Property spotlight / Italy

    Locanda Palazzone - Europe

    History-hounds, wine-lovers or anyone seeking a relaxing Umbrian base will be happy at Locanda Palazzone.

    Originally built as a 13th-century hostel for pilgrims en route to Rome, its imposing exterior gives way to contemporary style, spacious rooms, a pool, gardens and Sangiovese vineyards, with tastings possible. Chin chin.

    “What makes Umbria special? People write reams about its light and landscape but what’s so special is that its pleasures are small-scale. It is Perugino rather than Leonardo, it is Montefalco rather than Siena, and it is students outnumbering tourists in Perugia’s Piazza Italia”

    Your Unique Stay

    The lowdown

    • Combine With

      Need to know: The rooms span three junior suites, a double suite, the Cardinal suite, a family suite sleeping up to four and a family apartment, also for four.

    • Insider Tip

      The Palazzone’s superb, locally-sourced food, accompanied by its own wine. Dinner is served at the hotel on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday evenings, plus on Monday and Wednesday evenings in summer

    Set on a hill just outside the attractive town of Orvieto, the Palazzone is unlike any other converted building in Umbria, in that it is older and unusually imposing, almost church-like: an idea reinforced by buttressed walls, mullioned windows and a huge vaulted hall. However, unlike a church, the restored building is light-filled: cool in summer, warm in winter and exceptionally comfortable.

    Expect luxury, and no shortage of style: now a swanky hotel, the Palazzone is accessed via that vaulted hall, complete with luxurious sofas, an central iron staircase, travertine floors and a sharp glass lift. All seven rooms and suites are light and elegant, boasting oak floors, white furnishings and BVLGARI products in bathrooms. Most are split-level, too, with their large beds in a loft space beside high windows.

    Look out and you’ll see Orvieto’s spires in the near distance, but closer still are other reasons to come here. The Locanda is part of a wider wine estate owned by the Dubini family, and its extensive vineyards produce fine wines. You can stroll the terraces, admire them from the main veranda or a large elevated pool (and honesty bar), or learn about and taste the tipples inside an on-site Enoteca. Bordering the grapes are lawned gardens of delphiniums, roses and chestnut trees – the place to read and relax.

    The hotel can also arrange yoga or exercise classes, while horse-riding and walking trails perform circuits the estate and surrounding countryside. A short drive away, Orvieto and its cathedral are eminently strollable of an evening.