Whether you’re a five-star foodie, spa-lover or prefer to sightsee in style, we’ve chosen our favourite luxury experiences to have in Italy. We can help arrange private tours, book gourmet restaurants and recommend the finest hotels in the country – simply read on for a little luxury inspiration…
A night at the opera
The Verona Opera Festival is a star event on Italy’s calendar. Taking place every summer in the city’s beautiful Roman arena, the open-air festival hosts some of the world’s most acclaimed operas, from La Traviata to Madame Butterfly. To make your experience extra-special, reserve gold tickets. Starting from 112 euros, the gold section is located closest to the stage for the best views in the house, and features upholstered backrests and padded seats for viewing in comfort. It’s also black tie, meaning you get to dress up for the full opera experience.
Explore Italy’s finest cities in style with our collection of private tours. Forget coach transfers, queuing and fighting through crowds; with these tours, you’ll be picked up in a private Mercedes before being personally shown around the must-see sights with your own personal guide. We offer private city tours in Venice, Rome (including after-hours in the Vatican) and the Amalfi Coast (including a private tour of Pompeii). Take a look at our full collection here for more inspiration.
Wining and dining
There’s no two ways about it – Italy’s cuisine is one of its biggest draws. From the spicy peppers of Calabria to the creamy risottos of Piedmont (and a whole lot of pasta and pizza in between), the culinary experiences are non-stop. If it’s luxury you have in mind, there are Michelin stars sprinkled like parmesan across Italian cities. Try refined rooftop dining in Rome’s legendary La Pergola, or experience Florence’s Enoteca Pinchiorri, housed in an 18th-century palace. Find out more in our guide to Michelin star dining in Italy.
After your private tour, opera experience or Michelin-starred meal, you’ll need somewhere luxurious to lay your head. Italy has a unique crop of luxury hotels, from discreet lakeside boltholes to chic seafront stays on the Neapolitan Riviera. We love Sorrento’s Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria for deluxe suites and a spectacular sea-view terrace, while JW Marriott Venice sits on its own private island, offering James Bond-style speedboat transfers into the heart of the city when you want it.
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is one of the most luxurious train journeys on the planet. Traditionally taking you from London to Venice (although a return journey and stops in Verona and Paris are also an option), it’s an immersive experience in 1920s glamour, with individually styled carriages, a champagne bar and fabulous four-course meals. Plenty of passengers pack their flapper dresses and tuxedos, too, so go all out – as our Italy Expert, Daniela, found out.
“A journey on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is a wonderful way to finish a city break in Venice. I loved the experience as a return journey from Venice back to London, as you still have something look forward to once your city break is over!” Miranda Jump, Italy Expert
Italy is home to an impressive portfolio of spa hotels, so there’s plenty of choice if you’re planning a spa break (or you just want to soothe sightseeing-weary legs). In the beautiful Rome Cavalieri hotel, the Grand Spa is home to 10 individually styled treatment rooms, offering delicious-sounding treatments using ingredients like caviar, chocolate and honey – the perfect wind-down after exploring the capital. For a full-on spa break, the Grand Hotel Tremezzo in Lake Como is home to a state-of-the-art spa with spectacular views across the lake – including from its gorgeous infinity pool.