Cities of art, European capitals, and, especially, the sea and mountains – after a second springtime devastated by Covid, no summer vacation has ever been so keenly awaited as this year’s, which Italians will mainly be spending rediscovering their own Belpaese. According to research by Ufficio Studi Coop for Robintur Travel Group, in 2021, 41 million Italians will be allowed to travel – that’s 11 million more than back in the dark days of 2020. Only 11% of respondents said they wanted to go abroad, while the remaining 89% said they’ll be traveling to destinations in Italy. Among the most popular places are Sardinia, Sicily, Tuscany, and Puglia. With the relative peace of mind that comes from vaccination, this year people have an enormous desire to travel, which has also given them the motivation to take on the string of organizational and bureaucratic challenges, such as fitting in dates around vaccinations and that paperwork that needs to be done, first and foremost to get the “Green” health pass.
With this reawakening happening after months of varying levels of lockdown, people are feeling more than ever the need for a vacation in touch with nature. Just one possibility is Lefay Resort & SPA Dolomiti, an eco-sustainable luxury hotel set in the woods of Pinzolo, Trentino. The building reinterprets traditional architecture through the use of local materials, such as stone and wood. The structure, for which Alberto Apostoli took care of the interior design, occupies nine levels and comprises 88 hotel suites and 22 private residences with access to the resort’s services. It also has a sprawling wellness area, spread out over several floors.
But if you prefer the Mediterranean beach life to hiking in the Dolomites, you won’t be disappointed. Salina, an island in the Aeolian archipelago, hides a tiny jewel: Capofaro Locanda & Malvasia, a resort nestled between a high cliff overlooking the sea and a large vineyard. The building, restored to a design by the Milanese studio MAB arquitectura, was once the lighthouse keepers’ home. Now it has six suites, each with its own outdoor space, completely surrounded by a Mediterranean garden. Simple and elegant, the interiors reflect the traditional Aeolian style, with custom-designed wooden furniture, and floors and walls finished with handcrafted cementine tiles.
For those who do spend their 2021 summer vacation abroad, one of the most popular European destinations is Spain, which has always had a reputation for fun and relaxation as well as its important historical legacy. OHLAB’s project for the Can Bordoy – Grand House and Garden, a boutique hotel in Palma de Mallorca, takes all these different faces of Spain into account. Located in the historic center of the city, the hotel has 24 rooms, a swimming pool, and a spa. It’s the result of the restoration of an abandoned house set in a large garden. Its eclectic architecture is also reflected in the interior design, which combines antiques, local crafts, furnishings already present in the building, contemporary furniture, and custom-designed elements.
The other very popular European destination this summer is Greece, home to some genuine slices of paradise, such as the Olea All Suite Hotel, located among the olive trees on the eastern side of the island of Zakynthos. The project, which adds a pinch of tropical modernism to Mediterranean architecture, was designed by Block722 Architects+. The heart of the design is the lake, around which the common areas, suites, and the wellness area are arranged, along with various shady places to socialize and relax. The design, which uses natural materials such as rustic oak, bamboo, and rattan, aims to bring guests in touch with their surroundings by seamlessly connecting the interior and exterior.
Lefay Resort & SPA Dolomiti, Pinzolo (Trento), Project by Alberto Apostoli, Photos by Sharon Radisch, courtesy Lefay Resorts
Capofaro Locanda & Malvasia, Isola di Salina, Project by MAB Arquitectura, Photos by Alberto Moncada
Can Bordoy Grand House and Garden Hotel, Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Project by OHLAB, Photos by José Hevia, courtesy OHLAB
Olea All Suite Hotel, Zakynthos (Greece), Project by Block722 Architects+, Photos by CLAUS BRECHENMACHER-REINER BAUMANN PHOTOGRAPHY & NIKOS KONTOSTAVLAKIS