The Best Hotels to Stay at in Italy

Find a relaxed, bohemian vibe at Boutique hotel capo blu
Find a relaxed, bohemian vibe at Boutique hotel capo blu | Courtesy of Boutique hotel capo blu /
Photo of Alicia Miller
12 January 2021

You’re off to Italy – but where to stay? This country is known for brilliant hotels, be it Romeo and Juliet-worthy romantic hideaways, luxurious seaside resorts or cosy mum-and-dad bed and breakfasts. In many cases, creaky buildings meet slick contemporary stylings, so you’ll get a dreamy combo of both throw-back atmosphere and modern amenities. With so much choice, choosing the pad that takes your holiday from good to great can be tricky, but that’s exactly where we come in.

Rinascimento Bed & Breakfast, Pisa

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
Map View
Rinascimento Bed & Breakfast
Rinascimento Bed & Breakfast | Courtesy of Rinascimento Bed & Breakfast / Expedia
If you’re craving a decadent, Renaissance feel, this B&B delivers, from the elaborate frescoed ceilings to the terracotta tiles and occasional romantic four-poster. Look out the window and Pisa unfurls below, the nearby Palazzo del Podestà – a vision in red brick – seemingly plucked straight from a postcard. But the best thing? The lovely hosts, Andy and Andrew, who make sure the hotel is immaculate, you’re armed with dinner recommendations and that breakfast cappuccinos are as ethereal as clouds.

Five Roses Bed & Breakfast, Pisa

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
Map View
Five Roses Bed & Breakfast
Five Roses Bed & Breakfast | Courtesy of Five Roses Bed & Breakfast / Expedia
A B&B stay in Italy is all about personality and host Flavia, at her homely Pisa pad, has lots of it. With just three rooms for hire – a double, a twin and a family room – there’s an intimacy that makes you feel like you’re staying with a long-lost Tuscan aunt (who also makes organic breakfasts and wine-laced dinners, on request). The location is great for busy travellers – moments from Pisa’s train station – so you can day-trip to Florence or Lucca.

Quattro Incanti, Palermo/Sicily

Bed and Breakfast, Guesthouse
Map View
Quattro Incanti, Palermo
Quattro Incanti | Courtesy of Quattro Incanti / Expedia
It’s hard to decide what’s better about Quattro Incanti: the super-central location (it’s named after the point where Palermo’s old quarters meet) or the rooftop terrace, perfect for an aperitivo warmed by Sicilian sun. Set in an old villa, it has plenty of original features – soaring ceilings, wrought-iron balconies – but the décor leans towards the modern (and comfortable). Make the most of host Alessandro’s tips, and definitely don’t skip breakfast: the homemade cakes are a highlight.

Delle Vittorie Luxury Suites & Rooms, Palermo/Sicily

Bed and Breakfast, Luxury
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Delle Vittorie Luxury Suites & Rooms, Palermo
Delle Vittorie Luxury Suites & Rooms | Courtesy of Delle Vittorie Luxury Suites & Rooms / Expedia
When it comes to the comforts of home, this Palermo B&B nails the brief. Sink-in sofas, neutral hues and beds festooned with piles of fluffy pillows mean it’s tempting to curl up in-room and do nothing. But with this central city location – you’re just a 10-minute walk from the opulent cathedral, steps from Via Libertà shopping street – it would be criminal not to explore. Especially when you know that there are bottles of chilled bubbly to return to.

Casa Nostra, Palmero/Sicily

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Guesthouse
Map View
Casa Nostra, Palermo
Casa Nostra | Courtesy of Casa Nostra / Expedia
The romance is dialled up to 11 here: think soft lighting, illuminating beamed, white-washed ceilings; spacious walk-in showers; views over tiled rooftops. But loved-up couples will enjoy this Palermo hideaway for plenty more reasons, including the free gym and pool access, indulgent yacht excursions and foliage-fringed terrace. And don’t forget the al fresco dinners, where basil-fragranced ravioli and fat local prawns come with an atmosphere so intimate it’s nearly a cliché.

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  • Hotel & Spa Riviera Castelsardo, Sardinia

    Map View
    Hotel & SPA Riviera Castelsardo
    Hotel & SPA Riviera Castelsardo | Courtesy of Hotel & SPA Riviera Castelsardo / Expedia
    It’s not just the lengthy, sun-drenched pool – complete with hydrotherapy jets – or the rambling spa, with Finnish sauna, Turkish bath and Ayurveda-inspired treatments. The good-for-you feeling at this wellness resort comes from the spectacular location, too: overlooking sparkling Mediterranean waters on Sardinia’s meandering north coast. Have at least one indulgent meal in the sea-facing restaurant, where shell-shaped gnocchi sardi and succulent lobster are both house favourites.

    Babuino 79, Rome

    Map View
    Babuino 79, Rome
    Babuino 79 | Courtesy of White Barn Inn And Spa / Expedia
    Strolling past squares where fountains play, choosing blooms at Campo de’Fiori, downing scalding espressos – here’s your chance to experience life in Rome like a local. Set in the swish Campo Marzio district, home to the Spanish Steps, these one- and two-bedroom apartments come kitted out with all the essentials (and, in some cases, parquet floors or jacuzzis). In summer, be sure to book the Superior Studio, which is all the better for its outdoor sunbeds.

    Boutique Hotel Capo Blu, Sardinia

    Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
    Map View
    Boutique hotel capo blu
    Boutique hotel capo blu | Courtesy of Boutique hotel capo blu /
    There’s a relaxed, bohemian vibe to this southern Sardinia hotel, from the straw umbrellas and slouchy bean bags to the floaty bedroom fabrics. And it feels exactly the way you want a coastal hotel to feel, thanks to its views to glittering blue Mediterranean sea, loungers and a jewel-box pool (fed, waterfall-style, by a modern fountain). This is a great pick for couples who want style with their sunshine.
    These recommendations were updated on January 12, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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