Luxury Villas in Italy
As a holiday destination, Italy is hard to beat. The trick is finding a good base to explore the area in order to give you a taste of la dolce vita. The Italian villas I recommend come in all shapes and sizes in a variety of locations, from glamorous beach villas to converted farmhouses in the hills. My mission is simply to guide you to the most suitable holiday home for you.
Where in Italy are Rachel’s villas?
I prefer to recommend villas which I have visited personally or have been checked by trusted contacts in the regions I know best. Luxury villas are my niche but I have no hesitation recommending villas which are less luxurious if they match your wish list.
Which region in Italy?
The regions I know best where I have good villa contacts are Puglia, Sicily, Tuscany, Umbria, Sardinia and the Amalfi Coast. Each region has a unique character, landscape and cuisine to be discovered.
I have a bit of a soft spot for Puglia. The sunny heel of Italy’s boot was relatively undiscovered when I lived there a good 20 years ago. It’s now firmly on the map as one of Italy’s most popular regions to visit. The draw is down to its warm, southerly location, ancient olive groves, alluring beaches, historic white villages and friendly welcome. I have a wonderful network of contacts with luxury villas and simpler family homes there, from characterful trullos to large masserias with private pools, many of which I have visited personally.
The island of Sicily has it all. From impressive volcanoes and stunning rural landscapes to roman ruins, fantastic beaches, fascinating cities and dramatic historic hilltop villages. Having visited Sicily regularly over the last five years, I am starting to feel like a bit of a local. Its irresistible, chaotic charm and has definitely won me over. Through my excellent contacts there, I have access to the most stunning villas, from historic manor houses to modern beach villas and historic town houses.
Tuscany is an amazing region to visit. Home to the best of Renaissance art, the famous vineyards of Chianti, beaches, hill towns and the unforgettable cities of Florence and Siena, to name just a few highlights. I have seen some incredible rental properties there over the last 20 years from wine estates and castles to coastal villas, so you can access the best villas there through my Tuscan network.
Medieval hill towns, green hills, forests and picture postcard views, Umbria is a magnet for those who love rural tranquillity and a laid-back pace of life. I have grown to love this region over the years, following the incredible hospitality I have encountered from kind villa owners. Here you will find extensive estates with olive groves and vineyards, hilltop medieval hamlets and converted farmhouses which all make very special venues for a holiday.
The Amalfi Coast
I first visited the Amalfi Coast when I was living in Naples and have always found excuses to return ever since, such is its allure. I love it for the dramatic coastline with beautiful villages clinging to cliffs, the stunning the islands of Capri and Ischia, majestic Mount Vesuvius and fascinating historic sites to discover such as Pompei and Herculaneum. From romantic Saracen towers to chic retreats, my contacts on the Amalfi Coast have an array of amazing villas.
An island of stunning scenery, from white sandy beaches, crystal clear sea and impressive mountains, Sardinia suits those who love rural tranquillity and outdoor pursuits. My first visit to Sardinia was to the glamourous north east where I discovered luxury villas by golf courses and spacious family villas by beaches. I have since set up links with reliable contacts there so now have access to exclusive villas in all the best parts of the island.
What are the villas like?
Whatever the budget, taste and requirements of your party, all the villas I recommend share a few key features:
Location – the villas are located in regions of natural beauty, far removed from resorts catering for mass tourism.
Pool or coast – the majority have a private pool or are located on a beach.
Style – traditional or modern, quirky or luxurious, each villa has a sense of style in keeping with its character and surroundings.
Space – most of the villas have spacious rooms and private grounds.
Comfort– all the villas have a maid service and are supplied with fresh towels and linen, plus a groundsman to look after the gardens and pool.
Privacy – however stunning a villa is, if there is little privacy for guests when sitting by the pool or on the terrace, the villa will not make it to my shortlist.
If you are planning a villa holiday in Italy, please contact me about your plans and I will recommend the best villas for you.