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Sleeping Around

Milan | Albergo Diurno Venezia

Any contemporary metropolitan knows the ins and outs of a spa or three like the back of her hand, but how many of us have been inside an authentic 20th-century Italian bath house? A series of them were built in the 1920s, often close to railway stations to service the needs of long-distance travellers. The amazing Albergo Diurno Venezia in, or ...

Rome | CasaCau

Five fervently fashionable apartments in a home-from-home establishment so central it's within splashing distance of the Trevi Fountain: CasaCau is quite a find. Within the confines - and retaining the charm - of a 17th-century building in placid Via in Arcione, it's the warmth of the truly trendy interiors that throws the biggest punch. The refurbishment made the best of what ...

Milan | un posto a Milano

Here's a place in Milan that's anything but milanese, if we take that, as we generally do, to mean the essence of high-end fashion, design and all that's swanky and sophisticated. un posto a Milano, housed inside a 17th-century farmstead, is a different sort of place, with the kind of style that comes without pretension. Not long ago the buildings at Cascina ...

Camogli | Villa Rosmarino

A lovely old villa by the sea, of Genoese inspiration but tucked away on a quieter stretch of the coast, harbours a sophisticated boutique retreat. We're just above the Ligurian coastal town of Camogli here, a venerable fishing port of tall buildings typically painted in a pastel pastiche, east of Genoa on the edge of the Portofino promontory. No shortage ...

Longiano | Alloggio al San Girolamo

Here's another bucolic B&B with sultry summer days in mind: think halcyon setting, a chorus of cicada song from the trees, the scents of pine and new-mown grass, the flickering of fireflies at twilight. Seriously. We're just outside Longiano. One of those almost-immaculate hilltop villages in the Rimini hinterland established to serve the local lord in his imposing castle (the ...

Rome | Hotel Indigo

There is nothing understated about Hotel Indigo. As a 5 Star Luxury Boutique Design Hotel, it fits the bill hyperbolically. The historic building is elegant, immaculately restored and boasts a superb location in the Eternal City centre's Via Giulia, where plots were to die for in the sixteenth century and today the elite shop for art and antiques. The theme ...

Volterra | Podere Scopicciolo

And now for something quintessentially Tuscan. A beautiful stone farmhouse set at the end of a cypress-lined drive in the rolling hills between Pisa and Siena, impeccably appointed down to the tiniest detail in that elegant, classic-arcadian style and equipped with all the requisites of easy living. The only problem may be finding a vacancy. Podere Scopicciolo is a villa, an apartment in an annexe, ...

Florence | Soprarno Suites

Forget about A Room with a View. Try waking instead to the sight of a gloriously frescoed ceiling in one of the gorgeously appointed chambers of a 16th-century Florentine palazzo. One of the Soprarno Suites, in other words. Soprarno Suites is a new guesthouse with 10 rooms and a great deal of attitude, occupying the first and second floors of one of ...

Praiano | Casa Angelina

For unadulterated luxury on the Amalfi Coast, it's hard to beat Casa Angelina. It's a world apart: superbly appointed, unbelievably immaculate, utterly contemporary. And the views are simply and literally breathtaking. With 39 rooms or suites it's hardly a boutique hotel, but Casa Angelina is small and discreet enough to feel intimate. It wears all five stars with nonchalance, so that ...

Palma di Montechiaro| Mandranova

Luxury-grade Sicilian hospitality of the genuine, farmhouse variety is what they do at Mandranova, a country district just outside Palma di Montechiaro. And if these sound like fictional names from a romantic novel, rest assured that the farm, the location, the cordial welcome and the food are as real as they are seductive. We're not far from Agrigento here, with its ...

Milan | Palazzo Segreti

It may sound paradoxical, but a period palazzo bang in the bustling heart of Milan harbours what must be its coolest contemporary sanctuary. Palazzo Segreti is within shouting distance of Piazza della Scala. A handsome nineteenth-century building in Via San Tomaso, one imagines its original discreet interiors, elegant rooms and sober décor. And that’s what you get when you stay ...

Rome | Palazzo Montemartini

Palazzo Montemartini is Rome’s latest, no-holds-barred luxury hotel, practically across the road from the main railway station and, more to the point, metres away from the original Baths of Diocletian and practically on top of the 4th-century Servian Wall. Inspired by the majestic ancient spa next door, and meticulously renovated by the King Roselli duo, Palazzo Montemartini sports a spectacular zen cascade ...
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