Italy well deserves its nickname, Il Bel Paese, “the beautiful country.” Its cuisine, art, fashion, and architecture influence the entire world. Each proud region has a unique identity that combined make Italy incredibly rewarding to explore. Within hours you could go from enjoying the vibrant Sicily island, to Puglia (Apulia) with its green resorts in the midst of the oldest olive groves, or you can immerse yourself in the lush of the Alps and stop at the veranda of Harry’s Bar, a great classic for an aperitivo overlooking the lake Como.
North of Italy – Venice
Exploring Venice by gondola is the most appealing and romantic mode of transportation. You can cruise admiring the abundant landmarks including churches, palaces, bridges, and gardens before reaching The Gritti Palace, dripping with precious fabrics, antiques, and art, encapsulating the spirit of the city. You’ll lounge in suites inhabited by legends like Hemingway and Peggy Guggenheim.
Have a sip of the original Bellini drink at the legendary Cip’s club, famed as one of the most romantic settings, and then dine at the Michelin-starred Oro restaurant.
The luxury shopping street of Salizada San Moisè, home to some of the most respected brands like Versace, Etro and Miu Miu, is located just a short walk away from Piazza San Marco. Current fashion trends as well as timeless luxury staples such as Gucci, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana can be found at Le Mercerie, an area between the Ponte di Rialto bridge and Piazza San Marco.
Center of Italy – Florence
Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance. Villa Cora is the epitome of that opulence. Built at the end of the nineteenth century upon commission by Baron Oppenheim, it has earned its reputation by hosting international guests such as Princess Eugenia, wife of Napoleon III. Their magnificent suites, the Roman-inflected spa, the glamorous pool, and cigar bar combine harmoniously the aesthetic taste and high-quality comfort.
The three-star Michelin Enoteca Pinchiorri with its highly attentive service from the legendary owners, Annie and Giorgio, the excellent menu featuring the best of Tuscan cuisine and their wine list renowned across the globe is worth a special journey.
Stefano Bemer is the paradise for shoe lovers. All shoes are handmade by a team of local artisans. In 1999, Actor Daniel Day Lewis trained in the art of shoemaking here for the movie the Phantom Thread.
La Scuola del Cuoio features Francesca Gori’s creations. Each bag of her “jewel handbags” is different, combining a unique antique jewel on the skins of ostrich, deer, calf, and alligator.
South of Italy – Capri
Capri has always been one of the most cosmopolitan islands in the Mediterranean, beloved by the international jet set and Hollywood celebrities.
The perfect way to create a Dolce Vita memory is to approach the majestic coastline in a luxury yacht dropping anchor beneath the Faraglioni, the stacks that became the icons symbol of the Blue Island, while by night mooring in Capri’s chic marina.
If you prefer the comfort of a hotel, the five-star luxury Punta Tragara is an absolute charm with the magnificent views of the Faraglioni rocks and the Bay of Marina Piccola. Whether you choose to spend the day lazing in the hotel’s gorgeous sub-tropical gardens or indulging in a little professional pampering in the spa, the relaxation is guaranteed.
For an unforgettable dinner you can’t miss Da Paolino, famous for its excellent food and wine served beneath Capri’s fragrant lemon trees. For decades, the De Martino family has been serving exquisite island cuisine for decades to a never-ending list of celebrities.
With so much to experience, it’s little wonder that Italy has become the best of European travel. Next stop: Cinque Terre, Rome, and Sardinia.