I travel for the Romance

The World's Most Romantic Hotels: Italy

Photo: Courtesy Locanda Dell'Amorosa

Honeymoons, anniversaries, engagements, make-ups — and that's just a typical afternoon for the average Italian love affair. When cupid is on the mind, check into our favorite hotels where la dolce vita meets la vita amorosa

Jump to: Aeolian Islands | Amalfi Coast | Apulia | Liguria | Molise | Sicily | Tuscany | Veneto

Hotel Raya

AEOLIAN ISLANDS

Hotel Raya
Where: Panarea
What's to Love: Small, impossibly chic inn run by the same eccentric proprietress for years. The hotel is built into a hillside on Panarea, the most fashionable of the seven Aeolian islands, overlooking Stromboli. The islands are remote and beautiful and locals cling fiercely to their culture.
Good to Know: On a clear night, you can see the volcanic flares from your room.


AMALFI COAST

Don Alfonso
Where:
Sant' Agata sui due Golfi
What's to Love: A love nest in the hills between Sorrento and Positano. You'll be tempted to stay in your colorful room all day, but the Michelin-star restaurant is unmissable.
Good to Know: Sign up for cooking classes while you're here, and learn to recreate the culinary magic, minus the sunshine, anytime. For added privacy, rent the private poet's house on the property.

Hotel Caesar Augustus
Where:
Capri
What's to Love: Stunning vistas and an infinity pool that seems to stretch to the sea. This place takes al fresco dining to a whole new level with tables overlooking the cliffs of Capri and Ischia in the distance.
Good to Know: You can't stay in Capri without hiring a small boat to take you around the island to swim in the coves.

Hotel Punta Tragara
Where: Capri
What's to Love: It's perched atop the cliffs at the very end of the lovely, flower- and tree-ensconced pedestrian-only road and was sculpted out of the rock face and designed by Le Corbusier. The cavernous, arched ceilings create a tranquil and elegant space where modern and old world pieces are smartly combined. The terrace overlooks the famous Faraglioni rocks and the impossibly blue Tyrrhenian Sea.
Good to Know: October is a perfect time to go, tourist season would down, but the weather is still perfect.
Read More on Fathom: Love Letter to Hotel Punta Tragara

Hotel Santa Caterina
Where:
Amalfi
What's to Love: A cliffside hotel that may as well have been built for honeymooning. It's packed with couples who come for the breathtaking views, outdoor dining with live music, and a roof made from sprawling lemon trees.
Good to Know: You're on the main drag of the Amalfi Coast but will feel removed from the crowds. Elevators connect the hotel to the private beach and pool.

J.K. Place Capri
Where: Capri
What's to Love: Oh sweet bay of Naples laid out before me, how lovely you look from this chic and serene perch on the hill. How far I feel from the crowds of Capri, how smart I feel that I found this vantage point.
Good to Know: As beautiful as the rooms are, get out of bed in the morning. The hotel's breakfast spread is a sight to behold.
Read more on Fathom: Love Letter to J.K. Place Capri

Le Sirenuse

Le Sirenuse
Where:
Positano
What's to Love: Everybody adores this classic hotel. Is it the effect of drinking a bottle of rose while sitting in your bathrobe on a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean? The epic views from this hillside hotel? The breakfast on the terrace followed by a lazy day in a shaded pool cabana?
Good to Know: If you're squeamish, don't drive. Get a driver, and schedule a stop in Pompeii. Take the boat to Capri and enjoy drinks in a cave on the beach.

La Minerva
Where:
Capri
What's to Love: Fresh and affordable accommodations in pricey Capri. Signore Esposito, the owner, runs this sparkling gem with stunning sea views. Many rooms have grand terraces.
Good to know: Have breakfast on the rooftop patio for spectacular views. For a modest fee, you can use the pool at the neighboring hotel, which is owned by Mr. Esposito's aunt. So Italian.

Palazzo Avino

Palazzo Avino
Where:
Ravello
What's to Love: The former Palazzo Sasso is truly divine — like you died and went to Amalfi heaven. The best part is the service: truly impeccable. Discreet and exactly what you'd expect when you're spending a month's salary on four nights. Be careful with the room you reserve: Cheaper rooms aren't worth the savings.
Good to Know: Breakfast on the terrace is lovely. Be sure to bring along a Hermès or Etro bikini so you fit in at the swimming pool.

