We stayed at Torre Palombara for eight nights during the first week of September 2013. We had not visited Umbria before and had decided to stay the full duration of our trip in this one location. It was therefore important for us that our choice of accomodation was both comfortable as well as well located for the purposes of sight-seeing. Torre Palombara was certainly both of those; at least for visiting the sights in Southern Umbria. Perugia and Gubbio were a bit of a trek from there but not impossible to do.
Umbria was of course lovely, but what really turned a good holiday into an excellent holiday was our experience of staying at Torre Palombara. The hotel is located in an idyllic rural setting off an unpaved road a 10 minute drive from Narni. The hotel is a converted family home that is still run by the family that has owned it for over 400 years. The hotel was the vision of our host Leonardo and the fact that he remains involved in the day-to-day running of the hotel makes all the difference to the experience their guests have. If you are using Torre Palombara as a stopover point, planning to stay just a night or so, as you travel through Umbria, please think again. You will want to stay a lot more than two nights.
The hotel is quiet and full of local character. It has a lovely pool with plenty of shade. The breakfast is served in an outdoor terrace area overlooking some fields which, in season, are covered with Sunflowers. The hotel doesn't have a full-time kitchen and meals have to be booked in advance; but we would certainly suggest that you try to eat there at least one evening. The food is good home-cooked Umbrian fare and, if you're really lucky, you might even be served desert made by Leonardo's mum.
Leonardo himself is usually there to greet his guests upon arrival and is a wealth of local knowledge. His family has lived in the area for generations and if he has a suggestion, in our experience it was well worth listening to. For local restaurant suggestions to sights not to be missed, we listened to him more than we followed our guide book and were far richer for it. His passion for his region was obvious to see and he is conscious to promote local produce and skills where possible. For example, the olive oil used in the hotel kitchen comes from a local farm and it is possible to buy it from the farm. In fact, don't be surprised if he offers to lead you there on his motorbike to make sure you don't get lost trying to find it.
The warmth, attention to detail and extra touches that come with a stay at Torre Palombara made our holiday a really memorable one. Leonardo's charm and hospitality rubs off on his staff as well. We have only ever made one previous Trip Advisor entry and that was because of a bad hotel experience. Our experience at Torre Polombara was so the opposite of that, that we were possessed to make this entry.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This historic Villa is built around an ancient XVth century "Torre Palombara," on a hill that dominates a green landscape and offers the wonderful view of Narni and its castle. The charming residence has been restored to its former splendor by the passionate owners and maintains all the original characteristics and elements that are distinctive to the ancient "Torri Palombare." The guests will enjoy the tranquility and the breathtaking views, surrounded by a refined ambiance that maintains all the charm of an antique Villa. ... more less
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