Michelin Keys: Here Are The Most Beautiful Small Hotels In Italy With Fewer Than 10 Rooms


Alessandra Meldolesi
copertina hotel piccoli michelin

Hospitality is not just about large hotels. Michelin has selected the best boutique hotels in Italy, in both cities and small villages. These accommodations, often family-run with just a handful of rooms, offer a stay that is both warm and bespoke.

On the cover: Seven Rooms, photo by Mattia Aquila

A few days ago, the presentation of the first Italian Michelin Keys took place, a new recognition that, similar to the traditional Michelin stars in the culinary world, rewards excellence in the hotel industry following meticulous inspections by the inspectors. The result is a selection that considers all types of establishments, from large hotels to small family-run properties. Here are the ten best boutique hotels in the country, intimate and cozy establishments with a maximum of ten rooms, offering a warm and bespoke welcome, as detailed by Michelin. Among patrician mansions and modernist architectures, Tuscany leads the pack with four destinations.

Corte della Maestà, Civita di Bagnoregio

corte della maesta

In one of Italy's most enchanting villages, Civita di Bagnoregio, this small establishment, lovingly set up by psychiatrist Paolo Crepet and his wife Cristiana Melis, is housed in the spaces of the ancient archbishop's palace, with its magnificent frescoes, high vaulted ceilings, and winter fireplace. The four rooms are meticulously decorated and furnished with antique furniture and precious artifacts.

 Velona’s Jungle Luxury Suites, Firenze

Velonas Jungle Luxury Suites Firenze

Florence offers a wide range of lodging options. However, this one stands out as unique: owner Veronica Grechi dedicated her four suites to her grandfather Pasquale Velona, an antiques dealer passionate about travel, and decorated them with eccentric creativity, featuring animal and exotic themes, while adhering to the best hospitality standards.

Vivere Suites and Rooms, Arco

Vivere Suites and Rooms Arco

In a setting dominated by magnificent historic accommodations on the shores of Lake Garda, there is also room for a different kind of proposal. This small hotel has 6 rooms, focusing on comfort and modernity.

Critabianca, Cutrofiano

Critabianca Cutrofiano

In the heart of Salento, this property is housed in a 14th-century colonial house, converted into a patrician residence by a French nobleman in the 18th century. The main building hosts just six rooms, renovated in respect of the original layouts.

Vico Milano, Milano

Vico Milano Milano

Even a large city like Milan offers tailor-made hotels. For example, Vico, a property with just 6 rooms, boasts a small collection of contemporary artworks and designer furnishings.

Follonico Suite B&B, Torrita di Siena

follonico 4 suite bb torrita di siena 070 54596 1110x700

It's hard to find an older establishment than this one, dating back to the 9th century. In the heart of the most beautiful countryside in the world, it hosts just 6 rooms, featuring minimalist furnishings, exposed beams, terracotta floors, and a large pool for the summer months.

Siena House, Torrita di Siena

Siena House Torrita di Siena

This beautiful establishment also focuses on contemporary art and design, nestled in greenery and structured similarly to a high-end B&B. Its 6 rooms have access to a fully equipped kitchen and climate-controlled spaces for wine.

Conti di San Bonifacio, Gavorrano

Conti di San Bonifacio Gavorrano

Once again in Tuscany, this ancient farmhouse is nestled in the greenery of the Maremma vineyards and woods. Bucolic atmospheres are complemented by interiors rich with fine details and materials. There are seven panoramic rooms available, often featuring spacious terraces.

Palazzo Margherita, Bernalda

Palazzo Margherita Bernalda suite

Still called Palazzo Margherita, this 19th-century residence was sold in 2004 by the eponymous family to the renowned director Francis Ford Coppola, who fell in love with the small Lucanian village, the birthplace of his grandfather Agostino. Today, it is a boutique hotel with nine rooms furnished in classic style and boasting a beautiful garden.

Casa Clàt, Cagliari

Casa Clat Cagliari

Sardinian artist Giorgio Casu designed this small hotel and its nine rooms, focusing on the region and its history through a blend of different eras and artisanal skills, creating ever-changing compositions. Guests can also enjoy the garden and lounge bar.

Seven Rooms Villadorata, Noto

Seven Rooms Villadorata Noto

The structure housing the nine rooms of this incredible hotel is truly impressive. It is an 18th-century royal residence with frescoed ceilings and regal atmospheres, sometimes contrasted with designer furnishings.

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