Parco dei Principi
Where:
Sorrento
What's to Love: Giò Ponti designed the hotel and swimming pool. The garden is one of the most romantic and mature in all of Italy. Beach is sophisticated and quiet with great food.
Good to Know:Bring a camera and meet the owner to visit the old palazzo.


APULIA

Masseria Torre Coccaro
Where: Apulia
What's to Love: A sexy boutique hotel with major amenities — a great beach club; a nice spa; olive groves; sun-drenched, white-washed love nests; it's like staying on an old olive plantation mere steps from Bari's scenic towns.
Good to Know: As for the room with the private hot tub and patio: It's the sexy business. Order pasta at the beach club. So delicious.


LIGURIA

Hotel Cenobio dei Dogi
Where:
Camogli
What's to Love: Simple and charming with a wonderful view and the freshest fish.
Good to know: Ocean facing rooms are more expensive, but that's what you're here for.

Hotel Splendido

Hotel Splendido
Where:
Portofino
What's to Love: The brilliant pink bougainvillea that blooms just off your terrace overlooking the Mediterranean. They don't tolerate diving or splashing at the pool, so you're guaranteed a peaceful time.
Good to Know: Spend a day following the path on the nature reserve behind the hotel. You'll emerge in a nearby cove, have a refreshing aperitivo, the take a boat back.

Monte Pù
Where:
Castiglione Chiavarese
What's to Love: An agriturismo hideaway on a coastal mountaintop. You're in the middle of nowhere, staring at Elba and the fields around you.
Good to know: It's modest — no WiFi, no spa, no frills. But you'll immediately realize how beautiful simplicity can be. Rates, by the way, start at 40 €. You could move in.


MOLISE

Dimora Del Prete
Where: Venafro
What's to Love: A grand private home tucked into the middle of the countryside. You'll feel like you took a trip back in time.
Good to Know: This is a clever, if unlikely, place to perch for excursions in the Abruzzo National Forest or en route from Northern to Southern Italy.


SICILY

Monaci delle Terre Nere
Where: The slopes of Mt. Etna
What's to Love: A boutique hotel set on an old vineyard estate with about ten rooms. The pool is cut into steppes in Mt. Etna, and olives from the nearby trees bob in the pool. You can hike through their organic farm, getting lost under orange trees, or just sit on the mountain by the pool, staring off to the ocean in the distance.
Good to Know: The double deluxe Floreale has a terrace and a very cool modern bathroom with a big tub. Definitely eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the hotel. The orange and grape juices, pressed from the estate's orchards, are fantastic.


TUSCANY

Castiglion del Bosco
Where: Montalcino
What's to Love: A working wine estate owned by Massimo Ferragamo and the definition of a luxury resort. From suites in the borgo to the restored rustic villas in the countryside, the design and attention to detail is impeccable. You could check in and never leave, as the estate has everything: several delicious restaurants, a luxurious day spa, and extensive grounds.
Good to Know: Rent a car to explore the breathtaking countryside, unless you only want to soak up the Tuscan dolce vita full time at the estate.

J. K. Place
Where:
Florence
What's to Love: On Piazza Santa Maria Novella and a few blocks from the Duomo. The façade may not look like much, but you'll find the best of old-meets-new world inside. Great DVD library, helpful staff, gorgeous rooms, and a selection of warm tarts, tea, fruit and orange juice in the lobby.
Good to Know: You're a few steps from Garga, one of the best restaurants in Florence.

La Bandita
Where:
Val D'Orcia
What's to Love: You drive through the Tuscan countryside and finally make it to the top of a hilltop. Your destination: a modern farmhouse with stunning views, a pool, and hipster touches like a great library and music collection. This is isolation at its best.
Good to know: The charming American owner, John Voigtmann, is a former music exec who runs this place like a country getaway for friends.
Read More on Fathom: John Voigtmann's Innkeeper's Tales

Locanda Dell'Amorosa
Where:
Sinalunga
What's to Love: The name translates as "the inn of the lovers" for good reason. The cypress-lined drive, the amazing restaurant, the countryside setting amid gently rolling hills. In the 1300s the space was largely stables. Today, it's your basic Tuscan fantasy come true.
Good to Know: Bring a bathing suit for the pool.

