I find it difficult to write an unbiased account of Palazzo Seneca, simply because our stay in Norcia was near-perfect.
Palazzo Seneca is a beautiful building, carefully restored. It is the staff that keeps it alive. Even though it is a Relais & Chateaux ownership, it does not suffer from the sterile-grandeur that I have experienced in other R & C establishments. The main reason for this difference is the Bianconi family management, their staff, and their relationship to Palazzo Seneca.
Apart from being one of the very few completely walled Italian towns (still intact), Norcia has two major attributes;
It has a fantastic local cuisine, and its inhabitants show a friendly humility in relationship to tourists.
Both of these points are reflected at the Palazzo S. The breakfast at the P.S. is, alone, well worth staying for. All local produce and supplied with information.
We choose Norcia as a base for walking in the mountains (typical Norwegian pastime!). Umbria has fantastic scenery, and the ground is “kind” to your feet. I can highly recommend the area around & above Castelluccio. October turned out to the right choice, we were lucky. The nighttime had a temperature of around + 8 rose to + 27°C in the afternoon, even at 1900 meters. Out all day, returning to the town to enjoy its gastronomic delights in the evening. Late spring was also recommended to us, due to the flowering on the plains.
Do keep an eye open for watching the sheepdogs at work.
There are numerous restaurants in Norcia, we tried a selection (all varied but no disappointments).
If in need of a “easy” lunch – I can recommend buying a couple of slices of pizza from the small shop on the side of the square, accompanied a bottle of beer, then just sit on a bench and watch the local life!
Other than the time of year, try to evade going to Norcia in the week-ends. Norcia is practically invaded every Friday by Italians whom arrive to purchase the black truffels, Norcina, and lots of other delights. They usually leave on Sunday, late-afternoon. Start your stay on Sunday or Monday, to find the serenity of Norcia.
Finally, whether you have any religious believes or not, try to (respectfully!) be allowed to listen to the Gregorian Chant in the evening at the Church St. Benedetto.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.