed bistro lounge is ideal for casual dining, cocktails or an afternoon treat crafted by the master patissier. Exploring this exciting and bustling city can be tiring, so be sure to take some time out and unwind in the pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath. Enjoy all Milan has to offer including the Teatro alla Scale opera house and the Gothic Duomo before exploring the fashion district for stylish additions to your wardrobe.
- 77 rooms including eight suites
- Wine cellar and bar
- Amore & Psiche Spa
Neither French, as its name might suggest, nor typically Milanese with its overtly playful design, the Château Monfort is truly unique in both its interiors and ethos. Located in the heart of the city, the hotel is housed within an early 20th-century art nouveau building, and draws its inspiration from the world of fairytales and opera. Pastel colors adorn the walls of the 77 rooms, enhanced by floral patterns and butterflies, mosaics on the floors, mirrors and princely alcoves. Downstairs you’ll find the exceptional glass-domed Lounge Bar Mezzanotte – the perfect spot to sip a Milanese aperitivo. The magnificent Rubacuori Restaurant is split into three unique rooms, including a room of mirrors and of ceramic animal head trophies, and specialises in modern Italian cuisine. Underneath it all is the Cella di Bacco, an inmate setting for an informal meal of cold cuts, cheese and fine wines. The Château Montfort also has its own spa – the Amore & Psiche Spa – an exclusive refuge with a sauna, Turkish bath and swimming pool.
This dynamic city is know the world over for its glamour and you'll enjoy a tour which lets you explore its gems. The cathedral is the fourth largest in the world and is a spectacular example of Gothic architecture. The Milanese are known for their style, and you'll visit the beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, one of the world's oldest shopping malls. Together with Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga, it is considered one of the most important areas for shoppers. Continue to the Piazza della Scala, home to La Scala Theatre, and the majestic Castello Sforzesco. The Dominican convent adjoining the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie houses one of the most important masterpieces in the world, Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper. Only a small number of people are admitted at a time to help protect the fragile fresco.
In the morning you'll arrive in Buronzo and have a coffee break at Buronzo Castle before choosing to either go mountain biking or hiking in Oasi Zegna Park, along the Mountain Path in the Wild Valsessera Valley. You will stop for lunch at a local mountain refuge. The distance covered with be shorter if you choose to hike rather than mountain bike. On the way to Borgo Ca del Becca you will have the opportunity to visit some local villages on the way, and when you arrive you will take a short walk in the forest and enjoy a "merenda" of local cheese, prosciutto, beers and Bramaterra wine.
Private transfer to your hotel in Portofino
Accommodation in Portofino
- 70 rooms and suites
- La Terrazza Restaurant
- Piano cocktail bar
- Pool bar and restaurant
- Panoramic swimming pool
- Wellness centre and gym
- Children’s club
- Shuttle service to Portofino and Belmond Splendido Mare
Perched high above the sparkling bay, with wonderful views down on to the harbour below, Belmond Hotel Splendido has long been the glamorous heart of Portofino. Once an Benedictine monastery that was ransacked by Saracen pirates frequently enough that the monks abandoned it in the 16th century, the building was renovated inn the 19th century by an Italian aristocrat and then transformed into a hotel in 1901. The Splendido – and Portofino – was discovered by American visitors in the 1950s and soon hosted stars and notaries from Winston Churchill and the Duke of Windsor to Clark Gable, Groucho March and Elizabeth Taylor. The allure and thoroughly Italian charm of this golden age is retained, indeed celebrated today. 70 rooms and suites make the most of the Italian Riveria’s distinctive light, with spacious and airy ambiance, many with incredible views and private balconies. The panoramic pool, Terrazza Restaurant and piano bar are as elegant as they ever were, perfect spots for socialising and people watching. The trip down to Portofino itself is a pleasant walk (or complimentary shuttle) away, where guests can enjoy the soaking up the bustling harbour’s energy at the hotel’s Chaflay Restaurant and Bar or head out to sea on boating excursions.
