The 10 Best Places to Travel in 2019 / Jake Hamilton / The i-escape blog

By Jake Hamilton, Editor

Skip the crowds and discover the hidden Italy of your dreams 

 


Baglio Occhipinti, Sicily

hidden Italy secret travel guide 10 places to escape the crowds in 2020 Sicily

One of our best-rated Italian hideaways. The tranquil Baglio Occhipinti in rural Sicily has eight spacious rooms to die for. Imagine snow-white fabrics and yellow chamomile carpets. At the bottom of the walled garden is a stylish pool dotted with deckchairs. Perfect for afternoon vino.

What you get:
●  Incredible food
●  Spacious rooms
  Affordable wines
●  Welcoming staff
●  Close to Sicily’s Baroque towns

Prices from £87 per night for a standard room

 

 

Pianaura Suites, Verona

hidden Italy secret travel guide 10 places to escape the crowds in 2020 Verona

Now this is under-radar Italy. The hilltop Pianaura Suites in Valpolicella has just two elegant suites covered by wonderful gardens. Inside, it’s all white and bright with beamed ceilings. Outside, lawns bursting with lavender and poppies. Plenty of wineries are on your doorstep. Bellissimo!

What you get:
●  Total serenity (just two suites)
●  Four-poster beds
  Close to Verona
●  A spa room for massages
●  Lots of complimentary treats

Prices from £101 per night for a suite

 

 

3 Riva Lofts, Florence

hidden Italy secret travel guide 10 places to escape the crowds in 2020 Florence

Avoid the crush of Florence by staying at Riva Lofts. This former Florentine watermill has been transformed into 10 showstopping suites. Grab a vintage bike and follow the cycle path into town. You can peddle around the Duomo in a white fedora and black shades. #Stylegoals.

What you get:
●  A genuine urban sanctuary
●  Ultra-stylish suites
  A sexy slimline pool
●  Young, dynamic staff
●  Free bikes for cycling into town

Prices from £91 per night for a standard studio

 

 

4 Smeralda Beach Houses, Sardinia

hidden Italy secret travel guide 10 places to escape the crowds in 2020 Sardinia

Sardinia’s dazzling Costa Smeralda is swarming in summer but this trio of whitewashed self-catering villas (for 2-6) guarantees peaceful seclusion. The clincher? You’re a stroll away from the powder-soft sands of Capriccioli, one of Sardinia’s most beautiful beaches.

What you get:
●  Quirky yet homely villas
●  Wonderful sea views
  Lovely gardens
●  Delightful owner Geraldina
●  A stunning beach on your doorstep

Prices from £125 per night for a two-bed villa

 

 

Fattoria Barbialla Nuova, Tuscany

hidden Italy secret travel guide 10 places to escape the crowds in 2020 Tuscany

Fattoria Barbailla Nuova is pure escapism. It’s a collection of Tuscan apartments and farmhouses (for 2-8) on a vast private estate. We love the ‘slow food’ philosophy (foraging, truffle hunts) and the huge woodlands teeming with wild deer.

What you get:
●  Fantastic value
●  500 hectares to explore
  Brilliantly family-friendly
●  Charming farmhouses
●  Forage for plums, cherries, figs…

Prices from £63 per night for a small one-bed house

 

 

Hotel Santa Maria, Rome

hidden Italy secret travel guide 10 places to escape the crowds in 2020 Rome

Dodge the scooter-whirring city centre by basing yourself in Rome’s loveliest neighbourhood: Trastevere. This vibrant district is home to Hotel Santa Maria, our favourite Roman getaway. It has a gorgeous courtyard and a rooftop terrace far, far from the crowds.

What you get:
●  Pure serenity in hectic Rome
●  Attractive prices
  Huge family suites
●  Excellent breakfasts
●  Walk to all the top sights

Prices from £67 per night for a double room

 

 

7 Tenuta Borgia, Pantelleria island

hidden Italy secret travel guide 10 places to escape the crowds in 2020 Pantelleria

Pantelleria is mostly unknown to tourists. Thank goodness. This remote Sicilian island is a secret pearl of the Mediterranean. It’s a place of wild splendour and hot romance. It’s also home to seven Arabaesque houses at Tenuta Borgia. Perfect for families or couples. And very gay-friendly.

What you get:
●  Fantastic value
●  Total privacy
  Fully-equipped kitchens
●  Mesmerising sunsets
●  You can see Tunisia from your terrace!

Prices from £78 per night for a one-bed house

 

 

8 Villa Rosmarino, Liguria

hidden Italy secret travel guide 10 places to escape the crowds in 2020 Liguria

The stylish six-room Villa Rosmarino is set above stunning Camogli village on the Italian Riviera. It’s busy in summer, but only with Italians (so it feels authentic). The villa has original mosaics and an enchanting garden bursting with lemon trees. How lovely is that?

What you get:
●  A one-of-a-kind for Camogli
●  Fascinating interiors
  Exceptional service
●  Superb restaurants nearby
●  Close to Genoa

Prices from £118 per night per room

 

 

9 Palazzo Guglielmo, Puglia

hidden Italy secret travel guide 10 places to escape the crowds in 2020 Puglia

The magical Palazzo Guglielmo in Puglia’s countryside is like stumbling on a secret treasure. We love the chic, low-key rooms and the elegant swimming pool. For bonus points, they have a spa in the cellar and a hot tub on the roof terrace. Why, hello there.

What you get:
●  Spacious rooms (all with bathtubs)
●  Fantastic cuisine
  A dreamy ‘secret garden’ vibe
●  3km to the coast
●  Loved by i-escape guests

Prices from £101 per night for a double room

 

 

10 Borgo Farneto, Le Marche

hidden Italy secret travel guide 10 places to escape the crowds in 2020 Le Marche

We’re yet to visit the lovely Borgio Farneto but our guests give the service a perfect 10. It’s located in Le Marche – one of Italy’s lesser-known treasures – and has just four boho apartments with a shared pool. Wonderful owners Sabine and Konrad welcome all ages.

What you get:
●  A true hidden gem
●  Just four apartments
  Fabulous owners
●  Sandy beaches within reach
●  A generous welcome pack of goodies

Prices from £109 per night for a one-bed apartment

 

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