It is looking more and more likely that most of Europe will be reopened for international travelers by early to mid-Summer. Italy is the latest to announce they are hoping for a mid-May date to open up, and that they are finalizing the vaccination passport details that are going to make it possible. I can't emphasize enough, that no matter what your view on vaccinations, it is going to be a huge advantage to have received your shots if you want to travel internationally in the next few years. It's been so long since I wrote solely about Italy as a destination, and this was our number one country visited by clients in 2019! I've decided to give you a taste of some wonderful Virtuoso properties that are not in the "most requested" locations, so in effect, an off-the-beaten-path mini guide to luxury Italy. The headline of this weeks ezine, "Il Mattino Ha l’Oro in Bocca" alludes to my belief that taking the plunge and heading to Italy this Summer may be the opportunity of a lifetime to visit special locations without those pesky crowds...the early bird will catch the worm.
Top 5 - Luxury Hidden Italy
1. Borgo dei Conti Resort, Perugia (above and below)
Along the road between Perugia and Città della Pieve lies Borgo dei Conti, an exclusive resort as glorious as the surrounding terroir. A bucolic village with origins as a 12th-century fortress, the 50-room Borgo nestles within a 50-acre park shaded by hundreds of olive trees. Two pools let you soak in the views over Umbria’s rolling hills. An outdoor Jacuzzi covered by removable panels lets you bathe year-round in the fragrant gardens. Play billiards or tennis, stroll around the grounds, and watch the years disappear with a cutting-edge facial treatment. Expect Umbrian dining at its finest.
2. Borgo Egnazia, Puglia (above and below)
Borgo Egnazia is a visionary interpretation of a Puglian village, a "nowhere else" place embodying the true essence of Puglia. Located in Savelletri di Fasano, among millennial olive groves beside the blue Adriatic Sea, it is open all year and offers a beguiling portfolio of rooms, casettas, and villas. It features Vair, the tradition-based spa, and San Domenico Golf Club, one of the best courses in Italy. With four sparkling pools (two heated), nearby beaches, paddle and tennis courts, cookery school, kids' and teens’ clubs, and "nowhere else" experiences, this hotel offers something for all types of travelers.
3. Castel Fragsburg, Merano (close to Austrian border)
Castel Fragsburg (above and below) is a place of power for gourmets, romantics, and wellness lovers. Here you find what all the money in the world cannot buy – soulful luxury that’s creative, heartfelt, and singular. Every suite is beautifully curated and unique. Experience Michelin-starred cuisine, a 500.000 ft² fairy park with heated pool and sundeck in the middle of the vineyards, and breathtaking mountains, as well as Healing Spa Castellum Natura, where all care elixirs are freshly prepared. From the moment you step through the portal of the historic 17th-century hunting manor, you bring the outside world to a pause.
4. Hotel Cala di Volpe, Porto Cervo, Sardinia (above and below)
Highly acclaimed by the international jet set, this masterpiece of elegance started in the 60’s is now complemented with brand new contemporary rooms and suites, an enhanced lobby and bar, and the spectacular top floor Harrods Suite. Provided with lavish views of Sardinia's coastline, you'll have all the amenities you could wish for at your fingertips, an Olympic-size saltwater swimming pool, Shiseido Spa, and a hip and chic Beach Club. It's a must to dine at Barbecue and Cala Restaurant, Matsuhisa Cala di Volpe, Beef Bar and our tip is to book the Dine-Around program – one meal a day at the hotel’s sister properties‘ main restaurants.
5. Il Borro Estate, Arezzo (above and below)
Ferruccio Ferragamo and his son Salvatore have turned their passion and talent for style to restoring the antique splendor of Il Borro, a Member of Relais & Châteaux. To arrive at the estate is to step into a Renaissance masterwork. Choose from 58 luxury rooms and suites, and two exclusive vacation villas – all nestled among vineyards, olive groves, and even a medieval village with artisan boutiques and a church. Breathtaking views of vineyards and olive groves surround you, and indeed you’ll discover a working vineyard – part of a winemaking tradition that dates back to 1760, when the estate was under Medici rule.
And don't forget all the above properties and a few thousand more like them can be viewed in full gorgeous detail. Just click the button below!
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