- 78 rooms and suites
- Restaurant and three bars
- Swimming pool
In the traditional seaside resort of Santa Margherita Ligure, between Rapallo and Portofino, the Grand Hotel Miramare is a splendid art nouveau building from the turn of the 20th century that has been owned by the same family for over 70 years. There are 78 rooms and suites, many with balconies overlooking the Golfo del Tigullio or the verdant Mediterranean park. Pale pastel tones prevail and restored stucco work and wooden flooring recreate the grace of the original interiors, the august atmosphere enhanced by contemporary comforts. The elegantly furnished terraces, polished piano bar and the large saltwater pool retain a fittingly old-world vibe, all fine places to relax with a drink, while the Restaurant Vistamere, reflecting the hotel as a whole, marries the best of Ligurian tradition with sophisticated modern trends. The boutiques of charming Santa Margherita Ligure are within walking distance and a number of fine beaches are close by. Boat trips can also be organised and the hotel is well located for exploring Cinque Terre and beyond.
This walking tour starts in Monterosso with a scenic path up a steep cliffside stairway of 100 steps, the trail then winding up and down through scrubby Mediterranean vegetation bordered by dry-stone walls. Next, from Corniglia, head through vineyards, olive groves and along terraces dotted with scrubby en route to Vernazza, probably the most photogenic of all the Cinque Terre villages.The final trail brings you to the Sanctuary of Montenero.
You're sure to have seen it in plenty of books, and now you can learn all about the city of Pisa and its famous leaning tower. The tower itself is the belfry for a magnificent cathedral complex with a baptistry and walled cemetery, and you'll hear what inspired the artists and architects of this cathedral square, known as the 'Field of Miracles'. Inside this square sits the tower, and you'll wind your way to the top, feeling the 'lean' as you ascend.
Accommodation in Florence
- 37 rooms and 7 suites
- Le Bistrot Restaurant and bar
- Spa with hammam
- Heated outdoor swimming pool
- Complimentary shuttle service to the city
Overlooking the historic Boboli Gardens, near to Florence’s centre, Villa Cora is an exquisitely restored 19th century palace that offers step back into the grandeur of neoclassical Florence, with eclectic and occasionally bizarre artistic styles of the period. Built at a time when Florence was the cosmopolitan capital of the newly created Kingdom of Italy, Villa Cora earned its reputation by hosting guests such as Princess Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, and the Russian composer Tchaikovsky, being considered the most beautiful residence of the Tuscan capital. It became a grand hotel in 1960, during another of Florence’s most stylish periods. The hotel has 44 rooms and suites, divided into the main villa and in two adjacent buildings. The majority are in the main villa, split over four floors, each of which has been characterised around a theme, one with extravagant frescoes, another taking Moorish influence from the Orient. Villino Eugenia is a small guesthouse overlooking the Boboli Gardens, containing 13 accommodations, each decorated and furnished according to the bourgeois styles of the late 19th century. Lastly, La Follie, a small guesthouse located at the edge of the park that surrounds Villa Cora has a particular charm and discretion with only two rooms for complete privacy. Le Bistrot Restaurant offers seasonal produce, during the winter months in the splendid Moorish Room with its domed ceiling with original frescoes by Antonio Caremmi, and in the summer outdoors in the winter garden by the side of the swimming pool, where guests can relax in an elegant yet informal environment. The Benè spa is located on the lower floor of Villino Eugenia and is equipped with a small gym, tepidarium, sauna and Turkish hammam. The wellness centre offers Asian and European massages as well as beauty treatments. There is also a large heated outdoor pool shaded by vast oak trees.
- 20 rooms and 25 suites
- Two restaurants and three bars
- Gym and spa
- Swimming pool
- Extensive gardens
- Complimentary shuttle service to and from Florence
Set amidst lush trees and terraced gardens, the Belmond Villa San Michelle enjoys the most perfect view over Florence from its hilltop position. Dating back to a 15th century monastery, the renaissance villa’s facade has been attributed to Michelangelo, as much a part of Italy’s heritage as the cathedrals and galleries down the hill. Today, Belmond Villa San Michele is recognised as one of the country’s finest boutique hotels. Each of the 20 rooms and 25 suites are unique, with sumptuous antiques, along with cotto-tile flooring and bright Florentine textiles. Separate from the main building, the exquisite Limonaia Villa contains three suites located in the convent’s former orangery, all with incredible views. These can be connected together to create perhaps the most glamorous villa in Tuscany, a unique haven for families and groups of friends, or for a special occasion such as a wedding or exclusive party. Belmond Villa San Michelle is naturally a favourite among honeymooners, however there are special services tailored towards family adventures, and world famous the cookery school is a destination in itself. A huge range of activities are on offer, such as exclusive historical tours and rafting under the Ponte Vecchio, and there is a complimentary shuttle to and from Florence itself. At the hotel, relax amongst the immaculate gardens and at the spa, swim in the panoramic pool or take part in one of the renowned culinary classes. Dining options here include one of the best restaurants in Florence – the romantic La Loggia – and more laid back cuisine at the Pool Restaurant, each with their own bar, as well as the Cloister Bar in the old monastery.
