Italian Ways

Knockout views are matched by cool interiors at this hip little hideaway with just 39 guest rooms and suites, plus four unique Eaudesea Experience rooms on the beach, just a round the corner from Positano. Whiter-than-white chic sums up Casa Angelina’s sleek design aesthetic. Be ready for natural wood parquet floors, white-panelled baths, white desks, white bedding and white walls!

The paean to minimalism is set off by flashes of brilliant colour from bold modern art and playful Murano glass sculptures. Dining in this dream location is undeniably a treat, and the Un Piano Nel Cielo restaurant offers territorial gastronomy with a gourmet makeover in a dramatic rooftop setting. I stayed here in a romantic sea view room, a honeymooner’s dream, with king-sized bed, plasma-screen TV, working desk, free wifi, mini bar, safe, air conditioning and a private balcony (with table and chairs) overlooking the sea. The en suite bathroom had both bathtub and shower.

Returning by road to Naples, I caught the train north to Rome then drove inland to the stunningly beautiful Val D’Orcia in the heart of Tuscany. I was headed for the hilltop town of Montalcino to stay at Castello Poggio alle Mura, better known as Castello Banfi. This region is Tuscany at its most enchanting, with rolling hills punctuated by vineyards and row after row of silver olive trees. The castle itself can be seen from a distance, rising above the surrounding countryside, and is now a family-owned vineyard estate and winery that produces some of the great Italian wines including the prestigious Brunello di Montalcino. The castle has a choice of individual suites, all varying in colour and size but all magnificent with wonderful Sala da bagno and breathtaking views. Décor is terracotta, wooden beams, travertine, ceramics and splendid raw textiles. The castle also boasts a gourmet, Michelin-starred restaurant where the food is out of this world and you can sample the wines from the estate’s own vineyards.

It is well worth hiring a car, as you can then continue on to Florence, Pisa or Siena, all about a two to three hour drive away…but before you move on, find time for a tour of the castle’s winery. It is an absolute must!

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