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Italy is an enchanting metamorphic country, with the character of its cities’ significantly changing from North to South and East to West, alluring travellers to explore its vast terrain again and again. Susie Marquis from The City Apartment Book highlights some of the best luxurious holiday apartments which are available to rent throughout the year and allow visitors to see the stunning cultural sites across this diverse nation.
Choosing a centrally located apartment as your city base has many advantages, not least being the independence it gives you to be able to become a temporary ‘local’. From the comfort and space of your private home, you can explore the neighbourhood, shop in the local food markets, and have easy access to cultural events, such as exhibitions, museums and festivals. You can decide to dine in if you feel like it one night, then splash out on a restaurant the next, and to sleep in, if you feel inclined, in the morning, and not be dependent on hotel breakfast times. The following is a personally chosen selection of recommended accommodation, guaranteed to offer an authentic Italian experience, from Venice down to Positano.
This contemporary and luxurious apartment is situated on the delightful island of Giudecca, where you will find two of Venice’s most famous churches, as well as plenty of enticing restaurants and cafés. Just a short walk away there is also an excellent supermarket and a superb fishmonger. Outside the apartment there are two terraces, a charming first floor terrace with views across the Giudecca Canal to the dome of the Santa Maria della Salute, and a ground floor terrace offering stunning views across to St Mark’s Basilica. It is a perfect location from which to explore Venice, from the comfort of a peaceful base, with the centre of Venice and the Piazza San Marco just 10 minutes away by vaporetto.
Verona is one of Italy’s most visited cities, for its beauty, its historic interest and, of course, its connotations with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. This apartment is located right in the city centre, in a historical palace in Via Cappello, in a pedestrian area, directly facing Juliet’s balcony. It is a perfect location for discovering the historic sights and the old shops, restaurants and cafés between the Piazza delle Erbe (originally the Roman Forum) and the magnificent Roman Arena. The apartment is one of two apartments in the same building and perfect for a romantic break for a couple, or family holiday.
This beautiful and traditional apartment is located in the heart of Lucca’s historic city centre and, as its name suggests, it is just steps away from the famous Giunigi tower, which dates back to medieval times. A climb right to the top, with its distinctive oak tree terrace, will give you wonderful views over the city. The central location means all the main shopping streets (via Fillungo, via Santa Croce, via Nuova) are just a few steps away, as are the numerous restaurants and cafés. The apartment was recently renovated throughout, preserving the elegance and charm of the original architecture.
Where better to stay in Florence than in an apartment with uninterrupted views over the Arno, and just one block away from the Ponte Vecchio? This stunning, spacious and modern ‘white’ apartment also has the advantage of a large terrace, boasting one of the finest views in Florence, over the river and up into the hills of northern Tuscany. Lit at night by torches and candles, it is furnished with an outdoor table, seating eight, and comfortable sofa and chairs, ideal for relaxing outdoors and soaking up the atmosphere.
The Piazza del Campo is the setting for Tuscany’s most celebrated festival, the Palio, which takes place on 2nd July and 16th August each year. The horse race itself takes a mere 90 seconds, but the advance build-up and pageantry is an experience in itself. Situated just around the corner from the Piazza del Campo, in the heart of the pedestrian zone, is I Rozzi, a charming, bright and elegant apartment on the second floor of a protected historic building dating from 1500. From the living room window there are views over the Piazza del Campo to the medieval bell tower of the Palazzo Pubblico opposite.
These two stunning garden apartments are situated in the very heart of Rome just steps from the Piazza del Quirinale and few minutes from the Fontana di Trevi. They are situated in a separate building within the grounds of a luxury hotel, and guests will enjoy full access to hotel facilities, including a complimentary buffet breakfast, free access to the on-site gym and wellbeing centre, and full room service. Both apartments have large living rooms, accessing their own delightful terraces, furnished for dining outdoors, or just relaxing after a day’s sightseeing.
Stunningly beautiful, it is not hard to see why Positano has made the transition from sleepy fishing village to become one of Italy’s most popular resort towns, and Palazzo Santa Croce is arguably the most beautiful property to stay here. It is a wonderful Baroque style Palazzo dating from the 1700s, beautifully preserved, with the lacquered doors, painted ceilings and original stucco works still intact. Situated high in Positano with fabulous views, this unique property also benefits from a large furnished terrace with dining area and long hydro-massage tub, and a luxurious spa with heated pool on the lower ground floor.
By Susie Marquis, The City Apartment Book Ltd.