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Some of our most characterful hotels are also some of our smallest hotels: historic Tuscan villas with Neo-classical gardens; boutique stays with individually decorated rooms; family hotels that run on Italian hospitality; rural trulli and masserie farmhouses; and even a sassi cave dwelling kitted out with modern minimalist furnishings.
Browse our collection of small and boutique hotels to find a place that really gets you under the skin of Italy. They’re scattered all over the country, so you could wind up bedding down anywhere from sky-high Ravello to the deep south of Sicily.
The Hotel Toro is more of a guesthouse than a hotel, thanks to the warm welcome that’s been extended to guests ever since the Schiavo family rolled out the red carpet in the 19th century.
The Masseria Montelauro is rural living done right. The 19th-century whitewashed farmhouse lays out a swimming pool, garden restaurant and mini spa on the outskirts of Otranto.
Trulli Soave is your chance to stay in a traditional trulli house. Round rooms, archways and conical roofs are the theme – as well as little extras like al fresco hot tubs and rose gardens with hammocks.
Ancient Greek temples overlook the five-star Villa Athena. In fact, this 17th-century hotel lays out its own private path leading through the ancient olive groves to a UNESCO-listed archaeological park.
Agriturismo Il Granaio pairs a luxury finish with spades of Sicilian charm. The rural surroundings inspire the farmhouse restaurant, which sources ingredients from the fields and gardens.
San Giorgio Palace carves out a spot on the rocky hillside of Ragusa. A tunnel leads you to reception, rooms come with country views, plus it’s only a few minutes’ walk from Piazza Duomo.
Ocean and vineyard views wrap the Capofaro Malvasia & Resort. You can even have a go at harvesting the local Malvasia grapes – or just sit back with a glass of the good stuff.
Baglio La Porta deftly whisks together the old and the new. Golden stonework and wood-beamed ceilings pair up with a glass-wrapped restaurant with panoramic sea views.
The Algila Ortigia Charme Hotel plants itself right on Mastra Rua, in the centre of ancient Ortigia. It’s elegant, too, with rooms and a restaurant filling out a richly restored townhouse.
The 17th-century Villa Don Camillo burrows amongst the fruit orchards just outside Sorrento. Cooking lessons and limoncello-making classes get you right under the skin of the region.
Clean lines and sharply dressed rooms make the Villa Fiorella Art Hotel a modern pick. And the views speak for themselves – pull up a lounge chair on the bar terrace for views over the Sorrento coast.
The Sextantio le Grotte della Civita converts ancient sassi cave dwellings into 18 luxury rooms. Archaic features like wobbly stone floors and hand-woven bedcovers add to the atmosphere.
Fancy staying in a 16th-century Tuscan farmhouse? Il Borgo di Montereggi and Il Casale have been transformed into a collection of holiday apartments with plenty of original features.
The pilgrimage city of Assisi is practically within grabbing distance of the Country House Tre Esse. Sip a glass of Umbrian red at the bar or check out the country views from the pool.
The Relais Villa Monte Solare Wellness & Beauty has won a place on the prestigious ‘Small Luxury Hotels of the World’ list. Stay in the main villa or the charm-packed 17th-century outhouses.