Everyone knows Italy has mastered the art of “il dolce far niente” — and for travelers craving a taste of “the sweetness of doing nothing,” there’s no better place on earth than an Italian resort. Taking the time to enjoy small, idle moments feels much richer surrounded by Tuscan vineyards or the turquoise Tyrrhenian Sea. Add plenty of pasta and wine, panoramic sunsets, and welcoming locals, and you may be in danger of forgetting your commitments at home completely. Is there any feeling more luxurious?
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels (including safari lodges) were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city hotel, resort, or safari lodge based on their locations and amenities.
When it comes to the best resorts in Italy, according to T+L readers, coastal Campania is king: nearly half of the Top 10 properties sit between Sorrento and Amalfi, including two in Positano; the Hotel Caesar Augustus (No. 6) is on the isle of Capri, just a ferry ride across the Bay of Naples from the Amalfi Coast. Up north, three resorts on majestic Lake Como also made the list, including the iconic Grand Hotel Tremezzo (No. 4) with its floating swimming pool and lakefront spa. At the heel of the country’s boot, Puglia is represented by the stunning 40-acre Borgo Egnazia, in Savelletri di Fasano, which ranked No. 5. The sprawling estate is known for its private beaches and luxurious villas.
And the No. 1 hotel on this year’s list is Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, the lone Top 10 winner in Tuscany, a positively dreamy estate in Montalcino that captured readers’ hearts. Read on to discover why, and learn about the other top Italian resorts.
1. Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, Montalcino
Set on an 800-year-old estate within the UNESCO World Heritage site of Val d’Orcia, Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco is, as one T+L reader described, “true Tuscan immersion.” The 5,000-acre property — which was also named the No. 1 hotel in the world on this year’s list — unveiled 19 new private suites last summer (“new suites are beautiful!” the same reader continued), for a grand total of 42 suites. It also hosts 11 villas, ranging in size from three to six bedrooms; each one is a restored 17th- or 18th-century Tuscan farmhouse with a heated pool and garden. Guests can take Italian cooking classes, taste wines produced on site (including the local staple, Brunello di Montalcino), and go truffle-hunting with dogs in the surrounding countryside.
More Information: rosewoodhotels.com
2. Hotel Santa Caterina, Amalfi
Picture this: A sea-view room on the legendary Amalfi Coast with a luxurious canopied bed, Jacuzzi tub, and Italian ceramic floors. Relaxing spa treatments using fragrant Mediterranean citrus fruits. At sunset, a seaside table for two, where freshly grilled seafood is served among deep-pink bougainvillea blooms and dramatic cliffside vistas. “Great experience worth every euro spent,” one reader proclaimed after visiting, and it’s all too easy to imagine why. Want even more Hotel Santa Caterina–level hospitality? Newly acquired by the Gambardella family, the property’s owners, is the Villas della Marchesa complex, a luxurious plot of garden rooms and suites just a short walk from the hotel proper.
More information: hotelsantacaterina.it
3. Il San Pietro di Positano, Positano
“Best hotel,” more than one respondent wrote. Others described their stay as “excellent,” “spectacular,” and “above expectations” while complimenting the service and atmosphere. Built into a cliffside with sweeping views of the coast, it’s an almost shockingly beautiful property with its own private beach and 57 rooms and suites, many of them boasting panoramic private terraces. “The best hotel in the world,” a reader said. “Unbelievable views, outstanding service, gorgeous rooms. Michelin Star restaurant. Incredible private beach. Heaven on Earth.”
More information: ilsanpietro.com
4. Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como
Grand in every sense of the word, this Art Nouveau palace sits proudly on the western shore of Lake Como, with three pools (one out on the lake itself), beautiful gardens, and terraced rooms and suites. “Incredible attention to detail,” one guest wrote — a comment that adequately describes everything from the brightly colored furniture and antiques to the cozy reading room and open-air dining rooms. The rooftop penthouse suite comes with a Jacuzzi, but all guests can enjoy soaking in the serene spa or sinking into a yoga practice with even more lake views. Dinner guests can indulge in gold-leaf saffron risotto by glowing moonlight, but they’ll want to leave room for the famous buffet breakfast in the morning.
