From art and museums to outstanding cuisine, Italy has it all. With Autumn being a particularly good time to visit thanks to milder weather and fewer crowds, Founder Susie Marquis shares her favourite cultural hotspots and must-visit places in Rome, Florence and Venice, as well as her expert recommendations on the finest luxury apartments to rent…
Autumn is a wonderful time of year to visit Rome, with the city not as crowded as during the summer, and still perfect for sightseeing. With warm temperatures during the day, visitors can explore the city’s many sights while stopping for espressos in the sunshine, most enjoyable while sitting outside in one of Rome’s beautiful piazzas.
This autumn, notable dates include the 18th edition of its Festa del Cinema from October 18th to 29th, and the Roma Jazz Festival between 2nd to 26th November in numerous locations across Rome. For those interested in fashion, the Ara Pacis Museum will be entirely devoted to the legendary and influential fashion and glamour photographer Helmut Newton.
Additionally, one of the most prestigious festivals in Italy, Romaeuropa Festival, will be enriching the capital’s city once again with all kinds of events, including performances of dance, theatre, music, cinema and digital arts, until 19th November.
Some Recommended Apartments:
Via Condotti, 2 bedrooms, 6 guests
Situated on the third floor (with lift) of a 16th century Palazzo, this luxury apartment can be found in one of Rome’s finest shopping streets, while being just a 5-minute walk from the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. Once the residence of Emperor Napoleon III, who lived here in 1830, the apartment has been restored to its original splendour with its entrance through grand wooden doors and along an arcade of Doric columns with ancient artefacts on display.
The magnificent large rooms feature parquet floors, antique furnishings and huge oil paintings, for a traditional feel. The master bedroom has a large canopied bed draped in beautiful fabrics and silks, while a second bedroom can be accessed via a wooden staircase. There is also a rooftop garden suite available to rent, with a cosy sleeping/living area, and access to a spectacular furnished terrace with wonderful views of the city.
Vicolo di Montevecchio, 2 bedrooms, 4 guests
For visitors wanting to stay right in the heart of Rome, Vicolo di Montevecchio is in a lively neighbourhood with plenty of cafés and restaurants. Close to two historic squares – a minute’s walk from Piazza Navona with its three fountains, and a 3-minute walk from the Campo dei Fiori with its market – the apartment is on the third floor of the building and accessed by wide stairs.
With high ceilings, parquet floors and both antique and modern furniture, it is perfect for both couples and families. The spacious and light living room leads to a formal dining room, seating six people, with beautiful walls painted by a local artist. The two bedrooms each have a private bathroom, and the apartment also benefits from satellite TV, as well as air conditioning and heating in each room. Maid service and grocery pre-stocking at the apartment can be arranged on request, and activities and excursions can also be arranged for guests.
Via del Corso, 4 bedrooms, 8 guests
This centrally located apartment is very close to the Piazza Venezia, and the famous Monument of Victor Emanuel II, which can be seen from the apartment’s terrace. The Piazza Navona and the Campo dei Fiori are both within an easy 12-minute walk in one direction, and the Colosseum and Roman Forum around 15 minutes in the other.
The apartment’s entrance hall leads to a beautiful open-plan living area, with marble floors and large windows. The sitting area opens to a balcony with plants, and from here, a staircase leads up to the spectacular furnished roof terrace with jacuzzi and amazing views. The four bedroom suites are also impressive, each with a private bathroom, and with one bedroom opening to a terrace.
Vicolo del Divino Amore, 5 bedrooms, 10 guests
This elegant apartment is located a short distance from some of the most important sights in Rome, including the Pantheon, Ara Pacis, Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. The ground level has a large living room with TV and a dining area, and a connected kitchen. There is also a mini gym with an indoor Nordic Track bike, as well as a hydro massage mini pool for relaxing.
The first floor has three large bedrooms, as well as bathrooms, while on the same level you have access to a double bedroom, suspended on an interior balcony with an en-suite bathroom and shower. This level also has a common room furnished with armchairs, to be used as a studio or a library. On the second floor is the master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, and access to a private terrace with views.
Every season is a good time to visit Florence, but autumn is arguably the best, with a romantic atmosphere and less crowded than in spring or summer,
More manageable to get around the city on foot at this time of year, spend hours exploring Florence’s hidden streets and must-see sights. Florence’s Duomo Cathedral is the city’s most iconic landmark, with its cupola offering the best panoramic views of the city, while The Uffizi Gallery in the historic centre is also a must-visit, with its stunning frescoed ceilings works by famous artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael.
The Accademia Gallery is also worth visiting for many wonderful sculptures, including Michelangelo’s giant marble sculpture of David. The Palazzo Pitti, is another ‘must visit’, dating back to the 15th century when it served as the residence of the powerful Medici family. Today, this opulent palace houses several museums, including the Palatine Gallery and the Boboli Gardens, showcasing a vast collection of art and history. Theatres, which are generally closed over the summer, open again in autumn, and also the city’s film festival takes place.
You might also like to take a day trip to visit a vineyard to taste some world-class Tuscan wines – after all, Autumn is the wine season, with the harvesting taking place in the region.
Some Recommended Apartments:
Situated at the heart of the Oltrarno area and just steps away from the Ponte Vecchio and the River Arno, this area is loved for its authentic atmosphere, including restaurants and local artisan shops, as well as being an easy walk from all the main historical sights on the other side of the river.
