“We waffled between the after-hours tour of the Vatican and a test drive with the Ferrari design team in Maranello…and opted for both.”
Italy is our most requested destination for bespoke luxury vacations in Europe, as seasoned travellers realize that La Dolce Vita is more than a great film (though you’ll find moments worthy of Fellini in every village square).
The Amalfi Coast, with picturesque towns like Positano and Ravello, has been a centre of luxury since the Emperors’ time. You can explore it sailing in a private yacht, speeding over sparkling bays in a Riva launch, riding a Vespa around the isle of Capri or hiking ancient hillside trails high above the Mediterranean.
In the Dolomites or Piedmont – birthplace of the Slow Food movement – you can blend active exploration with gastronomic adventures. One group of Brown + Hudson clients devoted their entire Italian sojourn to the celebration of slowness, travelling – slowly – from north to south. We’ll arrange for you to hunt truffles with a Piedmont master, then have a Michelin-starred chef demonstrate to use the delicacy in a multi-course feast.
These are also great regions for family vacations: la famiglia is central to Italian life, and yours will be welcomed everywhere. The young ones will be fussed over during villagers’ evening passeggiata while elder siblings coolly take in the scene from a café.
The landscapes of Tuscany and its southern neighbour Umbria have been the settings for countless films. It’s impossible not to feel that cinematic romance as you bike – or cruise in a vintage Ferrari – along cypress-lined roads overlooked by weathered villas. Journeying through the Tuscan hills from Siena and Florence, you can explore places like Cortona, Pienza, Montepulciano and Montalcino – while in Umbria you’ll discover peaceful villages with a more understated culture and a heartier culinary tradition.
We’ve saved the best for last: Puglia, at the heel of the Italian boot, is a Mediterranean crossroads with a mix of influences, including Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Gothic and Lombard. We’ve uncovered a network of quiet roads among whitewashed villages that make biking and walking a pleasure. Then there’s Puglian cuisine – especially antipasti, the sampling of which is a physical activity in its own right. And when you arrive at a beautifully restored palazzo, or a former convent that’s now a superb B&B, or a fortified masserie that’s been transformed into a luxury hotel, it all begins to make sense.
All over Italy, we’ll introduce you to fascinating people who can take you deeper into the country’s rich history and culture. A gallery tour with an eminent art historian? Dinner with a leading journalist or a former ambassador? Just let us know what la dolce vita means to you.
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To discuss what interests you about this or any other destination, call us: +44 203 358 0110