Six iconic hotels in Italy, from Tuscany and Lake Como to Rome and Milan

Italy is home to numerous renowned hotels, both in the city and the countryside. Here's our pick of the big-hitters worth the splurge.

1. Villa d'Este, Lake Como

Nothing compares to this enormous mansion, which was constructed for a Catholic cardinal, lived in by a Queen of England, and is currently commemorating its 151st birthday as a hotel. It is the lake's deserving grande dame, boasting sprawling Renaissance gardens and a wealth of artwork. Open the windows in your spacious bedroom and unwind while listening to the waves lapping at the shore. B&B starting at £1,150. The villa is now a high-end congress facility with accommodation prices that average £1000 ($1200) per night and top suites that average £3500 ($4200) per night. Forbes ranked it as the greatest hotel in the world in June 2009, while Travel + Leisure magazine ranked it as the second-best resort in Europe in 2014. The hotel hosts the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, which debuted in 1928, every May, a Concours d'Elegance for classic and concept cars. It has been the site of the yearly Ambrosetti Forum since 1975, an international workshop that attracts notable personalities from the worlds of business, banking, and politics.

2. Hotel Hassler, Rome

The Hassler, strutting on the Spanish Steps, is a representation of the Eternal City. From here, you can explore Roman ruins, marvel at St. Peter's dome, visit the renowned Trinità dei Monti church inside, and savour the Dolce Vita on the hotel's breathtaking rooftop terrace. One of the only remaining family-run five-star hotels in Rome, this establishment excels in every way. Room only, starting at £750. Numerous famous people and dignitaries, including Audrey Hepburn and President Eisenhower, have stayed at The Hassler since it opened in 1893. Roberto E. Wirth, who is in charge of the hotel and is the fifth generation of a renowned Swiss family of hoteliers, is responsible for its management. The renowned hotel continues to host the most discerning visitors to the adored Italian city today, building on its rich history. Even if there are fewer lodgings available now, those that do are larger, still decorated in a restful, elegant palette of beige, gold, and silver, and furnished with orderly, incredibly big closets and marble-topped bathrooms. With its stylish combination of modern furnishings and upholstery, even the Presidential Suite San Pietro wears a renovated appearance. New flourishes, such as a fanlight that floods the area with warm, natural light, front doors, Botticino marble flooring, and reception desks, help the main lobby and entrance maintain its striking first impression. The Salone Eva and Sala Vietri's common rooms, which now have new lighting, mirrors, and textiles, also have a lighter appearance.

3. Sextantio Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Abruzzo

Sextantio Santo Stefano di Sessanio is a well-known hotel situated in the Gran Sasso National Park's mediaeval village of the same name among the Abruzzo hills. There are 27 rooms in the historic town where you may stay and learn more about the local customs in a distinctive setting. Sextantio Albergo Diffuso is a component of a revitalisation and reawakening tourism nation project that has resulted in the restoration of the village's ancient architectural heritage. All original structures have been preserved, and for the works, only architectural materials for recovery and re-proposing the furnishings typical of the region have been used.

The village's streets, which must only be crossed by foot, take on a variety of shapes, from the winding pavement leading to the Tower from the fourteenth century to the steep stairway leading to the church of Santa Maria in Ruvo (XIII century). The Medici era is when the exquisitely detailed windows, arched entrances, and loggias were created.

4. Forestis, Dolomites

Three contemporary tower blocks with glass fronts, wood siding, and balconies that face the void are perched atop a slope in the Dolomites and squarely facing those toothy peaks across the valley. At Forestis, supper takes place in a restaurant that resembles an amphitheatre, the yoga is Celtic-inspired, and spa treatments are focused on trees. Rooms with half board start at £549. Forestis is a refuge perched above a South Tyrolean mountain range. It is cool, serene, and connected to its breathtaking surroundings. From this expertly placed spa hotel, which is designed to be in harmony with the environment, forests and snow-capped peaks stretch out in every direction. The spectacular vistas are highlighted by the light that enters through the window-for-walls, illuminating the calm, simple interiors. The FORESTIS interiors, with its stone basins and white-as-snow tones, crisp fabrics, and clean lines, recall the mountains, from the Suites and ultra-luxe Penthouse to the restaurant and spa. Drink some spring water from the Plose Mountains from the stone carafe in your bedroom. Experience a spa therapy in the forest. Then have dinner high up so you can watch the sun drop over the top while you're eating.

5. Galleria Vik, Milan

Galleria Vik embraces Milan's artistic soul by avoiding the "paint by numbers" method of hotel design and introducing distinctive decor and eye-catching artwork to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The stone-walled arcade, which was built in 1877 and is one of Milan's most recognised buildings, is the oldest in Italy and is renowned for its opulent proportions, mosaic flooring, and soaring glass roof. Each of the 89 rooms, which are dispersed throughout the gallery's upper levels, has a distinct personality as a consequence of collaborations with artists from Europe, South America, and other regions. From the bronze Rodin sculpture in the entrance to the painted canvases in the restaurant Vikissimo, which serves wonderful Milanese delicacies, each piece is as unique as the artists themselves. The first indication that this is a fairly unique hotel is the Rodin sculpture in the lobby. The second is the direct view into the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan's famous 19th-century shopping arcade next to the Duomo, from (most of) the rooms. If you choose one with a balcony, you will be hung over the tourists taking pictures and the Milanese strolling daily. In a historical setting, a contemporary classic. B&B starting at £440.

6. Oasyhotel, Tuscany

Imagine yourself on vacation in Tuscany, sipping drink while touring a vineyard, dining beneath the Duomo, or reacquainting yourself with Renaissance masters. Although you probably aren't climbing trees, feeding Limousin cattle, or dozing off to wolf howls, Oasyhotel offers a completely new way to take in the rural area. This is a stay where luxury rests in the abundance of nature that is yours to roam because it is located on the protected Dynamo Oasis Nature Reserve. Additionally, it fosters a true connection to the land and has strong environmental and humanitarian values through the dining options that are derived from ancient agricultural tradition. This hotel, located in a wildlife reserve north of Pistoia, allows you to fully appreciate Italy's environment. Its timber-framed chalets are situated on grounds where you may view wildlife, ride an e-bike through the woods, or go for a swim in the lake. Due to its on-site farm, it is largely self-sufficient, and its restaurant menus feature everything from apples to pork produced on the farm. If you get bored with the outdoors, visit the hotel's spa, movie theatre, and art museum. From $422, B&B.