- 88 rooms and 14 suites
- Irene restaurant
- Bicycle hire
- Family friendly tours
The Hotel Savoy could not be more centrally located if it tried, located on Florence’s Piazza della Repubblica, next to the Duomo, with all the famous attractions of the city within walking distance. Interiors are the work of designer Olga Polizzi, combining sleek and contemporary Italian with the building’s historic form, along with some more playful touches throughout. There are 88 rooms and 14 suites, including the two bedroom Repubblica Suite and its spectacular view over the square, and the Brunelleschi and Signoria suites that each enjoy private steam rooms. Hotel Savoy’s restaurant, Irene, is overseen by renowned chef Fulvio Pierangelini and offers authentic flavours using local seasonal products, with some light and healthy reinventions of Tuscan classics. During warmer months, guests can enjoy al fresco dining on the terrace and soak up the atmosphere.
Explore Renaissance Florence today, with a tour of the highlights of this exciting period in the history of this fascinating city. Start with the Academia Gallery, home of Michelangelo’s incredible David; you will see copies all over Florence, but this is the real thing! A short walk will bring you to the Duomo, Santa Maria del Fiore with Brunelleschi’s magnificent dome and alongside it, Giotto’s Campanile. With your back to the cathedral, you will be looking straight at Ghiberti’s legendary ‘Gates of Paradise’ bronze doors in the Baptistery. Continue to the Piazza della Signoria, the political heart of the city, and then to Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge crossing Arno river.
This tour is all about gelato - Italian ice cream. Learn how gelato was invented, see how it is made on the premises of a gelato parlour, and naturally, lots of flavours will be tasted and compared.
Your tour starts at the Piazza del Duomo with the spectacular Romanesque and Gothic cathedral. The square is surrounded by the Santa Maria della Scala Hospital, the Archbishop's Palace, the unfinished Duomo, Opera del Duomo museum, the crypt and the baptistry. You'll then reach the Piazza del Campo, a unique shell-shaped area which was paved with bricks in the 14th century. Be sure to look out for the different animals and symbols that represent the city's 17 contradas - giraffes, dragons, owl, unicorns and caterpillars all appear on the outside of buildings and competition between them is fierce during the Palio horse race which happens twice a year.
Accommodation in Tuscany
- 12 bedrooms
- Swimming pool
- Private spa
On a hill between Siena and Florence, close to the pretty town of Castellina, the Castello la Leccia drinks in superb views of southern Chianti. Rustic and imposing as it may first appear, there is an intimate, family owned quality to the villa, and the rural stone buildings, winery and chapel which surrounds it. Primarily a working organic farm and wine estate, 12 wonderful bedrooms have recently been added, all simply yet elegantly furnished. Outside, the panoramic pool looks out over vineyards and olive groves, set amid a classic Italian garden with plenty of quiet spots to relax in. Back inside, find intimate lounges, an honesty bar and small library, as well as a private spa with with sauna, steam bath and massages by appointment. Breakfasts, whether eaten indoors or al fresco, feature hearty local produce, and the restaurant offers light lunches and an evening menu of Italian classics. The wine, naturally, is superb, and you can find out about the wine and olive oil making process here on tours led by the owner.
- An infinity pool with views of many woodlands, olive groves and vineyards
- 14 rooms and suites
- Wellness centre
- Organic farmland used for restaurant ingredients
- Hotel gardens
Sat amidst the rolling green hills, deep in the heart of Tuscany, you will find the inviting haven of Borgo Pignano, a hotel built into a perfectly renovated 18th-century country villa. From this 750-acre hilltop estate, which offers exquisite views of Tuscany’s olives groves, fields and woodlands, you can indulge in the upmost comfort found in the 14 elegantly furnished rooms and suites. While the hotel has been renovated, it hasn’t forgotten its historic roots, and some rooms still feature their original frescoes under rustic wood beams. The infinity pool is certainly one of the hotel’s most enticing features, cradled by old stone walls and looking out towards the impressive landscape. The wellness centre can be found just a few steps from the main building and offers a range of treatments which have been created using organic ingredients grown on the estate. Over in the hotel restaurant you can dine on fine Italian cuisine made from home-grown and locally sourced ingredients. The pasta here is made from wheat flour produced from grains grown on the property, so you can be assured you are really getting a true taste of Tuscany. This hotel is perfect for those seeking both relaxation and a range of exciting activities. Yoga classes take place inside the property, while those wishing to explore the outdoors can do so on horseback, or by bike. Painting classes, cooking classes and wine tastings are all part of the fun here at Borgo Pignano, making every stay unforgettable.
