Hotel Versilia: luxurious resort hotel on the beach in Tuscany

When people think of a holiday in Tuscany, they usually think only of the Chianti area, inland near Siena. However, Tuscany does have beaches, notably in the northern part around Versilia and Viareggio, which are closer to Pisa and Lucca. But they’re not that far from Florence. Why not combine a beach holiday with history, […]

Mapplr’s favorite restaurants in Tuscany: Montepulciano area

There are so many good places to eat in and around Montepulciano, so where to go? Ask the locals, of course. Cinzia Caporali, owner of La Locanda di San Francesco, a boutique hotel in Montepulciano, recommends five places: Montepulciano (1) La Grotta: in Cinzia’s opinion, the best in the Montepulciano area for the quality of […]

La Locanda di San Francesco: boutique hotel in Montepulciano, Tuscany

If you are planning a trip to Tuscany, check out La Locanda di San Francesco, an intimate (4-room) boutique hotel set in a 14th century palazzo in the historical center of Montepulciano in Tuscany. It is a family-run hotel which has been written about in magazines such as Food & Wine and Condé Nast Traveller. The owner, […]

Mapplr’s favorite hotels in Milan

Milan is a favorite destination for the fashion and design crowd. The city is a great place to shop for Italian clothes, shoes, accessories, and home furnishings. With events such as the Salone Internationale del Mobile (the Design Furniture Fair) and the annual spring/summer and fall/winter fashion shows, there’s a big demand for boutique hotels […]

Hotel Una Vittoria: stylish, high-tech wonder in Florence

Visitors to Florence spend days marveling at the glories of the Renaissance: the stunning 15th century palazzi, Michelangelo’s sculptures, the paintings in the Uffizi Gallery, and the imposing Duomo. But when it comes to accommodations, most people are strictly 21st century. If you like ultra-modern decor, gorgeous Bisazza mosaics and high-tech amenities, check out the […]

Hotel Sant'Elena: luxury in a former Venetian convent

I do not normally profile chain hotels on Mapplr because I like small, independently run hotels and B&Bs. However, from time to time, I make exceptions. Hotel Sant’Elena is a luxurious 76-room hotel housed in a restored former convent in a quiet part of Venice. Although it is part of the Best Western hotel chain, […]

Intown Luxury House: six elegant suites near Rome's Spanish Steps

Rome is one of my favorite cities because it’s a mysterious blend of history, art, architecture, fashion, design and gastronomy. However, compared to cities such as Amsterdam and Paris, there has been a dearth of boutique hotels that offer good contemporary design in intimate surroundings. That’s beginning to change. Intown Luxury House is a lovely […]