Poggio Etrusco
Where:
Montepulciano
What's to Love: An adorable, inexpensive B&B in the Tuscan countryside with a kitchen garden to get lost in. Guests are free to pick anything they desire and each room comes with a stocked pantry.
Good to know: Arrange a cooking class with the owner and cookbook author, Pamela Sheldon Johns, and have her plan your Tuscan food adventures.

St. Regis Florence
Where:
Florence
What's to Love: The location overlooking the Arno. The 15th-century building designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. The antique furniture, art, and fixtures. The authentic Italian grandness that isn't at all stuffy.
Good to Know:
The beds are pretty inspiring, too.
Read More on Fathom:
Love Letter to the St. Regis Florence.

Villa San Michele

Villa San Michele
Where:
Fiesole
What's to Love: Set high on a hillside overlooking the red roofs of Florence. Have a leisurely lunch at their Loggia restaurant and try not to faint while passing by the giant blue and lavender hydrangeas spilling out of the potted plants near the entry. Yes, they're real.
Good to Know: You ge the far-away Tuscan feel with the benefit of being close to Florence's museums, restaurants, and shops.


Il Palazzo

VENETO

Aman Canal Grande
Where: Venice
What's to Love: The 24-room hotel inside Palazzo Papdopoli dates back to 1555, home to the count and countess who now live on the top floor. The opulent palatial interior features a labryinth of elegant rooms, neo-baroque library, reading nooks, and a vast salons in a variety of styles.
Good to Know: Have dinner on the piano nobile, the most elegant floor in the palazzo home.
Read More on Fathom: Cinderella for a Night in Venice

Il Palazzo
Where:
Venice
What's to Love: Yes, the Danieli is divine, but we prefer the more private — and ridiculously sumptuous — charms of this canal-front hotel that's at once in the middle of the Venice insanity yet totally removed from it.
Good to Know: The rooftop bar has outstanding views. Make breakfast last for hours.

Ca Sagredo
Where: Venice
What's to Love: If you could go back in time and be the Venetian noble — with the masks, the illicit affairs, the incredible home overlooking the Grand Canal — this is what your life would look like. Check in to live the fantasy.
Good to Know: The hotel, which has always been a noble family's palazzo, is a master class in Venetian art. Those paintings are by Nicolò Bambini, Giambattista Tiepolo, and Pietro Longhi.

The Gritti Palace
Where: Venice
What's to Love: One of Venice's most incredible places, now a Luxury Collection Hotel, with striking views, an esteemed history, an incredible Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Spa.
Good to Know: It's not all classic Venice: The massive Donghia suite sets the mood with black-and-white snapshots of disco days and boogie nights, dramatic chandeliers, groovy '70s sconces, a massive marble bathtub, and, of course, a butler.
Read More on Fathom: In Love and in Venice

Relais La Magioca
Where: Verona
What's to Love: Beautiful country house with cozy, tasteful rooms. A morning walk through the surrounding terraced vineyards is magical.
Good to Know: There's a tiny ivy-covered Romanesque chapel on the grounds — should nuptial thoughts cross anyone's mind.

Villa Feltrinelli
Where:
Gargnano
What's to Love: Gorgeous lakeside villa lavishly restored in 1997. Modern and traditional at the same time. Beautiful antiques, Wi-Fi, and an unbelievable view.
Good to Know: Heated marble floors to keep your feet toasty in the cool weather.


SHOP IT

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YOUR TURN

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BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE

The World's Most Romantic Hotels: Photo Gallery
The World's Most Romantic Hotels: Africa
The World's Most Romantic Hotels: Asia and the Middle East
The World's Most Romantic Hotels: Australia and the South Pacific
The World's Most Romantic Hotels: Europe
The World's Most Romantic Hotels: Latin America
The World's Most Romantic Hotels: United States and Caribbean

Contributors: Caryl Chinn, Sonya de Castelbajac, Harold Dieterle, Christina DiLaura, Deirdre Dolan, David Feige, Julia Herr, Olga Katsnelson, Stephanie March, Lorenzo Merlo, Christina Ohly, Annie Ojile, Jill Paris, Nathalie Sann, Kerry Saretsky, Alyssa Shelasky, Sharon Thomas-Counce, Angela Tribelli, Brette Warshaw.

Photos, from top: Courtesy of Le Sirenuse; courtesy of Palazzo Avino; courtesy of Hotel Splendido; courtesy of Hotel Raya; courtesy of Villa San Michele; courtesy of Il Palazzo.

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