Italy's many summer resorts have been coveted seasonal destinations for generations. From north to south, "the boot" offers some enticing options for warm weather cavorting, nevermind the idyllic isle of Sardinia. From the Lakes Region to Amalfi, here are five of our favorites, starting with a Lake Como villa that might rival George Clooney's. The seven bedroom lakefront spread is located an hour and a half from Milan by car and features a private boathouse, an infinity pool, and access to a helicopter pad. Unfortunately, the price is enough to make even Clooney blush at $36.5M.
? American college students have always found Florence an attractive study abroad option, what with its wealth of art and architecture. The sellers of the Villa Spelman, an historic hillside property close to the city center, will be hoping someone happens along with more than a student's budget. The $22M eight-bedroom manse was once owned by Johns Hopkins University, but the college sold the 11,000-square-foot property due to sky-high maintenance costs, estimated at $500K per year, and the need for millions of dollars in repairs. No word on what the ensuing owner has done to improve the property, but probably not much considering the garden pool remains half-full of brackish green water.
? The Costa Smeralda might not enjoy the same name recognition as Florence or Como, but this enclave on Sardinia also doesn't deal with the ensuing crowds. Celebs and moguls are drawn to this ritzy Mediterranean paradise for its anonymity, and are ready to open their checkbooks to secure a private slice of the luxury. This seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom hilltop estate lies within walking distance of the Cala di Volpe Hotel, but boasts far reaching views of rolling hillsides and the sea. The price for this highly desirable combination can only be obtained on request.
? Set along the Amalfi Coast, the seaside town of Positano was once a quiet idyll like the Costa Smeralda. Now, the word has been out for some time about the stunning ocean vistas and terraced mansions. One such mansion is the so-called "Palazzo Positano," a 6,500-square-foot pink palace that dates from 1680. Broad porticos allow for relaxing enjoyment of the sea breezes and views, but only for those willing to pony up $17M for the pleasure.
? Italy's eastern coastline doesn't get much attention from foreigners—with the notable exception of Venice—so starting a hotel there might be a challenge for a non-Italian. That shouldn't preclude deep-pocketed buyers from checking out the boutique hotel currently on the market for $22M in Rimini, not far from San Marino. After all, it shouldn't be too hard to find plenty of friends that want to spend the summer at the 43-room Duomo Hotel, particularly once they get a glimpse at the Zaha Hadid-style reception desk.
· Lakeside Jewel, Lake Como [Christie's]
· Splendid 16th Century Florentine Villa [Sotheby's]
· KSAS Sells Villa Spelman, Launches New Center [Johns Hopkins Gazette]
· Villa Due Mari [Christie's]
· Palazzo Positano [Christie's]
· Design Boutique Hotel Rimini [Sotheby's]