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Alchemists of Italy: Evocative Hotels for Enjoying La Doce Vita

Written by:
The Aficionados
Fabio Semeraro, Andrea Vierucci, Letizia Cigliutti, Alessandro Lana, Lorenzo Butti, Florian Andergassen, Montamont

The Aficionados inspires contemporary nomads with its curated selection of unique properties in the most evocative corners of the Italian peninsula.

The Apennine peninsula is appreciated by contemporary nomads for its corners reminiscent of movie sets, dreamlike landscapes, and its devotion to the arte di vivere, all elements that THE AFICIONADOS rediscovers through Alchemist of Italy, a curated selection of singular properties where the expression “la dolce vita” takes on new meaning.

Densely packed with history and art, this dedicated selection of boutique hotels includes an estate in the heights of the Tuscan hills, a 13th-century Byzantine palazzo in Venice, an evocative oasis facing the Mediterranean in Liguria, a sanctuary of wellbeing in the vicinity of Lake Garda, and a hideaway with a panoramic view of the Dolomites. All are inspiring destinations.

Vocabolo Moscatelli, Umbria

A restoration journey of soulful proportions, 12th-century monas- tery-turned design hotel Vocabolo Moscatelli is a tribute to consecrated heritage and contemporary Italian design. Found in a land of rich Umbrian history and rural tradition whispered through ancient oak forests, gnarled vineyards and Mediterranean landscaping, Vocabolo Moscatelli is a monastic reclamation of style.

Locanda al Colle, Tuscany

Locanda al Colle is your entry point into a Tuscany beyond the classic farmhouse. This rural style outpost, draped in Mediterranean verdancy with views down to the sea, is a hotel, but feels like the home of a friend with eccentric good taste. Commanding a hilltop in the region of Versilia, 17th-century Locanda al Colle is clasped by ancient olive trees and warmed by the scents of Tuscan summer: sage, lavender and rosemary drift on the breeze.

Monteverdi, Tuscany

A story of confected restoration and salvaged diligence, Monteverdi in Tuscany is a reclamation project of scale, spanning 14 years, turning the dilapidated Tuscan hilltop hamlet of Val d’Orcia into a style commune of bold rural architecture.

Venice Venice Hotel, Venice

Dynamic, evocative, audacious and avant-garde begins to describe Venice Venice Hotel, located waterside on the Grand Canal within striking distance of both Rio dei Santi Apostoli and the Palazzo Bollani Erizzo with views over to the Rialto Bridge. Housed in a 13th-century Venetian-Byz- antine palace, previously known as Ca’ da Mosto, the hotel is set within one of the oldest palazzos in the city and hallmarks of age are seen, celebrated and beautifully exposed throughout.

Hotel Windsor, Liguria

The Windsor puts the glamour of the Italian Riviera into the fore, with a classic reinvention of a seaside hotel that captures the nostalgic days of travel’s Golden Age. Catching the movement of sunshine ochre as its passes through, The Windsor beautifully references the subtle art of summer days through exquisitely placed design objects that have been chosen with absolute precision.

Cape of Senses, Lake Garda

With arguably one of the most magnificent infinity views across Lake Garda, the all-suite hotel and wellness retreat, Cape of Senses is anchored to the sleepy Torri del Benaco hillside on Italy’s largest lake. Harnessing the lake views, the design is informed by the contours of the hillside, mirroring the land and water in a startling architectural form.

Atto Suites, South Tyrol

Atto Suites strikes an impressive architectural pose, wrapped in flushed porphyry and concrete, interiors smooth with spruce wood, located in the fertile Val Pusteria valley of northern Italy. A purist’s testament to the region’s ideals, a connection with nature and the preservation of the building, the legacy of Atto Suites speaks to its life as a bakery and confectioners of San Candido, the heart of this Dolomite village.

These hotels –and others–, selected by The Aficionados have been brought together in its most recent publication “Alchemists of Italy”, a carefully edited magazine filled with magnificent photographs that allow readers to appreciate the details and superb spaces of the 21 properties that make up this collection. Alchemists of Italy is a volume that will enchant both travelers and lovers of design and architecture.


Founded by Iain Ainsworth, THE AFICIONADOS is a travel resource for those seeking fabulous recommendations and accommodation that effortlessly fuses luxury, design and authenticity. It comprises over 90 hotels, designer homes for private hire and guesthouses, from all across Europe and a fabulous outpost in New York, the United States, together with a selection of over 100 creatives who round out the offer of this culture and lifestyle emporium for travel and good living. The Aficionados also publishes five printed magazines: Blueprint Beauts, Farmhouse Fabulous, Casa Gorgeous, Neu Heritage, and Alchemists of Italy.

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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