- 39 rooms and suites
- Two restaurants
- Lounge bar
- Fitness centre
- Outdoor infinity pool
Tuscany is one of Italy’s most picture-perfect regions with its rolling hills, rows of vineyards and old stone buildings. Located with a 4,200-acre estate, the Belmond Castello di Casole is everything you would expect from a grand country residence. The castle dates from the 10th century, when it was used to house political exiles from nearby Siena. Traditional construction methods and natural materials found on the estate were used during the restoration to ensure the castle maintains its authenticity and charm. Despite its size, the castle has just 39 rooms and suites, giving it an intimate feel. Rooms have plenty of character with original wood-beamed ceilings and stone walls, luxurious fabrics and a mix of antique and contemporary furniture. Most have views of the Tuscan countryside, looking out over the estate’s vineyards and olive groves. There are two restaurants with a focus on honest Tuscan food, so expect home-made pasta, organic vegetables and locally sourced fish and game. With over 100 acres of vineyards, this is the perfect place for wine lovers, and Tosca restaurant has a large wall displaying hundreds of vintages from leading wineries in Tuscany and around the world. The former wine cellar now houses the spa and guests can relax and unwind with a treatment from a menu inspired by local ingredients such as rosemary, grapes and olive oil. Take a dip in the outdoor infinity pool and enjoy the views or take advantage of the activities on offer including cooking classes and truffle hunting.
A bike ride is the perfect way to see the beautiful Chianti countryside. You will be provided with 21-speed mountain bikes, helmets and water bottles and set off on your adventure, riding past rolling green hills along roads lined with cypress trees. You will also have the chance to visit some local churches and small medieval villages and visit a winery for a tasting. The tour ends with a delicious Tuscan meal.
Located on a hilltop in the beautiful Umbrian countryside, Orvieto is sure to capture your heart with its churches, cobbled lanes, and medieval piazzas; the stunning Gothic cathedral is not to be missed.
Accommodation in Rome
- 91 rooms and 31 suites
- Le Jardin de Russie restaurant
- Stravinskij Bar
- De Russie Spa
- Fitness centre
Once hosting aristocratic travellers, Russian royalty and renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau, a half century hiatus as an office building ended with a glorious restoration and re-establishment of this Roman icon, with contemporary-chic design and modern updates in harmony with the building’s classical architecture. The Hotel de Russie lies between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo on the Via del Babuino, within easy walking distance of Rome’s main attractions, fashion houses and Via Condotti. Though surrounded by the ceaseless buzz of the city, behind the hotel’s unassuming frontage, is a soothing tranquility – both in design and ambiance – and vast private 18th century terraced gardens, a rare oasis away from it all. 122 rooms and suites are thoroughly up to date amenity wise, complete with Bisazza mosaic and Carrara marble in the bathrooms. Some feature private terraces and many rooms have views over Rome, Piazza del Popolo or the garden. The Stravinskij Bar is renowned for its apertivos, while Le Jardin de Russie and its chef, two-Michelin-star chef Fulvio Pierangelini, serve up simple yet refined dishes Mediterranean dishes in one a most romantic of settings. Furthering the Hotel de Russie urban oasis credentials is the De Russie Spa, one of Rome’s best health clubs.
- 12 rooms
- Garden apartment and two suites
- Private garden
- Listed library
- Wellness centre
Built the late 19th century, this grandiose villa has stayed with the Trivelli family ever since, through hosting meetings of the National Council of Italian Women, high society gathering of Counts and Countess to being the residence of Piero Trivelli, a sensitive writer and refined poet. In 2004, son of Count Piero decided to convert the historic residence into the fabulous boutique hotel of today. Communal areas are full of antiques and art, the library is listed and lounge areas steeped in a dark wood, old world luxury. Outside are peaceful formal gardens that form a walled oasis away from the Rome’s bustle. Overlooking the greenery are just 12 rooms, warm and welcoming, with subtle modern touches enhancing the historic charm of the original features. Large beds are clad in Fiandra linen sheets and alpaca or cashmere throws. Bathrooms are spacious and lined in marble, and all have baths as well as showers. Well-stocked minibars are complimentary. On the other side of the garden are two Garden Suites and a large apartment ideal for families, small groups or those seeking privacy. Breakfast is a vast spread and afternoon tea is served by the fireplace, whilst dinners can be arranged in the garden during summer months. There is also a wonderful spa and health centre offering restorative wellness therapies. Centrally located between the Via Nazionale and the Quirinal Palace, the Colosseum is a 15 minute walk away, the Trevi Fountain half that, and many of the city’s best restaurants are just around the corner.
