Those in search of la dolce vita have plenty of chic new boltholes to choose from thanks to our expanding collection of Italian city breaks. The new additions encompass all tastes, including stylishly kitsch apartments near the Trevi Fountain, a classy design hotel in central Milan, a seafront stay in Naples, and an elegant 16th-century guesthouse in the lesser-known city of Lecce (Puglia). And B&B prices starting from £65 per room per night prove that a cool urban escape needn’t break the bank.
We’ve added 2 super-stylish boltholes in the heart of the Eternal City:
PiazzadiSpagna 9 (opened 2014)
Occupying the third floor of a 15th-century palazzo, just around the corner from the Spanish Steps, this avant-garde hotel has been given a gallery feel by interior-designer owner Stefania Grippo. The polished white walls are a canvas for vibrant modern paintings, and the 6 gorgeous bedrooms have high ceilings plus accessories from high-end Italian fashion houses. There’s a small spa with a Turkish steam tub, and you can get under the city’s skin through tailored tours, including ‘Underground Rome’, ‘Rome by Night’ and a ‘Food Tasting & Cooking Class’.
From £151 per room per night, based on 2 sharing a Deluxe Room on a B&B basis.
CasaCau (opened 2013)
CasaCau’s quirky-cool apartments for 2-4 sit a stone’s throw from the Trevi Fountain, and are filled with retro-chic furniture, contemporary artwork and heaps of original features. Free breakfast goodies are left at your door each morning, and a local chef can prepare and deliver meals. It’s the perfect bohemian home-away-from-home, and the owners will divulge all kinds of insider tips, from under-the-radar restaurants to the hottest new boutiques.
From £197 per apartment per night, based on 2 sharing a Studio Apartment on a B&B basis.
Naples has cleaned up its act, with a revamped seafront, metro art installations and a vibrant cultural and culinary scene. It’s no longer just the gateway to the Amalfi Coast but a worthy destination in its own right.
Set just off Naples’ main shopping street, this great-value B&B sits high above the city bustle. The 8 rooms make fuss-free bases for exploring, and there’s a sun-soaked roof terrace with views of the hilltop Castel Sant’Elmo. The décor throughout is sleek and simple, with breezy blues and whites offset by eye-catching prints – ideal for anyone seeking affordable style in a super-central location.
From £65 per room per night, based on 2 sharing a Standard Room on a B&B basis.
Partenope Relais (opened 2013)
This glamorous cinema-themed hotel has an enviable location on the pedestrianised seafront, with spectacular views over the Bay of Naples. The 22 contemporary rooms are each dedicated to a different movie star, and many have water-facing balconies. The restaurant’s tables spill out onto the promenade, with a menu of delicacies such as lobster spaghetti.
From £88 per room per night, based on 2 sharing a Comfort Room on a B&B basis.
Baroque Lecce is perfect for those looking for something a little different. Set in Puglia (the heel of the Italian boot), it’s full of mesmerising architecture and sits within easy reach of the coast and the area’s famous trulli settlements. New easyJet flights from Gatwick to nearby Brindisi mean it’s more accessible than ever:
Mantatelure (opened 2013)
This boutique guesthouse occupies a restored 16th-century mansion and certainly lives up to its noble name (Mantatelure means ‘Kings Mantle’ in local dialect). The 6 enchanting rooms and 2 apartments sit around an idyllic shaded courtyard, and there are luxurious touches throughout (homemade cakes, handmade welcome chocolates, rain showers). It’s a haven of calm yet it’s only 300m from the magnificent Basilica Santa Croce, so you can explore the city before returning for a glass of Prosecco in the outdoor hot tub.
From £77 per room per night, based on 2 sharing a Deluxe Room on a B&B basis.
This year Italy’s style capital is playing host to the world-renowned Expo, and the theme for 2015 is food. With cooking demos and tastings taking place across the city, it’s the ideal destination for foodies and fashionistas.
This hip design hotel is tucked away on a quiet side street in the heart of the city. Its 18 super-sleek rooms have dramatic interiors (concrete walls, designer furniture, wooden floors), plus clever lighting that changes the ambiance from minimalist to cosy. La Scala, the Duomo and fantastic boutiques are close at hand, and there’s a sophisticated bar for evening cocktails once you’ve finished shopping and sightseeing.
From £131 per room per night, based on 2 sharing a Standard Room on a B&B basis.