The ultimate guide to the best Italian wine regions and wine hotels in Italy

It’s no secret that Italy is a dream destination for any traveller. The boot-shaped country has exceptional nature, fantastic food, and some of the best wines in the world. Dotted throughout the country are numerous vineyards and wineries that produce everything from sparkling prosecco to rich reds and refreshing whites. One of the best ways to learn more about the winemaking tradition in Italy is by travelling one of the country’s wine routes and staying at wine hotels that offer luxuriously fine wines and memorable experiences. Get to know Italy’s wine regions and explore some of the fantastic wine hotels for your next trip!

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Photo: Relais & Châteaux Monaci delle Terre Nere

1. Tuscany

Even those who have never travelled to Italy will instantly recognize Tuscan landscapes – the lush, green rolling hills, tall cypress trees, and perfect vineyard rows under the warm sun. Tuscany is one of the oldest and most prolific wine regions renowned for Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino wines that pair beautifully with the various local dishes and flavours you’ll taste on your journey here. Enjoy a picture perfect drive along the Via Chiantigiana south from Florence and dive deep into the rich world of winemaking that the locals are so proud of!

COMO Castello Del Nero

The ideal base for exploring the vineyards of Chianti, as well as Florence, San Gimignano, Siena, and numerous nearby towns, is COMO Castello Del Nero, a 12-century estate that’s now one of the top luxury hotels in the region. There are 50 rooms on the estate, and only 16 are in the castle – these are the most splendid! The rest are in the courtyards and outbuildings. Here you’ll have plenty of room to relax and unwind – the rooms are spacious, filled with light and the fresh Tuscan air coming through the large windows. Take a stroll in the lush Italian gardens adjacent to the property, where fragrant roses, pine, and herbs please the senses or enjoy the afternoon on the large terrace with spectacular Chianti countryside views. Worth noting that the hotel has a heated swimming pool, a fabulous spa, and a Michelin-starred restaurant. The Shambala Retreat focuses on holistic treatments in the spa’s ten treatment rooms and offers thermal pools and yoga classes, as well. During your stay, make sure to dine at the Michelin-starred La Torre, where traditional Tuscan flavours are brought to life with new zest and accompanied by the best local Italian wines. For a more casual experience, there’s also the rustic La Taverna set in the historic kitchens of the property.

Photo: COMO Castello del Nero

Hotel L’Andana

Located a 20-minute drive from Italy’s western coast, Hotel L’Andana is among the loveliest hideaways in Tuscany. Enclosed by the stunning Tuscan countryside, the renovated 16th-century hunting lodge offers all the luxuries needed for a memorable Italian holiday. The seven suites and 26 rooms feature warm interiors dotted with antique furniture and traditional elements. There’s plenty to do both on and off-site. Various wine experiences offer an intimate peek inside the delicate winemaking process. Back at the hotel, you can enjoy the ESPA spa or the Michelin-starred La Trattoria restaurant.

Conti di San Bonifacio

Wine resort Conti di San Bonifacio is a boutique country house in the Maremma region in Veneto with its own vineyards and working wine estate. Intimate, rich, and homely, it invites you to experience the beautiful Tuscan countryside in style. The perfect place to enjoy with a partner or a group of friends, the restored farmhouse will quickly charm you with its stone walls, huge windows, and wooden beams, not to mention the spacious terrace that overlooks the Tuscan hills.

Photo: COMO Castello del Nero

Photo: COMO Castello del Nero

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Tuscany is one of the oldest and most prolific wine regions renowned for Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino wines that pair beautifully with the local flavours

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Photo: COMO Castello del Nero

2. Veneto

While most people visiting Veneto go to Venice and Verona, it’s worth noting that some of the best experiences in the region lie outside these undoubtedly lovely yet touristy cities. Veneto is an ideal destination for foodies, romance seekers, and wine lovers – an impressive assortment of red and white wines are produced here thanks to the varying climate (cooler near the Alps and warmer near Lake Garda and the Adriatic Sea). Sparkling Prosecco and Pinot Grigio may be some of the most well-known wine varieties coming from Veneto, but don’t restrict yourself to only these! Make sure to also try Valpolicella, Amarone, Soave and Bardolino.

Dimora Buglioni Wine Relais

Set amidst the Valpolicella vineyards, Dimora Buglioni Wine Relais invites you to experience the 40-hectare estate and the 18th-century farmhouse that is now a lovely wine hotel. Come at the right time, and you might even partake in the grape harvest in the surrounding vineyards. For a more relaxed stay, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy wine tasting, wine tours, and a succulent meal at the traditional restaurant that’s run by the hotel’s owners. The 15-room hotel feels homely and intimate, while the original stone walls and wood-beamed ceilings add a lovely touch of the past.

Veneto, Italy | Photo: Alberto Caliman

3. Sicily

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean. It enjoys an ideal climate for growing grapes – plenty of sunshine and enough rainfall. Did you know that Sicily has the most vineyards in the whole country? While you can visit Sicily for the wine tours alone, there is plenty more to do and see. Sicily is renowned for its red grape variety Nero D’Avola which originates in the southeast. Make sure to taste the Alcamo and Moscato di Noto wines produced near Mt. Etna and the sweet Marsala, a fortified sipping wine often used in cooking.

