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By: Herbert Ypma

'You can have the universe, if I can have Italy.' So said Giuseppe Verdi. It sounds generous, but Verdi knew that Italy is a universe - diverse, beautiful and crammed with the relics of two millennia of civilization. This new volume of HIP HOTELS presents amazing places to stay in destinations the length and breadth of its boot-shaped peninsula and islands.

Herbert Ypma has ventured far beyond the familiar rolling hills of Tuscany, the postcard-perfect Amalfi Coast, or the Grand Tour destinations of Venice, Florence and Rome, to introduce real discoveries in underexplored regions like Campania, Puglia, Basilicata and Le Marche. Many hotels are a complete surprise: ancient sassi cave-dwellings in the eroded rocky landscape of Basilicata, or the trulli of Puglia, centuries-old igloo-like constructions with conical slate roofs. And whether cave, abbey, olive mill, fishing hut or barefoot beachside palazzo, every one of these unique hotels is true to its locale in its architecture, design and gastronomy.