22 Amazing Family-run Hotels in Italy — From Mountain Inns to Seafront Palaces

These family-run hotels in Italy have been passed down from generation to generation.

View from a guest room terrace at Hotel Poseidon in Positano

Alessandra Amodio

Branded hotels have made a big splash in Italy in recent years, with the openings of chic new entries like the W, Soho House, and Six Senses in Rome; Belmond’s Splendido Mare in Portofino; Rocco Forte’s Villa Igiea in Palermo; and San Domenico Palace, a Four Seasons Hotel in Taormina, which you may recognize from the TV series White Lotus

But despite these high-profile debuts, international chain hotels still only comprise little more than five percent of Italy’s roughly 32,000 hotels. The rest are privately held accommodations run by small groups and, quite often, hotelier families that have passed the room keys from generation to generation. They may be cozy mountain inns, hushed spa retreats, glorious seafront palaces, or established urban hotels where guests find a welcoming point of reference in a bustling city. 

From the snowcapped peaks of the Dolomites to the pointy tip of the boot and beyond, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite family-run hotels in Italy. They offer a familial presence, warm welcomes, some quirkiness, and experiences that are as Italian as they come.

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Hotel Quelle Nature Spa Resort, Santa Maddalena

Exterior facade and wellness pool at Hotel Quelle

Courtesy of Hotel Quelle

We adore this luxury spa hotel in the far reaches of South Tyrol’s Puster Valley, where you’re closer to the Austrian border than any major Italian city. For 73 years, the Steinmar family has been ever-present here. Today, patriarch Eric often greets guests at the breakfast buffet, son Manuel manages the day-to-day affairs, daughter Sarah helms nearby private chalets, and daughter Julia runs the hotel’s eco-retreat. There’s also a massive spa area with 10 saunas and Aufguss rituals.

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Parkhotel Holzner, Soprabolzano

Founded in 1908, this venerable hotel has been in the hands of the Holzner family for almost that long, having survived world wars, Nazi occupation, and travel booms and busts, plus undergoing multiple expansions. Still, it retains its original, Swiss chalet-style details. It’s located in Soprabolzano, at the top of the Renon cable car — our recommended way to reach the property.

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Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, Lake Como

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni
Courtesy of Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni

Four generations of the Bucher family have been welcoming fabulous and well-heeled guests to this luxury lakefront hotel, which began life as a private villa in the 1800s. Villa Serbelloni helped put Bellagio on the celebrity map. Period rooms and suites, as well as a private beach, plentiful lakeview dining, and seamless service help recall and recreate la dolce vita.

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Chalet del Sogno, Madonna di Campiglio

Whether you’re a mountain sports enthusiast or simply here for the scenery, this small, sustainably designed five-star hotel puts the slopes, trails, and apres-ski scene of trendy Madonna di Campiglio at your doorstep. Owner Alberto Schiavon, a former Olympic athlete, founded the hotel with his parents. He’ll be quick to take you on a driving tour of the countryside or, if you’re game, a lung-bursting bike ride or challenging via ferrata.

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Hotel Castello di Reschio, Umbria

Aerial view of Hotel Castello di Reschio
Courtesy of Hotel Castello di Reschio

Three generations of the Bolza family have brought this abandoned Umbrian estate back to life as one of the most stylish and luxurious country hotels in Italy. Most rooms and suites are in the 11th-century castle, which has been restored with an exquisite modern sensibility while still retaining its medieval character. Restaurants, bars, a pool, and a thermal spa area ensure guests can find plenty of diversions without ever leaving the 3,700-acre estate. 

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Adler Spa Resort Dolomiti, Ortisei

The exterior and property of ADLER Spa Resort DOLOMITI in Ortisei

Courtesy of ADLER Spa Resort DOLOMITI

Few hoteliers in Italy can boast a run quite as remarkable as that of the Sanoner family, whose Adler brand began in 1810 with Zum Adler, a small mountain inn in Ortisei. The town’s fortunes have changed with the growth of Alpine tourism, and the modest inn is now one of the premier luxury spa hotels in the Dolomites. Now run by the seventh generation of Sanoner siblings, the flagship resort has since been joined by three other mountain properties, as well as Adler Thermae in Tuscany and a newly opened outpost in Sicily.

