A boot-shaped peninsula in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea with magnificent historic buildings, grand hotels, and panoramic views, could only be Italy! There are almost an endless number of luxury spots to be discovered here which make it a world-renowned luxury tourism destination.
You’re bound to feel relaxed and recharged with a trip to Italy. To truly experience the essence of this European nation, there are few spots that just can’t be missed.
Here’s my selection of the most luxurious places in Italy.
1. Amalfi Coast
Looking at this 34-mile-long majestic terrain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can’t help be entranced by the beautiful beaches with turquoise waters, the sky-high coastal cliffs, and the picturesque stairways and alleys connecting the mountains and the sea.
The coast and the 13 seaside historic towns of the Amalfi Coast offer a range of beautiful places to relax, hike, shop, and dine. The jewel-like colors, the breathtaking views, and the hillsides spilling with citrus and olive groves and vines make it a fantastic summertime destination.
Indeed, the top of the list of luxury holidays, you can opt to stay in a luxury villa or one of the beautiful iconic hotels.
2. The Lakes
The southern foothills of the Italian Alps sweeping down towards the Mediterranean and Northern Italy’s fertile plains boast so muchnatural beauty. Although Lake Como gets all the fanfare, all of the Italian lake resorts are gorgeous and make for a great visit, particularly around warm autumn times.
It’s impossible not to fall in love at first sight with Lake Como, a popular destination for luxury travel and with good reason too. Located in the region of Lombardy and the province of the same name, Lake Como is a world within a world.
The historic 19th-century villas on the water’s edge and gardens with breathtaking views, it feels like you are either in Eden or heaven. Apart from the beautiful scenery, you can visit the Como Cathedral and the Pearl of Lake Como – Bellagio, where there is great shopping and even better dining!
Best Bit ⭐ : If you are staying overnight, don’t miss the Villa D’Este!
Lago di Garda or Lake Garda, the country’s largest lake, makes for a great family respite. There are many luxurious hotels to pick from, with lakeside view and boutique hotel choices.
The mountains and sheer cliffs in the North and the beaches and low hills in the South make it an ultimate destination for sport-lovers. From sailing and windsurfing to rappelling, mountain climbing, and biking, the lake views make it a unique experience.
Still, you can also indulge in a luxurious spa retreat and immerse yourself in ‘la dolce vita’, a vibe that stuck with me on my visit here.
Italy’s international lake that shares a border with Switzerland, Lake Maggiore, with the magnificent Borromean Islands on the western shore, is one of the best places to visit on your Italian escape.
I could sense a world of difference in Lake Maggiore, free from the overt glamor of Lake Como and the theme parks of Lake Garda. It was far less crowded, more peaceful, and wildly intriguing.
Among the main attractions, it was a delight to see the mosaic of colors at the lovely park of Villa Taranto and Rocca d’Angera, the castle with one of Europe’s best collections of dolls and children’s toys. Villa Pallavicino is a sight to behold, too, with its botanical garden, zoo, and a naturally landscaped amphitheater.
Not to be missed are Isola Bella and Isola Madre, the baroque gardens, in the middle of the lake!
Visiting this seaside village, situated an hour away from the Cinque Terre, made me realize why it’s rightly referred to as a jewel of the Italian Riviera. Known as Portus Delphini or Dolphin’s Harbor in Roman times, Portofino has been a haunt of the rich and famous almost since that time.
With tall colorful houses arranged in a semi-circle around the famous Piazzetta, the crystal clear sea and fascinating landscape add to its glory. Strolling through the village’s historic center, there are so many restaurants and bars to enjoy the view, as well as a few luxury shops with local goods.
If you climb a number of long, easy steps from the harbor to the Fort of St. George, you’ll be able to experience the best view, which is quite unforgettable.
Best Bit ⭐ : If you are staying overnight, don’t miss the Belmond Splendido!
The ancient Romans termed Rome – Italy’s capital city, the “Eternal City”, believing that Rome would always remain standing, no matter what would happen in the rest of the world. Thank goodness, they were right!
When you explore the city center on foot, you’ll come across colossal remains, glorious monuments, scenes of art, and places of worship, all taking you back in time to the glory that was Ancient Rome, Baroque Rome, Mussolini’s Rome and contemporary Rome.