More information: grandhoteltremezzo.com
5. Borgo Egnazia, Savelletri di Fasano
Borgo Egnazia is more than a resort — it’s a microcosm of Puglia itself, a region beloved for its natural beauty and uninhibited southern Italian charm. Modeled after a local village and nestled within traditional white-stone walls, its 40 acres hold 192 rooms, suites, and villas; six restaurants; tennis courts; a spa with Roman baths; a beach club and watersports; and four swimming pools. Savelletri di Fasano may not be as flashy as Positano, but Borgo Egnazia is no stranger to celebrity guests: Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel famously tied the knot there, while David and Victoria Beckham chose it for a celebratory family vacation after son Brooklyn’s engagement in 2020.
More information: borgoegnazia.com
6. (tie) Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio
“This location on Lake Como in Bellagio is magical,” one T+L reader wrote. “The views both from and of the property are incredible.” Of all the villages surrounding the 56-square-mile lake, Bellagio (nicknamed “the pearl of Lake Como”) is the most visited — and Villa Serbelloni is one of its most posh hotels. “Great staff, always feels like home there,” another reader said. Rooms and suites are adorned with vintage furniture and opulent details, from the chandeliers to the coffered and painted ceilings. Built in the 1850s for a noble family and hosting everyone from Winston Churchill to John F. Kennedy through the years, it’s one of the area’s most historic hotels.
More information: villaserbelloni.com
6. (tie) Hotel Caesar Augustus, Capri
At just over four square miles, Capri is a small island with a big reputation. Glamorous boutiques, restaurants, and nightclubs are perched high above the yacht-filled Marina Grande, with every turn competing for the best vista. So the fact that a T+L reader called Hotel Caesar Augustus “one of the best locations in Capri” and sang the praises of its “dramatic view” holds weight. In this villa hotel, rooms make the most of the cliffside panorama, with sea-, mountain-, and garden-view terraces. The hotel’s lower terrace is dedicated to the breathtaking pool, one of the most coveted spots on the island to relax with a cocktail in hand.
More information: caesar-augustus.com
8. Le Sirenuse, Positano
The cherry-red Le Sirenuse, with its lemon-tree-lined pool, has become a fixture of the Positano coastline since opening to guests in 1951. Once the summer home of an aristocratic family, it has expanded over the years to 57 rooms (no two are alike). A short walk from the pedestrian-only village center on one side and the beach on the other, it’s the perfect place to immerse oneself in all things Amalfi Coast. “Worth the trip for the restaurant alone,” a reader said of La Sponda, where vines climb the walls and guests dine on lemon risotto by candlelight. And carb-loading is a good idea: a full-time coach helms the on-site fitness center, taking guests beyond the gym for guided hikes along hilly ancient footpaths nearby.
More information: sirenuse.it
9. Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, Sorrento
T+L readers gushed over just about every aspect of the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria: its service, location, rooms, and restaurant. “Family-run and they get every detail right from the elegant suites to the dining,” one wrote. “Best sunsets in Sorrento.” Another added, “Would return in a heartbeat! Sorrento is a lovely city and this is one of the best hotels I have ever visited.” Run by five generations of the Fiorentino family over the past 180 years, the hotel is made up of three 19th-century buildings that hover above the Sorrento harbor in the center of town. In addition to its elegant rooms and suites, its two- and three-bedroom villas are ideal for groups or extended stays. Three restaurants offer a range of dining styles, from the Michelin-starred Terrazza Bosquet to the more casual poolside L’Orangerie.
More information: excelsiorvittoria.com
10. Villa d’Este, Lake Como
Standing upon the shore of Lake Como since 1568, Villa d’Este is surrounded by a 25-acre private park with elaborate gardens and four private villas. The 152 rooms in its two main mansions are adorned with antique, Renaissance-style furniture; oil paintings; and brocade fabrics — making it easy to picture the European aristocracy who convened there after it became a hotel in the 19th century. In the warmer months, guests have multiple outdoor dining options with sweeping lake views and vibrant flowers, and the Sundeck bar gazes out at the floating swimming pool. Celebrities flock to the Villa d’Este Golf Club, an 18-hole course seven miles away.
More information: villadeste.com