Arrive at 7am at the Vatican when the museums are still closed. You'll have the chance to enter with just a few others and enjoy an American breakfast. Then you are ready to start the tour of the museums with your personal guide. You will pass through room after room full of treasures, before the culmination of the visit, Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, home to the conclave that elects Popes. The ceiling frescoes and Last Judgement on the altar wall are probably the most viewed paintings in the world.
From here, enter St Peter's Basilica, one of the largest churches in the world and a triumph of Renaissance architecture, the work of Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Once inside, having got over the feelings of awe inspired by the sheer size and magnificence of it all, one of the first things you will see is Michelangelo's Pieta. Sculpted at the age of 23, it must be the most moving of all Michelangelo's sculptures; a mother gazing lovingly at her child as if seeing the baby she gave birth to but in fact the body of the 33-year-old Christ. Moving down the church, you will pass the statue of St Peter, whose bronze toes have been completely worn away by the millions of pilgrims who have stroked them and arrive at Bernini's Baldacchino (canopy), under the centre of the dome and behind this, the throne of St Peter.
Discover the great Roman Forum, for centuries the centre of civic life as the site of triumphal processions, elections, public speeches and criminal trials. Then, along the Via Sacra (Sacred Way), head to the Palatine Hill, one of the most ancient parts of the city, where you’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of the Circus Maximus, an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium. Last but not least, enter the magnificent Colosseum, considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering, and capable of seating up to 50,000 spectators.
Astride your own Vespa with a driver upfront, enjoy becoming acquainted with the capital in a totally fun and unique way.
See the sights of Rome from the back of a vintage Vespa, in true ‘Roman Holiday’ style as you weave your way through everything from large avenues to tiny alleyways. The tour will be led by a private bilingual guide and will take in all the most important monuments and neighbourhoods in Rome.
Driven by professional Vespa drivers, passengers are assured complete safety and peace of mind. The tour lasts around four hours with five scheduled stops.
Private transfer to Rome’s train station
Train from Rome to Naples
To visit Pompeii is probably as close as we can get to travelling in a time machine back to ancient Rome. In August of 79 AD, Vesuvius had been rumbling for some days and it is estimated that a large part of the population of 20,000 had been evacuated; those that were left were as if suspended in time, as the plaster casts made of the bodies that were found shows. Excavation started in the 18th century and continues to this day.
The first impression, on entering into the Forum, is just how massive Roman structures were; they really dwarf revered Medieval or later sites. You will get to walk Roman streets, look into bars, stroll into Patrician villas, complete with frescoes and mosaics, there is even a mosaic doormat, saying ‘beware of the dog’. Even graffiti (an Italian word) is written on some of the walls, reflecting a forthcoming election. When you see the baths, the central heating systems and the gentle fountains in the courtyards of the villas, you really feel it wouldn’t be too much of a hardship to live there.
The Amalfi Coast
Accommodation in The Amalfi Coast
- 20 rooms and suites
- Infinity pool
- Restaurant and bar
- Fully equipped spa
- Outdoor fitness area
After falling for the ruins of this dramatically perched 17th century convent while boating in Salerno Bay, the American owner of the Monastero Santa Rosa spent the next decade painstakingly renovated and restoring the building, creating the stunning and secluded boutique hotel it is today. With only 20 rooms and suites, but plenty of outdoor living areas and private spaces dotted around the estate, this unique property is dedicated to total relaxation, as you can take your pick from the various secluded sun terraces perched on the hillside. Make your way down the lush tiered gardens to reach a truly breathtaking infinity pool where you can soak up the sweeping, panoramic views across the Amalfi Coast. The sisters’ former winery is now the setting for a vast sanctuary of a spa – an impressive selection of some 400 wines now stored in the cellar of Ristorante Il Refettorio, where guests can expect an innovative Mediterranean gastronomic experience with the freshest ingredients from the gardens and surrounding Campania region. The convent sits in the quaint fishing village of Conca dei Marini, just a 20-minute car or boat ride from the most scenic towns along this glamorous coastline – notably Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. An array of excursions can be organised, from walking trails and cultural tours, to diving and windsurfing.
