Skip the crowds and discover the hidden Italy of your dreams
1 Baglio Occhipinti, 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
2 Pianaura Suites, 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
3Riva Lofts, 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
4Smeralda Beach Houses, 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
5 Fattoria Barbialla Nuova, 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
6 Hotel Santa Maria, 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
7Tenuta Borgia, Pantelleria island
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
8Villa Rosmarino, 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
9Palazzo Guglielmo, 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
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