Helicopter Ride over Dolomites

Italy is a fabulous vacation that can easily be done on a budget. But, if you’re going to splurge anywhere, Italy is definitely a great choice. This beautiful country knows how to do luxury in style better than almost anywhere else! If you’re ready to splurge, here are eight luxury travel experiences to check out in Italy. 

1. Stay in a Castle

Nothing says luxury quite like a castle. There are dozens of castles to choose from across the country, but a favorite of ours is Castello Di Velona Resort. The Castello Di Velona was built in the 11th Century as a medieval fortress. During the Renaissance, the castle was transformed into a residential villa. In 2003, Castello Di Velona was purchased by a company and turned into a luxury five-star resort. 

Located in Tuscany, this castle offers views of the entire Val d’Orcia countryside. You’re surrounded by vineyards and olive trees everywhere you look. What makes this castle unique from others is the only “thermal” castle in Val d’Orcia. It has a natural hot thermal water sauna and pool. 

Book a stay at this castle and enjoy all the luxury experiences it has to offer. You can have olive oil and wine tastings, cooking lessons from Chef Riccardo Bacciottini in traditional Italian cuisine, and even participate in truffle hunting. When you’re not doing these activities, relax at the spa or have a meal at one of the many on-site restaurants. 

Views from luxury castle Castello Di Velona Resort in Italy.
Via @castellodivelonaresort on Instagram

2. Sail the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is a must-see for anyone visiting Italy. This stretch of coastline in Southern Italy overlooks the Tyrrhenian Sea and is connected with quaint, tiny villages. One unique way of experiencing the Amalfi Coast is from the water. You can book a private sailing tour that will take you along the coast, with stops at nearby areas like Procida, Capri, and Sorrento. 

And, the level of luxury you want with this type of sailing expedition is entirely up to you. We highly recommend you book a private sailing tour so you can dictate where you go and for how long. From there, it’s up to you to decide whether you book for just a day or several nights. Multi-day tours will drop you off at different points along the coast. Spend half your day on the water and half the day exploring the coastline. It’s the perfect itinerary! 

Coast and water views of the Amalfi Coast, Italy.

3. Heli-hiking in the Dolomites

The Dolomites, also called “the Pale Mountains,” are a mountain region in northeastern Italy. The area is absolutely stunning, with lakes, trails, and restaurants along the way. If you want a truly luxury experience of the Dolomites, consider booking a heli-hiking expedition. You get to see a once-in-a-lifetime view of the Dolomites Mountains from up above. You can book one, two, or three-day hiking trips where a personal helicopter will drop you off at reclusive hiking trails every morning. Fantastic views, fresh air, and a helicopter landing sound pretty amazing to us. 

Book a luxury heli-hiking experience through the Dolomites Mountains.

4. Book a Private Wine Tour in Tuscany

Italy is all about the wine. And, there are plenty of group wine tours you can do where you join a collection of tourists and explore several wineries together. However, we think you can add a feel of luxury to this Italian experience by opting for a private wine tour instead. 

By booking a private tour, you can work with the company to select the specific wineries you want to visit and any add-ons you would like. Many of these wine tours in Tuscany include olive oil tastings, lunches at a winery, and even gelato tastings. Avoid the crowds and treat yourself to an exclusive tour that perfectly matches what you want to do. 

Tuscany vineyards at sunset

5. Hire a Private Chef for a Homemade Dinner

If you’re staying in an Airbnb, consider staying in one night. Hire a chef to come by and cook you a private, authentic Italian dinner. You can choose how many courses and the chef will accommodate any dietary restrictions. It’s a luxury, romantic experience that will give you a delicious Italian meal in the comfort of your own accommodations for the night. 

A chef putting the final touches on a personal pizza.

6. Visit a Michelin Star Restaurant

Speaking of food, your dinners out will be some of the best dining experiences you’ve had in your life. Italy has 371 Michelin restaurants to choose from. Treating yourself to a Michelin star dinner may be costly, but it’s a luxury meal you’ll remember for the rest of your life. 

We highly recommend the three-star Michelin restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy. This restaurant has been open since 1995, run by Chef Massimo Bottura. Osteria Francescana has been named “the best restaurant in the world” by some food experts. 

The interior is full of famous Italian artwork and offers a romantic atmosphere. You get to experience an a la carte or a creative tasting menu that’s nothing like you’ve had before. Just a fair warning – you’ll need to make reservations several months in advance to get a spot here! 

Experience a luxury dinner at Michelin star restaurant Osteria Francescana.
Via @theworlds50best on Instagram

7. Stay in a Luxury Hotel in Lake Como

Lake Como in Northern Italy is Italy’s luxury lake getaway. This is Italy’s third-largest lake and is popular with both tourists and locals. People escape here to enjoy the clear blue water, small lakeside towns, incredible food, culture, shopping, and more. 

Treat yourself to the ultimate Lake Como trip by booking a luxury hotel. The Villa D’Este Lago Di Como is a five-star resort with a history dating back to 1873. You can book a room that overlooks the lake so you can sit on your balcony and watch the boats. It’s the perfect location – you can walk to the lake but also escape to the privacy of the large villa whenever you want. Book this relaxing adventure at the end of your Italian trip, so you can get some downtime before returning to reality. 

Lake Como in Italy

8. Drive a Formula One Car 

If you love cars, consider booking a drive in a Formula One car on an actual Grand Prix circuit. You get to take 10 laps on the professional course! You’ll spend the morning taking some lessons, get to drive your laps, and can even get a video of the experience to take home. This excursion is available in Monza, Mugello, and Mola. This is truly a luxury experience that will cost you approximately 4,000 euros, but it’s worth it. 

Formula one car on the racetrack.

So, which of these luxury experiences are being added to your next trip to Italy?