Benefitting from stunning views from its large living room windows, guests can look out directly across the Arno River to the Uffizi museum on the other side. On the first floor, the rooms are tastefully furnished and include a well-equipped kitchen and lift access. The apartment owner can also arrange bespoke cooking classes for guests wanting to learn more about Italian cuisine.
Also in the Oltrarno district, this apartment is a 10-minute walk from the lovely Piazza Santo Spirito, with its Monday-Friday market, and just a 12-minute walk along the River Arno to the Ponte Vecchio and the Palazzo Pitti. Situated on the first floor of the building, the apartment maintains original frescoes, is furnished in a vintage 1950s style and has been renovated throughout.
The two bedrooms with en-suite marble bathrooms are located at the back of the apartment, as well as a smaller study which can be converted into a third double bedroom, also with en-suite bathroom. The spacious and light living area benefits from wonderful views over the Arno River, and there is also a large stylish open-plan kitchen with elegant dining table. The owners of the apartment here can also arrange cooking classes on request.
Found in a beautiful 16th century building, Apartment Bellini is in a unique location directly opposite the historic Piazza Pitti and just steps from the Ponte Vecchio. Located on the 1st floor (with lift) this apartment comfortably accommodates 8 guests in 4 double suites, as well as an additional 2 guests on beautiful chaise longues in two of the bedrooms.
Beautiful 16th and 17th century frescoes decorate the walls and ceilings, while the bedrooms have original pieces of furniture dating back to the art deco period. In the kitchen, guests will enjoy great cooking facilities, while bespoke cooking classes can also be arranged at this apartment.
A historical family-owned palazzo dating back to the 12th century, this apartment is in a wonderful central location just a few steps from Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizi Gallery and the Ponte Vecchio. The entrance to the building is into an impressive XVIIth century hall with original columns and statues.
Found on the fourth floor of the palazzo, with lift access, the spacious open-plan living/dining room has fireplaces for colder days and French doors that lead to a furnished terrace/roof garden, where there are views of the Church of Santo Stefano. On the opposite side, there are views of the tower of Palazzo Vecchio.
Visiting Venice in the autumn is perfect for long walks, and the apartments available here are centrally located in some of the most charming ‘sestieri’ of the city, including San Marco, Dorsoduro, Rialto and Castello. The maze of narrow streets in Venice lead to spacious squares, such as Campo San Polo, the Frari church and Scuola di San Rocco, as well as numeroous canals.
Several of our rental apartments are also close to the Rialto Bridge, where a large and colourful food market offers a great choice of fresh foods. Venice also has several art festivals during Autumn, including The Marcel Duchamp and the Lure of the Copy exhibition at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, while lovers of opera can enjoy the season at La Fenice theatre, now resumed after the summer break.
Autumn is also a great time to visit the lagoon islands, Murano, Burano and Torcello, each with its own charm.
Some Recommended Apartments:
Situated in the Dorsoduro area, this second floor apartment overlooks the Giudecca Canal and benefits from panoramic views across to the Redentore Church and the Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore. Known as the Art Gallery district of Venice, guests here will be just a few minutes’ walk from both the Guggenheim Museum, and the Punta della Dogana, in a recently restored old custom’s building and featuring a sensational art collection. The Accademia Gallery is also just a 7-minute walk.
The interiors of apartment have been refurbished throughout to a very high standard, with a beautiful wide entrance hall opening in one direction to the main living areas, and the other to the bedrooms with marble en-suite bathrooms, sauna and terrace. Adjoining the main living/dining room is a large studio/library, also with stunning canal views. Guests from both bedrooms can access the terrace, a perfect place for relaxing long lunches. There is also a sauna in the second bathroom.
A stay in this historical house is a truly unique experience due to its prime location in Venice, right on the edge of the Grand Canal and close to Piazza San Marco. Built in the late 19th century, the house is on three levels, with large windows allowing for light, and overlooks an idyllic garden area and the Grand Canal beyond. With direct access from the canal, the house has a long history, with its most famous inhabitant being the poet and politician Gabriele D’Annunzio.
The main living area on the ground floor has French windows opening to the spacious garden, which includes rose bushes and pomegranates. A canopied dining area here is also ideal for enjoying breakfast, long lunches and beautiful ‘al fresco’ dinners. On the rooftop is an ‘altana’ (Venetian terrace) equipped with sun loungers, which can be accessed by an external staircase.
Situated in a wonderful central Venice location on the Grand Canal between St Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge, this apartment is found in a historical palazzo, dating back to the 16th century. The palazzo is just a 2-minute walk from the charming Campo Santo Stefano, and an easy walk from many of the famous sights in Venice, including the Palazzo Ducale and the Galleria Accademia, as well as a great choice of restaurants and shops.
The palazzo is divided into four beautiful apartments, with a shared entrance and its own private water entrance for arrival by boat, and retains its original ornate interiors, after being recently restored to the highest level. The apartment’s two floors are connected by both a staircase and lift, and the rooms are exceptionally light with both front and side views of the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge available from the living room, dining room and two of the bedrooms.
Is a city break in Italy on your to-do list? There’s never been a better time to soak up the culture, sunshine, wine and incredible food scene across this stunning country. Explore Italy‘s other must-see destinations here, and discover all our luxury apartments and villas to rent across Rome, Florence, Venice, the Amalfi Coast, Puglia and more.
Stay ahead of the pack by receiving updates on an array of international luxury villas and apartments, chic new properties and our impressive selection of enticing travel itineraries. Sign up for our bi-monthly newsletter here.