Living La Vita Dolce: Best Italian Properties to Visit this Summer

The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice

The grand dame hotel, housed in a 15th-century noble palazzo, has long been one of the most iconic properties in Europe embracing generations of venerable guests and global travellers. Overlooking the Grand Canal, The Gritti Palace boasts one of the most majestic views in the city, spanning from the island of San Giorgio Maggiore past Punta della Dogana and the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The hotel is a historical treasure where heritage and culture have blended, offering an experience marked by iconic art and design, attentive service, and exceptional culinary offerings.

Each of the hotel’s 82 guest rooms and suites boasts impressive canal views which reflect the intimacy of a private residence and provide a truly distinctive experience that captures the heritage of the palace the cultural roots of the city.  The Gritti Palace’s famous terraces will continue to be the social hub of Venice. Guests will enjoy delicious Venetian cuisine, cocktails, and enchanting views at The Club del Doge restaurant, Bar Longhi, and the Riva Lounge. Guests of the hotel can arrange anything from an exclusive tour around the Venetian lagoon aboard a private Riva speedboat to a relaxing day at The Gritti Spa, with treatments from Sisley Paris.

Galleria Vik Milano

Galleria Vik Milano, which first opened its doors in late 2019, is Vik Retreats’ first city retreat and debut in Europe. Ideally positioned within the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of Italy’s most iconic landmarks, Galleria Vik Milano is a true haven of art and design and invites travellers and locals alike to indulge in a true escape.

As with all Vik Retreats, art and design play a major role at Galleria Vik Milano, starting at the reception, where guests are welcomed by Auguste Rodin’s famed bronze sculpture, The Thinker in monumental scale, as well an immersive dry fresco of the gods, Titans and Amazonian holding up the world by Italian artist, Alex Folla spanning the ceiling and walls.

Galleria Vik Milano features 89 distinctly designed rooms and suites, each showcasing extraordinary décor, art, and views. The strong architectural features of the hotel are reinforced with a focus on Italian artwork, in addition to an extensive collection of international art and a mix of curated contemporary, midcentury, vintage and antique furniture.

Guests will enjoy unforgettable dining experiences at Galleria Vik Milano’s signature restaurant, V Bart and Restaurant, the inspirational art gallery restaurant overlooking the Galleria’s Octagono and its famous bull. On the top of the Galleria guests can savor an assortment of traditional and creative wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas at I Dodici Gatti pizzeria which offers indoor or rooftop terrace relaxed dining.

The St. Regis Venice

The St. Regis Venice, which first debuted in 2020, is the perfect escape for travellers seeking culture, spectacular natural settings, unspoiled architectural heritage, and remarkable culinary offerings in one of the world’s most beloved destinations. The hotel boasts 169 guestrooms and 40 suites, many with private terraces, affording incomparable views of the city, the hotel’s gardens and the Grand Canal. The hotel offers the most Grand Canal-facing rooms in the city as it is the widest canal-front property.

A combination of five 18th and 19th-century palazzi, the hotel merges the historic origins of its location with striking interiors, restored with terrazzo floors and stunning crown mouldings. The St. Regis Venice’s features also include four stunning and spacious terraces on the ground floor; Gio’s restaurant offering authentic, innovative Italian cuisine; The intimate Arts Bar, serving modern and classic cocktails; The St. Regis Bar; a secluded Italianate garden with extraordinary views across the Grand Canal, where guests can sample the signature Bloody Mary, or the famous Spritz from the roaming, custom-made Spritz Trolley; The St. Regis’ legendary Butler Service; a 24-hour fitness centre; and an Iridium Suites Spa.

The St. Regis Rome

Originally opened in 1894 by legendary hotelier César Ritz, the iconic St. Regis Rome is located in one of the city’s most impressive palazzos, near Piazza della Repubblica and the Quirinale presidential palace. The St. Regis Rome has long been regarded as the definition of refined European hospitality.

Recently the hotel underwent a full-scale renovation including all of the public spaces, as well as the hotel’s 138 guest rooms and 23 opulent suites. The spacious guestrooms and suites mix influences from the Empire, Regency and Louis XV eras.  Elegantly layered pastel hues breathe new life into the guestrooms, showcasing one of two uplifting colour schemes: clean powder blue of the Mediterranean city’s vibrant skies, or warm terra cotta of weathered Roman walls at sunset.

Hotel Cala di Volpe, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Costa Smeralda

Stretching out over the bay like a timeless village, the Hotel Cala di Volpe is nestled between the windswept hills and the lush coast of Sardinia. The iconic property was started by Jacques Couëlle in the 60s and has been marvellously reinterpreted by 4BI & Associés.

A haven of thoughtful comforts and exquisite local design, each of the 121 guest rooms celebrate the region’s natural beauty and superb Sardinian artistry. Simple whitewashed walls are decorated with whimsical trompe l’oeil paintings, unique to each room. Handcrafted furniture is painted to match each room’s singular theme, complemented further by vibrant ceramic tile work on the floors and in the bathrooms. Guests of the resort can enjoy the properties numerous hikes, swim in an Olympic-sized pool, visit the fitness centre and SHISEIDO Spa, or simply unwind on the white-sand beaches.

The St. Regis Florence

The St. Regis Florence is situated in a sumptuous palace in the heart of the city, making it the perfect location from which to experience Tuscany’s timeless attractions. Designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, the architect of the Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore, The St. Regis Florence is considered one of the most significant buildings for its artistic and historical value in the heart of the city. The art of the Renaissance and the art of hospitality combined in a masterpiece of exclusive living.

A short stroll will bring you to the iconic Uffizi, Duomo or Ponte Vecchio’s elegant jewelry shops. Legendary for its history, Florence’s streets offer inimitable treasures. The hotel boasts 81 elegant guestrooms decorated with the prestigious Medici, Fiorentino and Renaissance styles, including 19 exquisite suites enriched with refined furniture and antique artworks.

Images courtesy Gritti Palace; VIK Hotels; St Regis Hotels & Hotel Cala di Volpe

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