- 12 rooms and suites
- Outdoor pool
Locations don’t come much more perfect than that of La Minervetta, perched on the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Naples. Not far from bustling Sorrento, you can enjoy some peace and quiet on this beautiful stretch of coastline. With just 12 rooms, guests will enjoy the intimate atmosphere and there are plenty of personal touches throughout the hotel including artefacts from the owner’s own travels. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer spectacular views out across the sea and the rooms themselves are spacious and light with a nautical theme. When you want to go exploring, there is a private staircase that leads to the quaint fishing village of Marina Grande. Even when you’re not out and about you can still appreciate the beauty of the Amalfi Coast with stunning views from the outdoor pool and terrace.
- 51 rooms and suites
- Belvedere restaurant
- Pool restaurant
- Two bars
- Infinity pool
Perched atop Ravello’s cliff, the beautifully restored Belmond Hotel Caruso is one the finest spots from which to soak up the Amalfi Coast. The current building dates back to 1800, the original palace 700 years further still, and its 51 rooms and suites in an array of shapes and sizes are fittingly replete with marble, original frescos and Italian antiques. Many enjoy wonderful vistas of the coast, sea and fragrant gardens. The Belmond Hotel Caruso’s two Exclusive Suites have their own terrace and garden. The Belvedere Restaurant serves up Italian and local Neapolitan delicacies, in the summer to be enjoyed out on the terrace. There is also a restaurant by the famous infinity pool with a wood-fired pizza oven, an adjoining bar, and the elegant piano bar indoors. Explore the coast on complimentary cruises to Amalfi and Positano, scenic helicopter flights on request, or perhaps take out vintage Vespas or classic car along the coastal road.
- 43 rooms and suites
- Three restaurants
- Cocktail bar
- Swimming pool
- Rooftop solarium
A Ravello establishment, the gracious Palazzo Avino combines its long history, unwavering modern luxury and timeless coastal views. Much the current structure was built on the remains of a 12th century palace in 1710 by the Sasso family, then renovated in the 19th century as the grand Hotel Palumbo that hosted a long list of royalty, aristocrats, actors, poets and writers. Reborn again two decades ago, it has consistently rated amongst the best hotels in Europe ever since. There are 43 rooms and suites, the pick which have wonderful sea views while others look back to the mountain or charming town. Interiors are bright with a selection of period furniture and typically resplendent Italian bathrooms. Dining here is an absolute highlight. The famed Rossellinis offers Michelin-star dining and fine regional wines, while Terrazza Belvedere is a more casual affair with panoramic views. Caffé dell’Arte is the place apertivos and cocktails and the Lobster & Martini Bar is self explanatory. The heated pool, gym, full service spa and rooftop solarium’s jacuzzis make the most of the views. Another unique feature is the Palazzo Avino’s Clubhouse by the Sea. Just 15 minutes away, on a complimentary shuttle service to the small town of Marmorata, guests have use of the beach platforms, a small swimming pool and casual Clubhouse Restaurant.
Discover the spectacular Amalfi Coast, situated like an amphitheatre among the mountains and the sea. Visit Ravello and the Villas Rufolo and Cimbrone, two sites not to be missed for their splendour and decorations. Both villas have amazingly beautiful gardens. You'll also take in the wonderful Positano, considered to be one of the most picturesque of all Italy's coastal resorts.
Head out into the Gulf of Naples across to the beautiful island of Capri, a draw to visitors for thousands of years.
The tour will touch Li Galli Islands, the legendary home of the sirens who lured Ulysses to the islands with their enchanted singing. This is also an ideal place for snorkelling with its clear waters and underwater treasures. Tide permitting, you will approach the famous Blue Grotto where it will be possible to get inside using the local small boat.