Monaci delle Terre Nere

The Relais & Châteaux Monaci delle Terre Nere wine estate sits on the slopes of Mount Etna with its own vineyards growing native grape varieties of the Etna region like Nerello Mascalese and Carricante, you won’t find the latter anywhere else in Italy. The hotel offers its guests a selection of different rooms, suites and villas. Individually designed, each has its own distinctive style, features, and facilities. Stone walls and wooden beams combined with bold contemporary art and furnishings create a truly unique atmosphere. There are many experiences available on this beautiful estate – olive oil and wine tastings, traditional cuisine courses, holistic massages, bike rides, horseback riding to enjoy the Sicilian countryside, etc.

Photo: Relais & Châteaux Monaci delle Terre Nere

Photo: Relais & Châteaux Monaci delle Terre Nere

4. Puglia

Located in the “heel” part of Italy, Puglia enjoys a long coastline and a climate that makes it one of the most fertile regions in the country. It’s the perfect place to visit during peak season, as many tourists tend to flock to other regions, so it’s relatively tourist-free while offering fantastic food and wines for you to discover. Lecce, Martina Franca Salice Salentino and Manduria, known for Primitivo, are some of the popular wine towns in the region. More than half of the wines produced here are reds.

Vico dei Bolognesi per Palazzo Personè

The city of Lecce is known as Florence of the South, thanks to its impressive baroque architecture, and within its old town, you will find a charming boutique hotel located in a former 15th-century synagogue. Vico dei Bolognesi per Palazzo Personè is known for its unique atmosphere and bespoke service, where each guest gets tailored recommendations and the highest quality hospitality from the hosts. Large, well-appointed rooms have modern furnishings and antique interior elements that remind of the building’s past. There are only six rooms and suites – an intimate atmosphere is guaranteed! Lecce is the perfect base from which you can explore Salento, where some of Italy’s most full-bodied and food-friendly wines are made.

Photo: Relais & Châteaux Monaci delle Terre Nere

5. Emilia-Romagna

Spanning a great part of central Italy, Emilia-Romagna is a large and hugely fertile region and also the country’s agricultural centre. Places like Bologna, Parma, and Modena are all in Emilia-Romagna. The region is known for producing world-renowned gastronomy like aged parma ham or prosciutto, Parmigiano-Regiano cheese and balsamic vinegar, as well as sparkling red wine Lambrusco. Unlike the rolling hills of Tuscany, the landscape of Emilia-Romagna has plenty of farmlands and rolling hills that are covered in bushy forest patches. The majority of vineyards are located around Modena and Bologna, but they do stretch as far as the Adriatic Sea.

Roncolo 1888

Peacefully nestled in the Canossa Lands hills, Roncolo 1888 is the perfect destination for everyone looking to explore the Emilia-Romagna region while feasting on some of the best delicacies from the region and enjoying local wines. Roncolo 1888 has 12 rooms and suites situated in beautifully renovated buildings. Explore the beautiful grounds and garden, or take a dip in the large pool before heading for dinner at the La Limonaia restaurant. The rooms are elegant, chic, and exceedingly comfortable, and thanks to the peaceful environment, it strikes a perfect balance between luxury and rustic country retreat.

Bologna, Italy | Photo: Yasmina Rodríguez

Reggio Emilia | Photo: Dario Veronesi

6. Piedmont

The second-largest region in Italy is its northern part Piedmont. Not only is it known for its truffle hunting craze beginning at the end of September, but it is also famed for Barolo and Barbaresco wines made from Nebbiolo grape, which ripens in the vineyards covering the Langhe landscape. Walking is one of the best activities that will let you experience these lovely landscapes to the fullest before stopping at one of the charming towns and picturesque villages.

Casa di Langa

Casa di Langa, located between the Barolo, Barbaresco and Alta Lange wine regions, is among the best vineyard hotels in Italy. Inspired by traditional architecture, the imposing hotel has been constructed using local materials and delivers a well-rounded sustainable experience to all of its guests, who can enjoy waking up to the breathtaking views of Piedmont’s rolling hills. The luxurious hotel is surrounded by 42 acres of working vineyards and an awe-inspiring natural landscape. Each of the 39 rooms has a private terrace for you to relax on, as well as bathrooms with rainfall showers and luxury toiletries. Enjoy everything from wine tasting and cooking classes to truffle hunts and evenings of live music.

Palas Cerequio

Owned by the Michele Chiarlo winery, Palás Cerequio is a luxury hotel where wine – Barolo in particular – takes centre stage. The hotel has nine rooms – four in the gorgeous manor house that delivers an old-world charm and five suites with floor-to-ceiling windows in the newer parts of the hotel, decorated in contemporary fashion. Guests can enjoy an alluring pool deck with impeccable views of the surrounding vineyards and take part in exclusive wine tastings led by the celebrated sommelier Roberto Stroppiana. Experience a bit of history by touring the wine cellar, where bottles of rich Barolo wine lay in silence. The hotel’s in-house restaurant Damiano Nigro boasts a Michelin star and dishes that celebrate traditions of the surrounding Langhe.

