From Lago di Como to Palermo, here are our picks for the most exciting new luxury hotels in Italy:
Hotel Castello di Reschio - Umbria
After years of anticipation, the thousand-year-old Castello di Reschio debuted as a hotel in May. Owner and architect Count Benedikt Bolza of studio B.B. meticulously refurbished this historic mansion originally belonging to the Bichi Ruspoli family in central Umbria. Every element of this 36-room hotel has been managed by the count personally, from the interior design and unique furnishings to the immaculate landscaping. His artist wife Donna Nencia's distinctive trompe l'oeil alludes to the 3,700-acre estate's historic heritage, complementing the stone-carved fireplaces and ancient artworks. Ristorante Al Castello, renovated watchtower Il Torrino overlooking the swimming pool, and laid-back Ristorante Alle Scuderie are among the farm-to-table dining options buzzing with delicacies such as locally sourced honey, wine, and olive oil. Oh, and don't forget the Roman style spa.
The royal Il Tornabuoni's fresh start within the 12th century Palazzo Minerbetti is nothing short of magnificent. Each of the five vibrant levels within the hotel, which opened on September 1 only steps from from Ponte Vecchio, pays homage to Florence's Renaissance period. One of the 62 apartments and suites even offers views of the Duomo or Brunelleschi's iconic dome if you're lucky enough to snag it. If that isn't enough, the rooftop restaurant Lucie Gourmet offers views of Santa Maria Novella, while the Il Magnifico Café & Champagne Bar pours elegant libations. Chef Massimiliano Mandozzi's Il Magnifico Restaurant & Bistrot dishes up local staples like cavolo nero (Tuscan black kale), cannellini beans, and Sienese maialino (pork) in an avant-garde setting.
This beautiful converted Venetian mansion, built in 1272, is nestled away in the artistic Arsenale district of Venice. Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola, who also had a heavy hand in making historic interiors feel modern at the Il Sereno in Como (listed below), has redesigned the elegant Ca' di Dio, which means "house of God" in the local dialect. Expect all the grandeur of a five-star address paired with the heartfelt workmanship of local artists such as wrought iron, stones, and Murano glass when it opens on August 1. Some of the almost 60 suites have views of the San Giorgio Maggiore island, which is also the view shared by gourmet restaurant VERO, which uses fresh produce from the courtyard garden to make some unforgettable food.
It is worth mentioning first and foremost that Il Sereno was crowed "Best Hotel in Italy" by Travel + Leisure in 2021. But we think this is for good reason. This breathtaking boutique hotel is a feat of clean, modern design mixed with classic Italian luxury and glamour. The property boasts carefully designed modern suites expertly appointed with luxurious furniture and finishes, luscious vertical gardens, a lake front spa experience, private boat excursions, and a highly anticipated restaurant helmed by award winning Chef Raffaele Lenzi. Il Sereno just might be "La Dolce Vita" reincarnate.
Can this new Amalfi jewel compete with the coast's famous mainstays?
Borgo Santandrea is the Amalfi Coast's first new luxury hotel in 15 years. It includes a private beach, pier, and waterfront pool and is built atop a dramatic cliff with amazing views of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the fisherman's village of Conca dei Marini. The recently remodeled property features 26 full-service rooms and 19 magnificent suites, all with hand-painted tiles, antique furniture, hand-crafted objects, and fabulous water views. Ischia landscape gardeners developed a 150-year-old network of garden terraces filled with species native to the shore, such as olive, lemon, and pomegranate trees, and winter jasmine, which surround the hotels 3 restaurants and bars headed by Chef Crescenzo Scotti.
Back in June of last year, the Art Nouveau palace Villa Igiea, which dates back to 1900, was given a fresh lease of life. Rocco Forte and Olga Polizzi of Rocco Forte Hotels spearheaded a passion project to restore the magnificence of this historic site overlooking the Gulf of Palermo. Contemporary style, locally, hand-crafted features, and antique elements are included in each of the hotel's almost 80 rooms and suites that boast beautiful sea vies . All three restaurants—Florio Restaurant, Igiea Terrazza Bar, and Alicetta Pool Bar, which look upon ornate frescos by Sicilian artist Eugenio Morici,—"embody family, generosity and femininity," according to Chef Fulvio Pierangelini. As we would expect from any Rocco Forte endeavor, this hotel is one of a kind, and worth a visit to Italy's largest island.