The 152-room Villa d’Este resides about an hour north of Milan in the quiet surrounds of Lake Como. The 16th century palatial estate has 25 acres of manicured Italian gardens, and it’s been a favorite escape for Hollywood types (Alfred Hitchcock used to retreat here every September) and Milanese who come for the weekend or for fine Italian fare at the hotel's famous lakefront restaurant, Veranda. Don’t leave without taking a dip in the pool, which juts into the lake on a floating dock. From $843. Via Regina 40, Cernobbio Como, 39/031-3481
By AFAR Traveler
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