Private transfer to Naples airport
Flight to Catania
Private transfer to your hotel in Noto
Accommodation in Noto
- Seven rooms
Italy is not short of history and the beautiful architecture that comes with it. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Noto in southern Sicily is arguably one of the country’s most stunning baroque towns, and the Seven Rooms Villadorata is a chance to step back in time to Italy’s magnificent past. As the name suggests, there are just seven rooms, giving this hotel an intimate feel. A former private residence of a prince, the 18th century palace has been lovingly restored with meticulous attention to detail. Each of the rooms are named after winds that blow over the land and feature high ceilings, original frescos and beautiful artefacts and furnishings. Rooms come with a balcony, from which guests can gaze out across the honey coloured rooftops and the spires of the town’s 45 churches. Noto itself is a joy to explore but for those that want to extend their discovery of the island, there are plenty more places of interest including Syracuse, the birthplace of Archimedes, and the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Modica and Ragusa. No trip to an island would be complete without some time by the coast, and you’re close to the beaches of southern Sicily and the Vendicari Marine Reserve with its lagoons, sand dunes, rocky coastline and sandy beaches.
Syracuse was once the most powerful of the Greek cities in Sicily and is now a pretty coastal town boasting an impressive archaeological park with an amphitheatre, temples, catacombs and castles. Ortigia is the ancient city centre and home to the Temple of Apolloneion, Piazza Archimede and cathedral.
Modica is a pretty historic town, with tiers of churches and palaces stacked up on the hill. Once you have arrived you will hop into a classic Italian Fiat 500 and spend an hour exploring the city, weaving in and out of the streets discovering its gems.
Modica is famous for its chocolate, made here in the same way it was made in Mexico by the Aztecs. You'll visit a local factory and try some of its delicious creations and receive a chocolate bar to take away.
Walk around in Ibla, the old part of Ragusa, built in Baroque style and recreated on a medieval street plan, with its secret shrines, family crests and baroque fountains. Ibla is known for its typical oriel windows, showy staircases, tawny-coloured mansions and filigree balconies, secret arches and yellowing palm trees.
Accommodation in Agrigento
- 27 rooms and suites
- Outdoor pool
The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento is one of the world’s most impressive and important archaeological sites. Villa Athena is located within the UNESCO World Heritage site just 200m from the Temple of Concodia. The temples are spread over 1,300 hectares of land, the remains of the ancient Akragas, founded in 582 BC and one of the largest Greek cities on the Mediterranean. With such a magnificent backdrop, the Villa Athena is one of the best locations to view these spectacular temples. With just 27 rooms and suites, the hotel has an intimate feel and prides itself on its true sense of Sicilian hospitality. The 18th-century architecture has been lovingly preserved so the hotel maintains its charm while offers guests all the services and amenities associated with a luxury boutique hotel. Rooms are decorated with a soft, neutral colour scheme and come with views out across the olive groves or of the temples themselves. Serving traditional Sicilian cuisine, the restaurant features a terrace, from which you can see the temples of Concorida and Juno. There is also an open-air bar for sunset drinks. A spa is located in an ancient building used for storing wheat and olive and is built around a Greek cistern. Here, guests can relax and unwind in the perfumed showers, Jacuzzi or steam bath. There is also an outdoor pool and beautiful gardens to explore. As well as discovering the temples, it is well worth exploring the town of Agrigento itself with its pretty streets and churches.
Founded as a Greek colony in the 6th century B.C., Agrigento became one of the leading cities in the Mediterranean. The area is home to the Valley of the Temples, one of the world’s most impressive and important archaeological sites. The temples are spread over 1,300 hectares of land and most are situated on rocky crests south of modern day Agrigento. The best preserved is the Concordia temple, one of the most impressive examples of a Greek Doric temple.
Visit the incredible remains of the Villa Romana del Casale, a 4th century Roman villa and UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the most opulent residences in the Empire, it contains the richest, largest and most complex collection of Roman mosaics in the world.
Accommodation in Taormina
- 24 rooms and suites
- Swimming pool
Located in a 20th-century Sicilian villa, The Ashbee sits within a park filled with lemon, tangerine and grapefruit trees and looks out across the sparkling sea towards Calabria. The villa was designed by Charles Robert Ashbee, an icon of the London Arts and Crafts movement. The central part of the hotel was restored, keeping the ancient framework and original features, and each of the 24 rooms and suites is individually decorated with antique furniture and paintings. Experience the flavours of the Mediterranean at the one-Michelin-starred St. George Restaurant by Heinz Beck,which serves classic Sicilian dishes using local, seasonal produce. Choose to dine in the elegant dining room or al fresco. The terrace bar offers guests wonderful panoramic views of Italy’s southern peninsular and is the perfect spot to watch the sun set. The beach of Isola Bella may beckon you to its shores, but the hotel also has a swimming pool for when you want to simply relax and enjoy the offerings from the poolside bar. The surrounding park is a pleasant space in which to stroll, taking in the refreshing scent of the citrus fruits that hang from the trees.
