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 JK Place Firenze was one of the first boutique hotels to open in Florence in 2003 and I was the first ever guest to stay in this 20 room hotel which sits directly on the Piazza di Santa Maria Novella in the heart of the city. General manager Claudio Meli has been here since its opening and knows all the secrets of his beloved Florence. The
bedrooms are exquisite with luxury en suite marble bathrooms and J.K. Lounge with a terrace on the square serves mouth-watering Italian dishes with a contemporary twist. Some of the city’s best cafés, restaurants and shops are within a two minute walk.
Rates from £325 per night.
  If village life is more your thing, head to La Bandita Townhouse (above) a 12 room boutique hotel hidden inside the historic centre of Pienza, a tiny village in southern Tuscany which has been producing Pecorino (sheep’s cheese) the same way for thousands of years. The building is a wonderful renaissance palazzo where nuns have lived for over 500 years. Rates from £217 per night.
If a trip to the Eternal City is on the cards and you don’t have the budget for a large luxury hotel then try Relais Rione Ponte a cute and relative newcomer to the boutique hotel scene in Rome. With a constantly evolving art gallery this nine room hotel is hidden away on the second floor of a 17th century palazzo and is less than a five minute walk from Piazza Navona.
Rates from £129 per night.
Q92 Noto Hotel a nine room Baroque palazzo in one of the best locations in the UNESCO world heritage site of Noto, Sicily will be opening soon. It’s private and romantic with a small garden and pool. Paragon 700 the only red palazzo in the white city of Ostuni, Puglia, will also be opening its doors this summer with just 11 rooms and suites, spa, restaurant, pool and bar. Still in
Puglia, four room hideaway Casa Litara will be waiting to welcome guests looking for a few days escape by the pool. Borgo69 in Tuscany has been busy with finishing touches to the 12 luxury villas before its summer opening. In neighbouring Umbria a thousand year old castle has been meticulously restored and transformed into a dazzling hotel, Castello di Reschio.

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