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Gardena Grödnerhof Gourmet Hotel & Spa, Ortisei

The lawn and central outside patios at Gardena Groodnerhof in Ortisei

Fiorenzo Calosso/Courtesy of Gardena Grodnerhof 

Hugo and Cinzia Bernardi run this third-generation, 58-room spa hotel under the watchful portraits of Hugo’s parents and grandparents — the latter founded the lodging in 1923. The first five-star hotel in Ortisei has plenty of more recent company, and now sports a decidedly more modern vibe, Relais & Châteaux membership, and a Michelin-starred eatery.

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Rosa Alpina, San Cassiano

Luxurious Ski Trips
Courtesy of Rosa Alpina

Gourmands may head to Rosa Alpina’s three-Michelin-star St. Hubertus for the dining experience alone. But third-generation hotelier Hugo Pizzinini makes sure there are plenty of other reasons to stay for a while, including three other restaurants; mountain-chic rooms, suites, and private chalets; and an expansive wellness area. First founded in the 1800s and in the hands of the Pizzinini family since 1940, Rosa Alpina has steadily climbed in its star ranking — a recent partnership with Aman is proof that it’s ascended.

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Hotel Freina, Selva di Val Gardena

Exterior of Hotel Freina in Selva di Val Gardena during the wintertime

Courtesy of Hotel Freina

In some family-run hotels, patriarchs and matriarchs are the elder statespeople of the property, the guiding hands who leave the day-to-day running to their adult children or hired managers. Not so at Hotel Freina, where Klaus and Susanna Kostner and their children tend bar, shovel snow, and run the front desk. This cozy, modern hotel is steps from Dolomiti Superski, the world’s largest ski area.

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Locanda La Raia, Gavi

View from a guest room at Locanda La Raia in Gavi

Paola Calamara/Courtesy of Locanda La Raia

In 2003, the Rossi Cairo family acquired La Raia, a 180-hectare farm in the northern Italian region of Piedmont, and converted it into a biodynamic agro estate, which now includes a winery, an arts foundation, and a 12-room country retreat. Their slow hospitality philosophy incorporates sustainability, biodiversity, and locavore cuisine, which can be sampled in the on-site restaurant. Light-filled rooms and apartments offer a mix of antique and modern aesthetics, and a sauna area, spa treatments, and indoor and outdoor pools challenge traditional notions of "farm life."

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Hotel Poseidon, Positano

View from a guest room at Hotel Poseidon in Positano

Alessandra Amodio

What started as a vacation home for young couple Bruno and Liliana Aonzo became their life’s work at Hotel Poseidon. Of course, it didn’t hurt that their simple little getaway was perched on prime Positano real estate. Liliana and Bruno's children, Monica and Marco, still live on property and ensure this stylish spot retains its familial, welcoming atmosphere. 

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Hotel Santa Caterina, Amalfi

Hotel Santa Caterina
Courtesy of Hotel Santa Caterina

One of the grand dames of the Amalfi Coast, Hotel Santa Caterina has been in the hands of the Gambardella family and their descendants since it first opened as a six-room property in 1904. It’s now run by a fourth generation of cousins, who’ve shepherded its growth to a luxurious 72-room compound clinging dramatically to a cliff. Open-air dining, a seafront pool, and gorgeous sea-view suites are just some of the features that make this iconic Amalfi hotel a perennial stunner.

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Boutique Hotel Ilio, Capo Sant’Andrea

Garden exterior of Boutique Hotel Ilio in Capo Sant’Andrea

Courtesy of Boutique Hotel Ilio

There’s a lot to love about this modest bolthole on Tuscany’s Elba Island, and much of it emanates from owner Maurizio Testa, who took over this seasonal hotel from his father. Testa, a passionate proponent of Elba, is not only always ready with suggestions for the best restaurants and excursions, but he's also willing to make the reservations for you personally.

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Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, Sorrento

Living room view at Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria
Roberto Bonardi/Courtesy of Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria

This sea-facing landmark has, remarkably, been in the hands of the founding Fiorentino family since 1834 and seen a cavalcade of famous guests rest their heads on its high-thread-count pillows: Richard Wagner, Marilyn Monroe, Luciano Pavarotti, and Sophia Loren, to name a few. Fifth-generation owner Guido Fiorentino has ushered this Old World classic into a modern age, though the views of the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius remain eternal. Fiorentino’s sons will be the sixth generation to grasp the baton.

