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Italy / Palazzo Avino

This beautiful Moorish fantasy, pegged high on the cliffs in the medieval hilltop village of Ravello, is the height of sophistication in more ways than one.

There’s an air of aristocratic refinement and feeling of timeless elegance at this 12th century villa and former nobleman’s residence. The blush pink palace, within glorious tiered gardens, houses both Baroque-style rooms and suites adorned in hand-made Vietri tiles and antique carpets, to a more contemporary capsule collection designed by Cristina Celestino.

Food is the jewel in the crown. With Michelin-starred Italian cuisine at Rossellini’s and the 65 different martinis made by the in-house mixologist at Lobster & Martini Bar, it’s the kind of place that inspires decadence and hedonism. Not least at its exclusive Clubhouse by the Sea, where you’ll find tiered beach platforms, a pool and laid-back restaurant perched a few steps from the water’s edge. Nobody should really miss trying their own hand in the kitchen – there’s pizza making under lemon groves, mozzarella making with a local fromager, clifftop cooking with Mamma Agata and ice cream masterclasses to choose from. The super-efficient concierge will also arrange everything from trips to Pompeii and Naples to horse riding, hiking and diving. Time a visit with the Ravello Dawn Festival in the summer, and you’re in for a spine-tingling experience watching an orchestra perform during a concert at sunrise.

Travel notes:

  • 33 rooms; 10 suites
  • Chef’s table with menu based on the ancient Neapolitan game, La Tombola
  • Sommelier’s table for couples in the candlelit wine cellar
  • Piano bar with rare liqueur, rum and brandy
  • Garden gym under white gazebos with sea views
  • A rooftop sun deck with Jacuzzis, plus Amalfi Coast and mountain views

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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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