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4

G

rand

Tour of

Italy

Cultured cities and classic

coastlines with

Belmond

wing to its fabulous climate, enviable

gastronomy, fantastic wines, beautiful

scenery, magnificent architecture and rich

heritage, Italy has long been a favoured haunt for

British travellers even stretching back several centuries

when the privileged few embarked on expansive

“Grand” tours lasting many months.

These days the luxury grand tourer is more likely to be

somewhat “time” poor, so would want to squeeze a lot

into a small period of time. For those in search of the

superlative Italian experience there can be no doubt

that a week or two spent in the company of Belmond

staying at their impressive collection of iconic hotels

across the Italian mainland and Sicily offers a worthy

21st century reworking of the classic Grand Tour.

The cities of Venice and Florence are the two Renaissance

jewels of Italy. The buzz of the waterways and the

spectacle of the classic architecture is a glorious, theatrical

experience that touches all the senses. And if Venice is a

theatre,

Belmond Hotel Cipriani

is the Royal Box. Four

minutes by private launch from San Marco, on the tip of

Giudecca Island, this landmark hotel commands

unrivalled views of the lagoon and Doge’s Palace.

Florence delivers an equally rich, cultural experience of

world-famous galleries and Renaissance architectural

masterpieces like the Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo. It

is also the gateway to the gastronomically rich hills of

Tuscany.

Belmond Villa San Michele

is nestled on a

hilltop amid lush trees and terraced gardens, enjoying

unparalleled vistas of Florence, stretched out before it in

all its classic splendour. Dating from the 15th century,

the

Villa’s

facade

is

attributed to

Michelangelo.

Step inside and

you experience the

ethereal beauty and

solitude of a Renaissance

monastery that is as much a part of

Italy's culture as the country’s greatest

cathedrals and galleries.

Italy’s coastlines are a natural spectacle and no tour of

Italy would be complete without time spent exploring

the beautiful bays and hillside villages of Liguria and

the Cinque Terre. Set overlooking the picture-perfect

harbour of Portofino, with its luxury yachts bobbing at

anchor,

Belmond Hotel Splendido

and

Belmond

Splendido Mare

are two of Italy’s most glamorous

retreats and the ideal stopover between Venice and

Florence. Or perhaps the lure of the South beckons.

Admire the beauty of the Amalfi Coast and the

shimmering Mediterranean far below from an infinity

pool that seems to touch the clouds at

Belmond Hotel Caruso

, a former 11th

century palace above Ravello.

End your grand tour in Taormina in

Sicily, where, in the shadow of mighty

Mount Etna, you might choose to split

your time between a stay at

Belmond

Grand Hotel Timeo

on the high slopes of Taormina

Town itself before relocating to edge of the azure waters

below at

Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea

.

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