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Le Sirenuse, Positano

Le Sirenuse, Positano, Italy
Brechenmacher & Baumann/Courtesy of Le Sirenuse

Though Positano’s history dates to at least the Roman era, its rise as a fashionable resort town is linked to WWII, when former mayor Paolo Sersale convinced U.S. general Mark Clark to establish a rest camp for Allied officers here. The Sersale siblings — four in all — soon converted their family villa into a hotel and began welcoming returning GIs to what would become Le Sirenuse, where a third generation of Serale kin still run the elegant property as if it were their family home. 

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Palazzo Avino, Ravello

Palazzo Avino Ravello Italy
Courtesy of Palazzo Avino

Sisters Mariella and Attilia Avino are the duo behind Ravello’s “Pink Palace,” parts of which date to the 1100s and opened under its current incarnation in 1997. The refined property commands sweeping views of the Amalfi Coast, and its inland location is complemented by a tony beach club at Marmorata. Rossellini’s, one of the hotel's dining establishments and named as an homage to the famed director (a former guest), has one Michelin star. 

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Helvetia & Bristol — Starhotels, Florence

Dining on the rooftop at Helvetia & Bristol Firenze
Stefano Scatà/Courtesy of Helvetia & Bristol Firenze

After Elisabetta Fabri took the reins of Starhotels from her father, Ferruccio, in 2000, she turned a group of business-centered hotels into Italy’s top privately held luxury hotel chain by opening five-star properties across the country, as well as in London, Paris, and New York City. In Florence, iconic Helvetia & Bristol has undergone a sleek face-lift, including the opening of an underground spa — fittingly amid the ruins of an ancient Roman terme.

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Hotel Vannucci, Città della Pieve

Exterior facade and pool at Hotel Vannucci in Città della Pieve

Courtesy of Hotel Vannucci

Tucked into the pretty Umbrian hill town of Città della Pieve, this delightful property belongs to the Wirth family of hoteliers, whose fifth-generation patriarch, Roberto, died unexpectedly in 2022. The much-loved and respected senior Wirth left Vannucci, Rome’s legendary Hotel Hassler, and smaller Il Palazzetto, as well as two upscale country properties, in the hands of his twin children, Roberto Jr. and Veruschka.

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Hotel Mediterraneo — Bettoja Hotels, Rome

Interior of a guest room at Hotel Mediterraneo in Rome

CARBONELLI & SEGANTI/Courtesy of Hotel Mediterraneo

Hotel Mediterraneo occupies a Fascist-era building in sight of Termini station. It’s retained its art deco origins, which are especially evident in the lobby and vintage cocktail bar where American GIs once enjoyed some R&R. A rooftop bar and terrace offers soaring views of the city. The hotel, along with adjacent Atlantico and Massimo d’Azeglio, are owned by the Bettoja family, who are now on their fifth generation.

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Hotel Flora, Venice

Interior of a guest room at Hotel Flora in Venice

Courtesy of Hotel Flora

Hotel Flora is an excellent pick in Venice — not just because it’s a relative bargain in an expensive city, but because the property founded by the Romanelli family in the 1960s is so reliably cozy, welcoming, and well-run. Third-generation son Gioele and wife Heiby are at the helm at here, as well as at nearby Novecento Boutique Hotel and Casa Flora guesthouse.

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Palazzo Niccolini al Duomo, Florence

A guest room living room at Palazzo Niccolini al Duomo in Florence

ANDREA GETULI/Courtesy of Palazzo Niccolini al Duomo

You can pretend you’re of aristocratic birth when you stay at Palazzo Niccolini, which dates to the early 1500s and has passed through the same bloodlines for just as long. Today, it’s the property of Filippo and Ginevra Niccolini di Camugliano, who run it as a boutique hotel. Proximity to the Duomo is a big plus here.

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Baglioni Hotel Luna, Venice

Baglioni Hotel Luna in Venice
Courtesy of Baglioni Hotel Luna

With a prime position just steps from St. Mark’s Square and the Grand Canal, this marble-clad beauty is part of Baglioni Hotels & Resorts, the small, Polito family-owned luxury group that in just two generations has established some of the most highly regarded hotels in Italy, plus offshoots in London and the Maldives. Casa Baglioni, a sexy addition to Milan’s Brera district, opens this year.

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