The largest city in Italy, Rome, is home to some world-renowned hotels and restaurants, as well as the Colosseum, Circus Maximus, Trevi Fountain, and Roman Forum!
I strongly recommend the Hotel Hassler in Rome, a luxurious five-star hotel located in the heart of Rome’s city centre, at teh top of the Spanish Steps. From some of the best luxury suites, a wellness center, and spa experiences that you mustn’t miss, they have a dining room that looks over the whole city!
Best Bit ⭐ : I love walking around Campo dei Fiori market. The local food stalls and the surrounding shops have some of the best food in the city!
I must say, a trip to Italy isn’t complete without a visit to one of the world’s most romantic cities in teh world – Venice. A city without compare that enchants every visitor, Venice was originally built on 100 small islands in the Adriatic Sea and has just celebrated its 1600th birthday!
You can’t help but be captivated by the charm of the Piazza San Marco – the central square in Venice and sit for hours listening to the orchestra’s play while you sip your aperitivo. Venice’s many churches and museums offer remnants from antique glories and the gorgeous palazzi that line the Grand Canal, and the other intriguing islands never disappoint.
I never resist a gondola ride, down the canals lined with this magnificent architecture, to truly experience the charm of this “Floating City”.
Best Bit ⭐: I have written loads on Venice, so if you wish to know more read one of my Venice pieces!
6. Porto Ercole
One of Tuscany’s best-hidden gems, Porto Ercole (literally meaning Port Hercules), is located on Monte Argentario and is filled with wonders to explore.
A small port, ancient monuments, and lovely beaches, the sea around Porto Ercole seems to shimmer at night with a silver glow. Start at the Porta Pisana, with its maze of narrow streets, stairways, and piazzas, a delightful exploration.
By the sea, down at the lower part of the town, there are several small shops where you can samplesome typical local delicacies.
Porto Ercole is still a favorite luxury vacation destination for the rich, super-rich, and famous, owing to its enchanting beauty and guaranteed privacy.
Best Bit ⭐: The incredible Il Pellicano Hotel is situated on the Argentario. Don’t miss it!
Otherwise known as the ‘pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea’, Capri is one seriously beautiful place. It is probably the most luxurious island in Italy.
If shopping is your thing, you will be right at home. There are tons of museum-quality jewelry shops, luxury boutiques, and fine dining restaurants, especially around the Piazzetta. The heart of Capri is the famed Piazzetta, from there you can tour the Augustus Gardens, the traditional Sant’Anna neighborhood, and the Charterhouse of S.Giacomo!
A private boat ride around the island and the Blure Grotto is a great way to discover the Capri of your dreams and even take a dip. Don’t miss Il Riccio restaurant – one of the best in the country.
Best Bit ⭐: I adore Capri and have written a guide to its Best Bits!
8. Cortina d’Ampezzo
Italy isn’t just about white sand beaches, history, architecture, and cuisines; it’s also home to the world’s most luxurious ski resorts known as the Queen of Dolomites – Cortina d’Ampezzo.
One of the most prestigious places in Italy, its enchanting scenery makes it a must-visit for nature lovers. This Italian Alps mountain destination offers many adventure and relaxation activities from treks, pleasant walks amidst nature, and mountain excursions.
There is also great shopping and great aprés-ski for those who aren’t so into snow sports!
Best Bits ⭐: If you want to know what Cortina is like in the winter,
it’s one of the best ski resorts in Europe!
9. Forte dei Marmi
Finding the Hamptons equivalent in Italy is easy – the one and only Forte dei Marmi (Fort of Marble). This little coastal town of northern Tuscany oozes luxury in every corner.
Perfect for those who love their Michelin star restaurants, their exclusive beach clubs, or and their high-fashion boutiques.
Forte dei Marmi is quite different from the dramatic seaside villages of Positano or Portofino along the Italian Northern coast. It’s flat with rolling waves and sand, perfect for lazing around and relaxing! If you feel like doing any exercise, you could rent a bicicletta (bicycle) and ride along the flat, paved paths up the coast.
Best Bits to end with!
A trip to Italy is nothing short of an unforgettable trip. All that history, delicious food, activities, and nature’s bounty have sure made me long for more.
Quite evidently, Italy is synonymous with luxury, with so many places to visit and so much to do, don’t be disappointed if you’re unable to cover everything in a single trip.