Our decision to stay in Monreale and day trip to Palmero turned out to be the right move for us, thanks mostly to Giuseppe, his kindness and his wonderful hotel and its amazing location. My wife and I stayed here for two nights and loved every minute. On arrival we just wanted to dump the car and forget about it, having been lost in the small lanes following the sat nav which took us close to the hotel but left us in a complicated one way system that sent us round in circles. We put a stranded call into Giuseppe who found us, drove us to the hotel and gave us his parking place right on the doorstep. We didn't have to think about the car again until the morning of our departure which arrived far too quickly. We were told that you must go to Sicily just to visit the Duomo and now we will say the same. For me, my stiff neck experience is up there with the Duomo visit in Milan. Its unique character and splendid detail in the ceilings in my opinion are unmatched. It takes your breath away the second you walk in and speechless when you walk out.
It was Sunday. We walked through the streets, drank beer in the square, people watched and then decided to have a late sunday lunch. We found our options were limited to three or four places, but then stumbled upon a fantastic restaurant called Bricco & Bacco, just a stone throw away from the hotel. We shared our best ever best T-bone steak and a perfect bottle of Sicilian chardonnay. We had never seen a T-bone served sizzling on a hot slab of Himalayan salt, or tasted it this way. Delicious. Bricco & Bacco would be a lovely intimate place for dinner, but the atmosphere that sunday afternoon amongst the locals was equally entertaining and satisfying. Monday we caught the bus down into Palermo. A free mini bus runs every hour, drops you off at the bottom of the hill, from here follow the locals who will walk you the short way to bus stop Rocca where you take the city bus 389 and get off at the last stop at Indepenza square. Buy the city bus ticket at the newsagent shop before you travel. The same to return, easy. Monday evening we had dinner in the Hotels restaurant looked after by a sweet waitress called Evelyn.We chose an outside table in the covered alley way, we enjoyed a simple Pizza, local good wine and a night cap of chilled limoncello followed by a good nights sleep. A final word about breakfast. An excellent breakfast is taken in Bar Italia across the street from the hotel.(Guiseppe gives you a complimentary ticket, which buys you whatever you want from the selection of delicious home made pastries) Earlier the better, 7am Tuesday morning, one last opportunity to grab breakfast with the locals on this popular street corner across from the Cathedral square before our drive to the airport.
Allround, we couldn't have wanted or expected more from our short stay at the Locanda Re Ruggero. Guiseppe is the perfect host who goes out of his way to make you feel welcome, individual and special. His kindness doesn't end there, he is now shipping my clothes back to london for me, the clothes I left hanging in the wardrobe. Oops, silly me, I knew I shouldn't have drank that last complimentary limoncello.
We had a choice of staying in the hotel, or taking an apartment room across the road. We chose a dou...
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