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Inspiration for a European City break from The Luxury Travel Book

4 October 2021

April French Furnell

Fancy a European city break in a stunning apartment with a prime central location? Susie Marquis, Founder of The Luxury Travel Book, the city apartment and villa rental experts, with an enviable portfolio of properties shares her top recommendations for European city breaks in Paris, Venice, Seville, Rome and Florence this autumn and winter. 

Requests for city breaks have increased dramatically in the past two months, with the number of enquiries for city apartments having trebled in the last month in comparison to any other month since the pandemic started in March 2020. Take advantage of The Luxury Travel Book’s enviable portfolio of centrally located luxurious apartments to explore these cities by foot, taking in their amazing history, art and great restaurants beneath the autumn sunshine.

 

Paris 

With the advantage of being able to travel by Eurostar, which is currently a much easier experience than travelling by air - avoiding the crowds and with the benefit that all checks and forms are only required on departure (as opposed to arrival too), Paris is an easy city escape this winter.  

As well as the obvious famous sights to visit, there are some wonderful art exhibitions in Paris, all showing until early January 2022, including the Raoul Dufy exhibition at the Musée Montmartre, the amazing Dali-Gaudi experience at the Atelier des Lumières, and the Picasso-Rodin exhibition, taking place at the Musée Picasso and the Musée Rodin. Susie also recommends a visit to the wonderful Musée Carnavalet, which has just opened again after five years of substantial renovations.

Stay at: Palais Royal Gardens (Sleeps 8 / 4 Bedrooms)

This stunning apartment is situated directly overlooking the gardens of the historic Palais Royal, and you will be just an easy short walk across the beautiful gardens to the Louvre Museum and the river Seine, as well as nearby Place de la Concorde, Tuileries Garden, Place Vendôme, and St Germain on the Left Bank. The apartment is in an elegant Parisian building that is part of the original Palais Royal, dating back to the 17th century.

How: Rates for Palais Royal Gardens start from £4,120 per week. For more information visit www.theluxurytravelbook.com 

 

Venice

Without the usual crowds and large cruise ships, Venice’s canals are noticeably clearer, and the city is looking more beautiful than ever. Even in the main tourist spots in Piazza San Marco and on the Rialto Bridge, it’s currently easier to move around, and sit and relax in one of the city’s beautiful squares, with a morning cappuccino, or a glass of local Prosecco in the evening. We always love visiting The Peggy Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal between the Accademia Bridge and the Church of Santa Maria della Salute. Within a very easy walk from here, art enthusiasts can also visit the Accademia Museum, the Palazzo Grassi and the Punta Dogana.

Stay at: Apartment Giovanni E Paolo (Sleeps 2 / 1 Bedroom) 

This charming one bedroom luxury apartment is located in a stunning Venetian Palazzo, dating back to the 13th Century. Ideally situated on the beautiful square, Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo, it is just a 10 minute walk from both Campo San Marco and the Rialto Bridge. The Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo city square is also home to two of the city’s famous landmarks: the imposing Gothic church of Santi Giovanni e Paola and the Scuola Grande di San Marco, with its beautiful Renaissance façade.

How: Rates for Apartment Giovanni E Paolo start from £2,700 per week. For more information visit www.theluxurytravelbook.com 

 

Seville

Seville is a fantastic European city to visit to experience its beauty, its long history and traditions, delicious wine and food and, of course, its long sunny season. We love exploring the beauty of the centre of the city with its narrow, cobbled streets and tall buildings and intricately wrought-iron balconies, and also discovering the charming garden squares, such as Plaza Doña Elvira. Without doubt, two of the most magnificent buildings to be seen in Seville are right in the heart of Santa Cruz, the Cathedral and the Alcázar. This entire area is spectacular at night when the buildings are lit up – and particularly magical after sunset when the sky literally does turn a royal blue, which lasts for around an hour. We can also recommend (and arrange) day trips by private car to a selection of the beautiful ‘Pueblos Blancos’ (white villages) in the Andalucian countryside.

Stay at: Calle San Tomas (Sleeps 4 / 2 Bedrooms) 

Situated in the very centre of the historic city, just steps away from the Cathedral, the Giralda, the Royal Palace and the Archive of the Indies, the apartment and its large furnished terrace benefit from breathtaking views over the city. Furnished with a table for four, the terrace is perfect for breakfast, dinner, or just relaxing outdoors. In spite of its central location, the apartment is also very quiet, and very spacious, with natural light streaming in the windows all year round.

How: Rates for Calle San Tomas start from £1,400 per week. For more information visit www.theluxurytravelbook.com 

 

Rome

In Rome, we always enjoy returning to the Monti area, with its authentic village atmosphere, antique and artisan shops, and trendy bars and restaurants. We also love visiting Via dei Coronari, the beautiful historic cobbled street just off Piazza Navona, with interesting boutiques, antique shops and restaurants. A short walk to the south of Piazza Navona will bring you to Campo dei Fiori, with its food and flower market. From here it is an easy walk across the Tiber River (via the charming cobbled street, Via Giulia, the oldest street in Rome) for an evening meal in the picturesque historic neighbourhood of Trastevere. And, of course, no visit to Rome would be complete without seeing the beautiful Trevi Fountain, which is best to see now, without the crowds!

Stay at: Vicolo Dei Panieri (Sleeps 8 / 4 Bedrooms) 

This stunning modern apartment exudes taste and luxury with stone, wood and marble features, and a spa and sauna. It is situated just a 5 minute walk from the Piazza di Santa Maria, the main square in Trastevere. Lined with cafés and restaurants, the famous Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere is in the Piazza di Santa Maria, as well as one of the oldest fountains in Rome, restored by Bernini in 1659. The Campo dei Fiori and Piazza Navona are both within a 15 minute walk.

How: Rates for Vicolo Dei Panieri start from £6,700 per week. For more information visit www.theluxurytravelbook.com

 

Florence

Winter is the perfect time of year to consider a visit to Florence, and we feature a selection of apartments in different areas of the city, including in and around the Piazza della Signoria, the Ponte Vecchio and the Oltrarno. The latter, on the other side of the river Arno, is traditionally a quieter area and home to a number of artisan workshops and quaint antique shops. Wherever you stay in Florence, you will be able to indulge in the gastronomical delights of the city’s many restaurants, tavernas, pizzerias, and cafés, or prepare your own meals in the comfort of your luxury rental apartment, with fresh produce handpicked from local food markets. For an early evening aperitivo, while soaking up the atmosphere, we can highly recommend two rooftop bars on either side of the River Arno. The terrace at the Grand Hotel Cavour, has views to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore to the right, and the Palazzo Vecchio on your left. The other is the Palazzo Guadagni Hotel Rooftop Garden Bar in the Oltrarno, overlooking the beautiful Piazza Santo Spirito.

Stay at: Apartment Bellini (Sleeps 8  / 4 Bedroom) 

This first floor apartment is in a 16th century building, with views from its terrace directly across to the historic Piazza Pitti, just steps from both the Palazzo Pitti, and the Ponte Vecchio. Beautiful 16th and 17th Century frescoes decorate the walls and ceilings of the apartment and the furniture includes original pieces dating back to the Art Deco period. In contrast there is a superb, modern American kitchen.

How: Rates for Apartment Bellini start from £3,300 per week. For more information visit www.theluxurytravelbook.com 

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