- 71 rooms and suites
- Two restaurants
- Pool and terrace bar
- Swimming pool
Set high in the rocky hills on the east coast of the island, Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo has been delighting guests since 1863. Sweeping views across the sea and out to Mount Etna make this hotel a real jewel in Sicily’s crown. Each of the hotel’s 71 rooms and suites is decorated in Sicilian style, with white linens, Italian marble and rich wood. Your days get off to the perfect start as the sunlight streams in though your window, beckoning you outside. Start by stepping back in time and exploring the Greek theatre, a wonderfully preserved amphitheatre located next to the hotel. If it’s rest and relaxation you’re after, then the heated swimming pool surrounded by terraced gardens is a good place to start. Admiring the view is best done with a cocktail in hand and a crisp glass of the aptly named Etna Martini is the perfect refreshment as you drink in your surroundings. With the ocean’s bounty on its doorstep the hotel’s restaurant serves fresh seafood and Sicilian specialties to be enjoyed in the elegant dining room or on the terrace on a balmy summer’s evening. Italy is famed for its love of food and togetherness in the evenings the pool bar is transformed into a traditional trattoria complete with local dishes and live music. As darkness falls, you’ll be charmed by the twinkling lights of Cape Taormina and the Bay of Giardini Naxos. You won’t be short of things to do with an array of excursions and activities on offer. Jump in a Fiat 500 and channel your inner movie star with a Godfather tour of Savoca; walk through the vineyards and enjoy a tasting of the region’s wine; or take to the skies with a helicopter tour offering views of Mount Etna, the Aeolian Islands and the Agrigento Valley with its ancient Greek temples. Guests will also enjoy use of the private beach at sister hotel, Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea.
- 71 rooms and suites
- Three bars
- Private beach
- Heated infinity pool
With a beautiful coastline stretching as far as the eye can see, Sicily is pure paradise. For a chance to enjoy life on the water, Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea is the perfect retreat, perched on the shores of the dazzling Mediterranean. The hotel is nestled between subtropical gardens and its own private beach, and everything in between is pure luxury. The 71 rooms and suites are bright and airy, looking out over the colourful gardens or turquoise sea. Choose to dive straight into the water, or take a dip in the heated infinity pool before relaxing with a massage under the shade of an orange tree. With so much to explore, you’ll want to take advantage of the boat tours that take you out to the Aeolian Islands, marvelling at Stromboli volcano and stopping to swim in the crystal clear waters of secluded bays. Dining al fresco is one of the joys of a stay by the coast, and guests can enjoy wonderfully fresh seafood and regional cuisine. Whether you’re poolside or beach-bound, you can relax with an aperitif or gelato while soaking up the sun. Food is what it’s all about in Italy and a barbecue on the beach or picnic in the garden is a chance to drink in your surroundings. If it’s romance you’re after, a candlelit dinner on the beach is hard to beat. If you fancy giving your sea legs a rest, then capture the beauty of Sicily with a photography tour, catch a show at the ancient Greek theatre in Taormina or explore the villages on the slopes of Mount Etna.
Enjoy an off-road excursion on a comfortable 4WD, and explore the area around the tallest active volcano in Europe with a vulcanologist as your guide. As you ascend to the summit at 2,000m, you'll pass through enchanting forests and experience a walk through tubular lava caves. Once you're at the top, you'll enjoy breathtaking views over the Ionian Sea and the vineyards and orchards that sprawl across the lower slopes. After soaking up the incredible and striking landscapes of Mount Etna, you'll enjoy lunch at a local winery. While here, you can sample the delicious wines that are produced on the fertile slopes of Etna.
Taormina sits on the east coast of the island and has long been home to artists and intellectuals. It is also favoured by Hollywood stars who are charmed by its beauty and on this walking tour, you'll see why. The town is filled with pretty churches, a Norman cathedral, impressive clock tower and a main square which overlooks the Gulf of Messina. It is also home to the Palazzo Corvaja palace, which housed the first Sicilian parliament in the 15th century. A real highlight is the Greek theatre from where you will get stunning views of Taormina’s two bays and across to Calabria, with Mount Etna as a backdrop in the other direction. You'll also enjoy some time to go shopping and explore the streets at your leisure.
Private transfer to Catania Airport
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