What’s The Plan?
Fine wines, Renaissance art and serious charm: Verona and Florence make for an unforgettable Italian break, which is why we’re heading to the family-run Salviatino Collection’s premier destinations. First stop is Palazzo Victoria, in the centre of Verona, before moving north to Il Salviatino, Florence, a 15th-century villa with Tuscan hillside vistas.
The Perfect Hotel In Verona?
Palazzo Victoria located in the heart of Verona, is a perfectly restored Renaissance-era hotel and a place you can truly call home! The hotel has a distinct modern design feel to it, but it incorporates and showcases its rich history, including parquet flooring and original frescoes. One of the special features of this hotel is the Medieval ruins that it is built upon. The suites are elegantly furnished, with Italian marble bathrooms, wooden floors and some even have a four-person Jacuzzi bath. Who doesn't want one of those to relax in after a day of sight-seeing?
Want To Sample The Wine?
Wine aficionados can quench their thirst at the Allegrini wine estate, located 25 minutes’ drive outside of Verona. Take a tour to sample some of the vineyard’s finest tipples, and Instagram the estate’s stunning Renaissance architecture. Then head to the private tasting room to learn more about the venue’s unique wine-making process and drink some super delicious vino.
Want To Do A Spot Of Sight Seeing In Verona?
Why not treat yourself to a personal guide for the day which can give you a walking tour of the city. On the tour you will visit all of the famous landmarks Verona has to offer from the San Zeno Maggiore Church, Torre dei Lamberti, and you can’t go to Verona without a quick stop at the balcony made famous by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
Now How To Get To Florence?
The quickest way to get to Florence is by taking the train direct from Verona, which takes around 1 hr, 30mins. Standard tickets cost around £29. During the journey you will pass through the beautiful mountainous terrain of the Tuscan hillside, which is truly breathtaking.
Where To Stay?
If you’re looking for an idyllic Italian retreat, you can’t go wrong with Il Salviatino - a 15th century villa with stunning views over formal gardens, and a tranquil, five-star vibe. After your silver-tray breakfast on the terrace, take a chauffeur-driven car into the centre of Florence (15 minutes away), and indulge in a spot of shopping. If you're looking to indulge in a few premium purchases, head to Via de' Tornabuoni, a street in the centre of Florence that connects Antinori and Santa Trinita squares. Here, you'll find all the luxury designer brands you can handle, including Gucci, Burberry and Dior.
You Feel Like You Should See Something Cultural…
Head to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, a treasure trove of Renaissance artworks; while away an afternoon in Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore - a 37,000-ton marble architectural masterpiece that dominates the Florence skyline; or visit the 14th century Ponte Vecchio, the city’s oldest – and prettiest – bridge.
Where Can I Get The Best Gelato?
Head to Carapina, tucked away in one of the many hidden streets in Florence, they have a huge selection of lick-aliscious combinations and seasonal specials. It’s a little on the pricey side, but all flavours are made fresh on the day and it’s a natural-ingredients-only zone. Our tip? Go for a double scoop of watermelon to beat the heat.
Gastronomic treats come thick and fast in Italy, but family-run Cibreo in Florence has the wow factor. There are no menus here. Instead, diners are greeted by a member of staff, and, together, you talk through that evening’s options. The food is sublime; the setting is fabulously rustic and the staff are practically family by the time you leave. What’s not to love?
Looking For Something A Bit Different?
Then don’t leave your hotel: the Il Salviatino offers a range of bespoke activities that you can take part in, such as wine tasting and exploring Tuscany on a Harley Davidson with the hotel's 'Harley Under The Tuscan Sun' package. Try truffle-hunting with Giulio and Eda the dog, followed by a selection of delicious truffle-based dishes whipped up by the chef.
Want To Relax From All The Sightseeing?
Look no further than the spa set in the lush grounds of Il Salviatino, which offers relaxing treatments (from €130 for a one hour session) using products by Florentine perfumer and cosmetologist Dr Vranjes. Along with facials and massages, you’ll also find special treatments for men, such as the The Ginger & Lime Body Scrub, which I can personally recommend! Once you have finished your treatment, lounge by the pool, and admire the views of surrounding Florence for the ultimate in relaxation.
Il Salviatino: from €350 (£247) per night
Palazzo Victoria: from €250 (£176) per night