A Villa Tour of Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast

Experience the beauty of il dolce far niente -- "the sweetness of doing nothing" -- at these 5 exquisite villas in Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast.

Within a few hours of arriving in Tuscany on our latest team trip, we learned a new phrase to add to our repertoire: il dolce far niente, or “the sweetness of doing nothing.” Though we were traveling for business and couldn’t quite take the phrase to heart, it stuck with us as an example of what a true villa vacation – your villa vacation! – should embody: relaxation, presence, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing that every detail is taken care of for you.

We stayed in a handful of Italian villas that exemplified the level of service, beauty, and luxury of the ideal Italian getaway, and we even got to experience a bit of il dolce far niente for ourselves. Join us on our latest villa tour of Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast. 

Villa Machiavelli in Florence, Tuscany
From the moment we arrived and were offered a glass of their signature wine to the complimentary breakfast our final morning, every detail of our stay was thoughtfully and seamlessly arranged. Once the home of the famous Machiavelli family (Niccolò Machiavelli is best known for his political treatise The Prince), this 15th-century villa has been restored to its former brilliance with ten bedrooms, a large outdoor swimming pool, heated indoor swimming pool, and wine cellar. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a Tuscan cooking class with Chef Francesco – you’ll never be prouder of a home cooked meal.

Favorite spots far niente: The main gathering room of the villa, with its panoramic window looking out onto the sprawling countryside; the courtyard, with its vegetable and herb garden; or in a plush day bed by the pool.

Villa Bice in Castelfiorentino, Tuscany 
Bice is the perfect blend of classic Tuscan beauty and modern décor – simultaneously comforting and a breath of fresh air.  Located next to a beautiful 18-hole golf course (golf lovers, take note: the estate offers both a highly technical Mountain Course and a beginner-friendly Lake Course), this five-bedroom property is great for families looking to explore Tuscany from the comfort of a full-service estate (Lucca, Siena, Florence are all just over an hour away). In addition to a golf course, the estate offers restaurants, a village with shops, a cooking school, and kids’ programs.

Favorite spots far niente: The pool terrace, with a book and an espresso; or on the terrace of La Rocca di Castelfalfi, a restaurant located inside a renovated castle.

Villa Prima in Greve, Tuscany 
We love to recommend Prima for large groups and special occasions, and we always stay a night or two when we’re in the area. This 17th-century estate is located on a working vineyard in the famous Chianti region and feels very private, but it’s conveniently only about 30-40 minutes from Siena and Florence. The chef is fantastic, the views unmatched, and with nine bedrooms – all equally beautiful – and a host of common areas made for entertaining, Prima is the perfect spot for a wedding or celebration.

Favorite spots far niente: The spacious terrace overlooking the vineyard, with a glass of wine; by the pool; or in the huge billiard room.

Villa Giulia in Positano, the Amalfi Coast 
It’s hard to imagine not falling in love with Villa Giulia. The fresh, white décor is a perfect complement to the colorful Amalfi Coast, and the panoramic view of the coastline is enchanting night and day. With six bedrooms, two floors, and an indoor spa level, there is more than enough space to spread out, but our group always seemed to be gathered in the kitchen or on the adjacent main terrace, unable to resist the view for too long. Allow your concierge to arrange private chef service for at least one night in order to take full advantage of the kitchen’s wood-burning pizza oven.

Favorite spots far niente: The terrace, all day every day; or the indoor pool and spa area, with a view of the sea through the large windows.

Villa Dorata in Positano, the Amalfi Coast 
Dorata is a showstopper; even the most seasoned villa inspectors on our team were impressed. Decorated in High Baroque style with frescoed ceilings, intricate tiles, and lavish draperies, this five-bedroom villa would be perfect for a family gathering, wedding, milestone birthday, or any occasion ripe for memory making. Dorata’s staff could not have been more accommodating to a tired group at the end of a hectic week of travel, and the al fresco dining terrace was the perfect spot for our final Italian feast.

Favorite spots far niente: The dining terrace, with its big, comfortable chairs facing the sea; or the spa floor, with an indoor waterfall pool, steam bath, hot sauna, and massage tables.

Discover your favorite spot far niente in your own private Italian villa rental.