Barolo | Photo Lucia Gherra

Piedmont | Photo: Kentaro Komada

7. Umbria

Umbria is known to instantly charm visitors with its beautiful rolling hills, medieval towns, flavoursome wines, and delectable cuisine – a dream destination for any gourmand! In Umbria, each town is more magical than the next, serving a mesmerising mix of culture, art, and history. Winemaking in Umbria dates back to the times of Benedictine monks, as they were the ones who first planted vineyards in the region’s sandy soil. Nowadays, Orvieto is the most well-known Umbrian wine – a peachy and crisp white wine that makes up 80% of the wine produced here.

Cantina Franco Todini in Todi

As far as winery hotels go, Cantina Franco Todini in Todi goes above and beyond in celebrating winemaking while inviting guests from far and wide to witness this centuries-old trade. The hotel boasts a warm and welcoming feeling with its terracotta floors, stone walls, and period furnishings. Each of the eight rooms and four suites is decorated in a mix of rustic and antique styles. Guests staying at the hotel can take a guided tour of the Todini wine cellar while tasting three exceptional wines produced here. The whole estate communicates regal and timeless Italian charm – best enjoyed slowly!

Assisi | Photo: Gabriella Clare Marino

8. Lombardy

The landlocked Lombardy region in northern Italy is an industrial and commercial powerhouse, and its capital Milan is, of course, known as one of Europe’s fashion capitals. Despite that, it is known to produce some of the best small-production artisan wines. Its grand landscape features beautiful and unspoiled wine country that often goes unnoticed by the foreign eye. But winemaking has always been significant in Lombardy. Even centuries ago, religious orders, monasteries, and abbeys often produced wine on the side. Some of the best wines in Lombardy include Valtellina wines and the Pinot Noir wines of Oltrepò Pavese.

L'Albereta Relais & Chateaux

Imagine a postcard-like scenery with sunkissed vine-covered villa behind rows and rows of pristine vineyards – that’s exactly what awaits you at L’Albereta Relais & Chateaux. This charming wine hotel lies a few miles from Lake Iseo and has spectacular views of the alpine foothills and the town of Franciacorta. The 19th-century hotel inhabits five buildings, one of which is a renovated and converted farmhouse. There are 38 rooms and 19 suites, and guests are welcomed into uniquely designed spaces that also feature delicate frescoes, private balconies, hydromassage bathtubs, and French–style bedrooms. Tour one of Franciacorta’s wineries and visit the remarkable wine cellars before dining at LeoneFelice, a restaurant that crafts its succulent dishes from fresh, local ingredients.

Photo: Claudio Carrozzo

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The Lombardy region is known to produce some of the best small-production artisan wines. Its grand landscape features beautiful and unspoiled wine country

9. Abruzzo

In a country as beautiful as Italy, it’s impossible to play the game of favourites. Each region, after all, has something unique and distinctly theirs to offer, but Abruzzo, without a doubt, is one that shines the brightest thanks to its impressive and alluring natural landscape. Located east of Rome, Abruzzo has both majestic mountain landscapes and divine Adriatic shorelines. While it’s certainly not the first part of Italy that comes to mind when thinking about wine production, it proudly grows Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Merlot, and Sangiovese grape varieties.

Castello Di Semivicoli

Dating back to the 17th century, the grand Castello Di Semivicoli is a luxury hotel overlooking Apennine peaks, olive groves and the Masciarelli winery vineyards. There are only 11 rooms and individually decorated suites on the property, and no two are alike. The interiors strike a perfect balance between the old world and the new – you really do feel like you’re at a baronial residence. A must-try while staying here is one of the exclusive wine tasting experiences offered by the hotel and wine estate.

Photo: Anna Fothergill

10. Trentino-Alto Adige

Trentino-Alto Adige is a part German-speaking, part Italian-speaking region of Italy – the Alto Adige part refers to South Tyrol. It is known for its majestic Alpine landscape with white peaks, dramatic Dolomites, thick forests, and beautiful river valleys. When it comes to wine, Trentino-Alto Adige is most renowned for its white wine varieties. Müller-Thurgau, Riesling Italico, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay are some of the lively, fresh, and fruity wines produced in the region. Vineyards in this region are some of the most beautiful you’ll see as they are often located on slopes with dramatic mountains in the background and charming towns and villages below.

Goldenstern Townhouse

When in Trentino-Alto Adige, one of the must-see places is the city of Bolzano, the capital of South Tyrol, which is also a good base for exploring the rest of the region. Stay at Goldenstern Townhouse and experience a luxurious and authentic atmosphere! Located in the old town, the pristinely restored historic building is charming both inside and out. Walk the cobbled streets to be greeted by welcoming staff and a building bursting with character. It’s easy to feel at home here – all rooms, suites, and apartments feel extremely home-like. Contemporary furnishings and design elements are so well-incorporated that they don’t take away the feeling of the historical appeal that the space has.

Photo: Relais & Châteaux Monaci delle Terre Nere

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