Winter Is The Perfect Time To Visit Italy—Here’s Where To Stay

No matter the setting, Northern Italy poses an idyllic scene—especially in winter. From art-flocked Florence and dreamy Veneto to fashionable Milan and luxurious villa-strewn Lake Como, we scoured the region for the perfect cold-weather oasis. Be it grand palazzo or intimate boutique, these must-visit escapes are made for cozy stays and savoring the spectacular sights.

1. Helvetia & Bristol Firenze – Starhotels Collezione, Florence. After a recent renovation—including 25 new rooms dripping in contemporary Italian flair; faceplant-worthy traditional Tuscan eatery Cibrèo Caffè; and the historical city’s largest spa built atop ancient Roman baths—this 19th-century Florentine icon is better than ever. In fact, it nails old-world elegance with its lobby’s crackling wood fireplace flanked by plush furnishings; oh-so-charming metal guest keys that harken to bygone days; and original paintings, prints and antiques that make a museum of every opulent space. Snag a sumptuous suite and you’ll get the royal treatment with a four-poster king bed, lavish silk fabrics, Murano glass chandelier and Carrara marble bath. Not to mention wow-worthy balcony views of the stonewalled Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza della Repubblica’s magnificent arch, and the buzz of Florentine life below.

2. Palazzo Albricci Peregrini, Como. With the snow-capped Alps and crystal cobalt waters as its backdrop, there’s no denying Lake Como’s awe-inspiring beauty, come sweater season. And this 15th century palazzo turned 10-room haven in the heart of Como’s Old Town is an idyllic retreat to explore it all. Tucked within an ancient storybook courtyard, just a short stroll from the lakeshore, this family-owned labor of love sets an utterly romantic vibe with a symphony of natural materials: stone, brick, wood and distressed surfaces anchored by custom-made furnishings, polished concrete floors, eclectic family heirlooms, and local artwork. Cozy up in your sun-flooded room with a fireplace, on a plump sofa in the sitting room, or the charming breakfast nook with scrumptious homemade delights. And because there’s only a handful of guests, service is catered just to you with bicycles to borrow, private yoga or relaxation treatments to indulge.

3. Mandarin Oriental, Milan. Set within four breathtaking 18th century buildings that would make any architecture-lover swoon, this former Manor house is the epitome of chic winter retreat with a mix of Oriental opulence and modern Milanese swank. Seriously, you couldn’t design a more glamorous retreat befitting this fashion capital—like the bar and bistro dressed in black-and-white geometrics, low-slung mod seating, glass accents and dark-mirrored ceilings. Savor the delish style, scrumptious Italian eats, and enchanting views of the leafy inner courtyard. And the rooms? Sleek and understated with cool curved headboards, oakwood floors, high-tech lights, and spa-worthy bathrooms bedecked in Italian marble. Plus, the views don’t disappoint with huge picture windows spanning the Italian city’s romantic rooftops—some with epic Doumo views. And you can’t beat the location—just a stone’s throw from La Scala to catch its legendary holiday performances like the Nutcracker.

4. La Loggia al Duomo, Treviso. Just a 30-minute train jaunt from tourist-flocked Venice, the untrodden town of Treviso is the region’s best-kept secret with miles and mazes of quiet cobbled lanes flanked by colorful-shuttered medieval buildings so authentically old-world Italy. And this sprawling two-floor penthouse apartment, set smack in the historical heart, is the place to take it all in. Arguably boasting the city’s best panorama, from jaw-dropping Duomo vistas to romantic terracotta rooftops, you can savor front-row seats from your private, 400-plus square feet terrace—complete with covered awning. Or from the wow interiors with an ultra-modern kitchen, two luxurious bedrooms, and porcelain stone-tiled bathrooms. And with oodles of sumptuous, contemporary furnishings to curl up in this chic space, it’s the perfect retreat after strolling Treviso’s swoon-worthy canals, bridges, and picturesque piazzas.

And since Italy’s rail system connects you to every dreamy destination, why not visit them all? Hop on Trainline to easily plan all your travels in one app—be it sight-seeing the river Arno’s bridges, strolling Milan’s artsy Brera district, ogling breathtaking Lake Como, or fairytale Veneto. Then snag luxe car service Blacklane for a chauffeured ride straight to your cozy hotel for the ultimate winter hideaway.

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