- The Best of Italy -
It is a magical time of year in Italy. The sun warmer, the days longer, and the flowers blooming. There is a lot to cover though, and the differing regions boast an exciting array of climate, atmosphere, and culture. So, book your flights and pack your bags, because here are 5 incredible, and very different, Italian destinations for your Spring 2017 getaway:
Hotel Raya, Panarea, Italy
It's likely that you've never heard of this exclusive little island off the coast of Italy, just north of Sicily. It's tiny but incredibly chic; a little over one-square mile, making it about the size of Central Park. If you have heard about Panarea, chances are you know it as a summer destination. During the warmest months, the harbour is lined with yachts, and day-tripping tourists. In our opinion, it's before this summer frenzy that Panarea is at its height: when the whitewashed streets are quiet and you can sit on a balcony of Hotel Raya, sipping Aperol Spritz as you watch the sunset over the volcano Stromboli and the crystal blue Mediterranean.
Borgo Santo Pietro, Siena, Tuscany, Italy
A medieval city in the centre of Italy's Tuscany region, Siena is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. just 35 minutes to the Tuscan countryside, it's an ideal location for a weekend trip full of rest and relaxation. A stay at the Borgo Santo Pietro, which is a quintessential picturesque Italian villa, will leave you feeling like royalty. For a true Tuscan lunch, don't miss L'Osteria Le Logge.
Gutkowski, Ortygia, Sicily, Italy
Head way down to Italy's most Southern corner to this authentic Sicilian city, located on the Ionian coast. Syracuse is most famously known for its ancient ruins, which shouldn't be missed. We suggest planning to stay at Gutkowski, a warm and friendly waterfront boutique hotel in Ortygia. If you want to have the best antipasti of your life, don't miss Fratelli Burgio, a wine bar in the market that specialises in delicacies of the region. Yum!
Corte San Pietro, Sassi di Matera, Matera, Italy
The city of Matera is situated in a carved out canyon, and its ancient town of Sassi di Matera is a stunner featured in many movies. Placed in the centre of Sassi there is a wonderful small hotel, Corte San Pietro, located in a historical building carved into the rock where the rooms face into a lovely courtyard. And just as if it were meant to be, less than a five-minute walk from the hotel you will find the elegant, and delicious, Ristorante Francesca.
Don Ferrante Hotel, Monopoli, Italy
While this Monopoli doesn't have a Park Lane or Mayfair, the town on the Ardiatic sea boasts views and streets that are much more charming than the properties in the popular children's game of the same name (albeit with a different spelling). A day spent swimming beneath the ruins of the abbey of Santo Stefano at the stunning Porto Ghiacciolio, a beach club on the bay is well worth it, and for a special hotel, we recommend the charming Don Ferrante Hotel for its roof terrace alone.