The astonishingly beautiful region of Tuscany has it all: art cities and ancient hill towns, high mountains and long sandy beaches, alongside luxurious hotels and some of Italy’s best food and wine.
Recommended place to stay:
Porto Ercole, Tuscany, Italy|www.hotelilpellicano.com|
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Set in scented terraced gardens above its own private rocky cove, this legendary seaside retreat was a magnet for international A-listers in the 1970s, and has never lost its allure.
Today it has a timeless, retro-glam vibe, with 50 airy bedrooms and suites divided between the main villa and cottages in the garden.
By day, guests flop on sunbeds around the pool or on the famous bathing platform over the sea, while evenings are spent sipping Pelican Martinis before moving on to a Michelin-starred feast in the restaurant.
The hilly hinterland of the Maremma is close by if you want to explore and there are ferries (or private yachts) to the islands of Giglio and Giannutri.
The resort is situated at the southernmost tip of Tuscany, meaning the big draws – Siena, Florence and Pisa – are all around two hours drive or more; this is really for those who want to discover a different side of the region.
The hotel, a quiet, exclusive enclave, is set just outside the pretty village of Porto Ercole on its own stretch of private shoreline with unspoilt views of the shimmering sea. The twisting approach road from the village leads through scented Mediterranean macchia.
Porto Ercole, a couple of kms back up the winding lane, is a buzzy little village with chic restaurants, shops and cafés.
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A heady mix of incomparable Renaissance art, gorgeous palazzos, Tuscan cuisine and home-grown haute couture.