If you are after that simple bolthole, that boutique location, that unique gem, that off the beaten track which will surprise and will offer you something special and authentically charming, then here are just a few examples to get you going....
The palazzo was built in 1892 in Bernalda by the Margherita family and is a true 19th-century palazzo. Completely restored by Francis Ford Coppola and acclaimed French designer Jacques Grange, creating a luxurious, authentically Italian experience that ushers guests into a private world of palatial comfort, surrounded by gardens, a courtyard, and a swimming pool, all just steps from a small, bustling town in which the visitor is a friend and neighbour rather than a tourist. Mr Coppola wanted the Palazzo to become a place that his children would want to visit again and again, and therefore invited the whole family to contribute ideas to the design. It is this very sense of family that distinguishes the palazzo as one of the most charming small luxury hotels in Italy. The interior décor is styled with tiled floors as well as hand-painted frescoed ceilings. Grange designed some of the exotic tiles and furniture, including one of the most beautiful suites, which is in a North African style to honour Mr Coppola's Tunisian-born grandmother. All of the floors in the Palazzo have been restored from the original marble.
There are 9 suites all very different one from the other and all of them embodying the elegance of an Italian country house, while dining here is very laid back. In the Palazzo's large, welcoming kitchen, guests can experience first-hand the traditional cooking of Basilicata. For keen cooks, the local chefs give daily, hands-on classes demonstrating how to prepare typical regional dishes. There is the Cinecitta Bar, a traditional café and pizzeria that spills out onto the village’s main street and looks onto the town square. It is a perfect spot for people-watching, mingling with local life, and sipping the delicious Italian coffee, which is all supplied by Illy. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Add to this the family and the pool bar and the garden grigliata, you get in tune with Italian hospitality. This is where all guests share a “spaghettata” and a mix of grilled seasonal vegetables and meat.
It is all here from the swimming pool to the large private garden. Within 15 minutes from here, many miles of sandy beaches extend along the cobalt-blue shores of the Ionian Sea, where there is a special private area of a beach club close to the old pine forest. You can be transported to this secluded beach for the day (departure at 10:30 am in the morning and return at 4:00 pm to the Palazzo) where you can choose to book either an umbrella or a gazebo. In addition, we suggest either a picnic lunch (prepared by the chefs) or a characteristic lunch with fresh fish of the day, caught by local fishermen. Upon your arrival, you will find a welcome drink and fresh fruit to begin a relaxing day at the beach. Reference: 4374.
Ancient water mill dating back to 1644 that has been transformed into a cosy country residence with an annex. Peaceful position. The house is surrounded by a lawn that winds around volcanic masses where between a few of these you will find the irregular shaded swimming pool. Within a range of 100m, you will find 2 accommodations. The accommodation is spread out on different levels and partly in the water mill and in the outbuilding. The outbuilding is positioned opposite the water mill, on the other side of the stream. On the ground floor there is a small terrace (can also be accessed from outside with a wooden stairway). It is possible to request when booking 2 additional beds for adults (to be paid for locally). Access to the property is along 1 km of dirt track road in good condition. Location: 2 km from the characteristic medieval hamlet of Vitorchiano. Spa centres 'Terme dei Papi' with natural sulphurous hot water swimming pool only 9 km away. Horse stables for horse riding 1 km away. Possibility to order a fixed menu (to be paid locally). External kitchen. The property can accommodate up to 12 persons with 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. Reference NSIRU520.
A lovely B&B located in a romantic position on the island of Ischia, Great attention to detail and good taste are the key features of this simple relais with the decoration of the rooms, the common areas and the outdoor spaces dominated by a cooling blue and white Vivara and Procida between Fiaiano and Ischia Porto and surrounded by green countryside and with great views to the sea, the castle and the Italian mainland as well as the islands of colour scheme inspiring a sense of peace and relaxation.
Rooms are spacious and decorated in light colours and provided with TV, air-conditioning, courtesy kit and hairdryer. A suite with a Jacuzzi is also available for those who wish to add a touch of something special. At the centre of the bed and breakfast is an outdoor pool on a terrace with great views to the Aragonese castle where guests are welcomed to take a dip or to simply relax and soak up the rays in this sun trap. Ischia Porto is a 5-minute drive away making this convenient for travel to and from the island. Reference 4445c.
What we would suggest while staying here….
Why not hire a jeep during your stay here
Take part in a local cooking class with real locals
Visit La Mortella Gardens
Take a Vespa tour or a bike tour
Fancy some volcanic cooking?
Paint with a local artist
What about a bit of yoga and meditation…..