With the ultimate views of Lake Como, manicured 25-acre gardens with a Nympheum, Hercules Fountain and Telemachus Statue, Villa D’Este is as romantic as it is historic. Designed by Pellegrino Pellegrini in the 16th century, it has hosted royalty, aristocrats and celebrities ever since.
There are decadent suites and private villas to choose from; a spa, sports and golf club; and five restaurants and bars. The crowning glory is the famous swimming pool that is quite literally floating within Lake Como.
Top suite: Mosaic House from $23,000 per week
When to go: From June to August, the gardens come alive with music, dancing and fireworks.