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June 01, 2009

Hot Italy Hotels Opening This Summer

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Guests at the Castel Monastero will be able to enjoy the hotel's own wines in its cellar come July.
Photo: Castel Monastero

by Ondine Cohane

We are having a heat wave in Italy at the moment. Despite the almost unbearable 90-degree temperatures, May and June remain my favorite months here in Tuscany. We've got sunny skies; green fields full of wildflowers; cherries, zucchini, and artichokes are in season at the food markets; and there's no sign of the tourist fatigue that often sets in after the high season.

If all that sounds as irresistible to you as it does to me, here are some hotels opening in Italy this summer to keep on your radar:

* Il Salviatino will open in Florence on July 1. Located in one of my favorite neighborhoods, Fiesole, on a hill overlooking the city, the 54-room property is in a fifteenth-century villa with 11 acres of gardens, a holistic spa, a heated pool, and in-room fireplaces for the cooler months. A bit outside the fray, it sounds like the perfect retreat in frenetic Florence.
* Also debuting in July near Siena, Castel Monastero is an eleventh-century hamlet that's been transformed into a resort with a huge spa and a Gordon Ramsay restaurant--his first foray into this part of the world.
* I wrote about Sicily's Verdura Resort and Spa, a huge undertaking by Rocco Forte, a few weeks ago, and I am still just as curious to see this new property. Please share your thoughts if you've been or you plan on visiting.
* And of course a number of great hotels that opened in the last year or so made it onto our 2009 Hot List, including the Romeo, the Four Seasons Florence, Castiglion del Bosco, and Borgo Santo Pietro. I have made it to all of them except the Romeo (planning a trip next month), and they all deserve the accolades.

Further reading:
* Five top Tuscan restaurants
* Word of Mouth: The buzz worldwide

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