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Byblos Art Hotel–Villa Amistà, Verona 

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78 Via Cedrare
Tel: 39 045 6855555
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Dino Facchini, owner of the Byblos fashion label and a passionate contemporary art collector, teamed up with Milan architect and designer Alessandro Mendini to create a stage for his art collection in this fabulously restored fifteenth-century Venetian villa in the heart of Valpolicella wine country. Pieces from Facchini's collection, complete with descriptions of each work, are displayed throughout this twenty-first-century grand hotel with neo-Baroque surprises: futuristic design furniture and antique-style headboards, dressers, and full-length mirrors with neon-orange or pop-art green insets. The amazing restaurant is lined with Sandro Chia paintings, the 60 light-filled guest rooms are done in bold-colored fabrics, and the otherwise classic bathrooms are outfitted with toiletries in fluorescent wrappings. There's a pool and a café on the five acres of gardens, as well as a spa designed to evoke ancient Pompeii. —2006 Hot List

When to go: The summer opera festival at the Arena di Verona is a hot ticket, but any time other than January and February is great for touring the Veneto.

Which room to book: Mendini really unleashed his creativity in some of the suites: No. 49 is like waking up inside his imagination; No. 24 is a delightful double with a yellow-and-blue coronet bed. Second- and third-floor rooms have the best views of the countryside (doubles, $391).

Amenities: Spa, Bar/lounge, Pool

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