Belmond Villa San Michele
From its hillside perch just below the village of Fiesole, a northern suburb of Florence, the Villa San Michele overlooks the wide sprawl of the city. The heart of the hotel is a Renaissance-era ex-monastery, its facade said to have been designed by Michelangelo. Around half the luxurious bedrooms and suites are housed here; others are in modern annexes in the fabulous terraced gardens. Up here, all is peaceful and quiet, a world away from the tourist throng below: there is a fine pool at the top of the property; a gourmet restaurant and bar in the loggia with views over the city; and lots of nooks and crannies, both inside and out, for relaxation. A shuttle bus service will whisk you into the city center in 20 minutes.