5 most exclusive destinations in Italy: The most exclusive (and expensive) destinations in Italy: Venice, Portofino, Praiano, Costa Smeralda, Capri.
If you plan to travel all over Italy, we recommend you alternate travel highlights such as the cities of Rome, Venice, Florence, Ravenna, Pisa, etc, with lesser known destinations in Italy. That is both more relaxing, as well as intellectually and culturally more gratifying than accomplishing a sightseeing-marathon through several sites, without even having the time to appreciate the local atmosphere, colors and tastes.
For those of you who have already been to Italy before and are now looking for something different, we have selected these guides that reveal hidden gems and secret places, small little towns, etruscan heritage, as well as travel guides for garden lovers and wine tasters.
Rome is particularly beautiful at Christmas time, the combination of colored lightning and secular buildings and ruins, has something magic. Some consider the best time to go between April and June as the flood of school holidays hasn't yet hit the roads, the countryside is at its fullest bloom and the weather isn't uncomfortably hot yet.
Others prefer the late season, especially if they are looking for a more relaxed beach vacation, which may be planned as late as October, for example in Sicily and Sardinia. See: Sicily off the beaten path.
You may also want to organize your stay in function of one of the many annual festivals, whether wine-tasting, gastronomic celebrations or musical events. (read more about festivals).
Italy offers a very wide range of accommodation, from luxury hotels, with fabulous spa and golf facilities to B&B and self-catering types of accommodation, to be combined or not with an activity holiday.
Top luxury hotels in Italy: Six places that must be visited - if you can afford it. Old fashioned luxury in the style of yesteryear: exquisite places, uncompromising luxury. Italy is synonymous with style and any stay in Italy should be likewise.
The term B&Bs in Italian is stricter than in English. Strictly speaking a B&B is a private home where rooms are offered for rent to guests. There is usually no possibility to dine on the premises. Here is a list of the best Bed and Breakfasts in Italy.
In the larger sense of the word, B&Bs include all types of family-owned and owner-managed structures with less than 10 rooms, including castle hotels and agriturismi. See our list of country B&Bs and relais in Umbria
Agritourism in Umbria, Italy
Photo: Daniele Morra
An alternative to the traditional hotels and hostels are the agriturismi (agritourism, comparable to the gîtes in France), a style of self-catering accommodation in which hospitality is offered on farms, wine producing properties and mountain chalets, but also in villas and ancient castles.
Photos of the YourGuidetoItaly.com banner (from left to right): (on campus) Sean Locke, (red deckchair) Valentina Jori, (chianti botlle) Donald Gruener, (Vitruvian man) Jodie Coston, (coliseum), Roberto A Sanchez, (Fiat 500) Luca di Filippo.
An other interesting alternative to get a "feel" for the places you visit and connect with a local family can be found in this article: Free accommodation in Italy. The article lists a bunch of travel alternatives which are not only budget-conscious, but also an environmentally friendly and sustainable modes of travel.
Italy: The Best Travel Writing
from the New York Times
by Umberto Eco (Foreword), Olivier Bernier (Author), Frank Bruni (Author), Shirley Hazzard (Author), Alison Lurie (Author), etc. More information: