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Tuscany / Hotel Byron

Distant mountains set the backdrop to this aristocratic boutique retreat a few metres from the sea. Expect Michelin-starred dining and easy access to glamorous Forte dei Marmi’s star-studded coastline.

Housed in a striking former family villa – with a rich history dating back to the Duke of Zoagli – Hotel Byron has been fully renovated yet retains much of its regal charm. And although it opened at the beginning of the 20th century, it still feels like a wonderfully well-guarded secret. The lucky few who’ve found it come here for golden age high society glamour with a fresh twist. You’ll find walls of rambling roses and an outdoor pool, Tuscan cuisine interlaced with flavour from Chef Trapani’s Campania homeland, and two exclusive beach clubs on the doorstep. Charming staff, including a very well-connected CEO, arrange private boat trips to the glittering Cinque Terre, visits to artists’ studios or to the area’s famed quarries where sculptor Michelangelo sourced his marble.

Rooms are modern with crisp Italian touches: local Carrara marble in bathrooms and artisanal comforts from Florentine perfumer Dr. Vranjes. Crowning the villa, the Penthouse Suite’s outdoor terrace and rotating bed means morning views across misty mountains and evening vistas as the sun dips into the sea.

Travel notes:

  • 29 rooms and suites
  • Champagne on the outdoor terrace instead of a formal check-in
  • Modern art exhibitions by rising stars in the hotel’s dedicated Project Room
  • A surprisingly good option for families; the multi-bedroom suite, private cabanas and water sports at the exclusive beach clubs are ideal
  • Hidden inside city walls, a day trip to picturesque Lucca is not to be missed
  • Forte dei Marmi’s 18-hole golf course is close by and the hotel offers complimentary bikes to go out and explore on

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When to visit Italy

Italy is a year round destination especially for city breaks, with a largely temperate climate with regional variations. Summers are hot especially from Rome southwards, whilst spring and autumn are mild. Winter in the south is warmer and drier than in the northern and central areas which can be much colder with snow fall in the mountainous regions.

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