This hotel turned out to be the most precious gem among all the alberghi on an impromptu five-day escape from Rome. It was late October, and we decided to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the capital and see la campagna, northern Lazio and southern Tuscany, with its peaceful landscapes and marvelous Etruscan sites. The main purpose of the whole voyage was to visit the magnificent Palazzo Farneze in Caprarola, and after visiting that magnificent palace and its astonishingly beautiful park, we were in search of a place to rest at night. The hotel turned out to be within one hour most pleasant drive.
Northern Lazio, a relatively undiscovered land, had adorned us with many wonders, including this very pleasant hotel in a town which I would not dream of visiting, since it is not overly famous. What a breathtaking surprise awaited us there! The town is tiny, perfectly preserved and maintained; its only street is lined with beautiful Tuscan style country mansions, adorned with flowers and small trees in pots. It was on that street, when gazing at one of those houses, that I saw a plaque denoting Pope Gregory VII Hildebrand birthplace. I was surprised that this fact is not at all advertised, and even my Alta Macadam Blue Guide for Central Italy, the one that recommended this hotel, did not mention anything about Hildebrand and Sovana. In any case, perhaps the town being so well-kept and organised is only a reflection of the personality of its citizens, including the famous Pope. This tradition of beauty and elegance extends to the hotel.
We arrived late in the evening, and the stately ruins of Aldobranseschi Castle met us at the entrance of the city. The hotel was easy to find - it was near an austere and proud 12th century duomo, devoted to St. Mamilianus. The road to the duomo is lined with ancient cypress tress, and the view on it from our room was absolutely marvelous. It was very quiet, and one feels embarassed driving through such a peaceful retreat.
At the hotel we were greeted with the most pleasant and courteous hospitality - something rare to find now, and therefore especially noteworthy. The room was very comfortable, even if not too big. There was a marble bathroom with shower, but no bathtub. The bed was luxurious, and the ceiling was high - the hotel is a converted old house, one of those elegant mansions lining the street.
The concierge made a reservation for us at the affiliated restaurant Taverna Etrusca, where I could finally try Maremma's specialty cinghiale – a wild boar dish. The food was fantastic, and the service to match. I especially liked Acquacotta - a soup which is also Maremma’s specialty. This dinner set dreamy expectations for the breakfast, which was to match.
At night one can enjoy the most quiet sleep imaginable, and in the morning the garden will delight the guest - there is a vast olive grove and a rose garden, and from everywhere one can admire a magnificent panorama with gently rolling mountains. It is hard to imagine that Sovana was ravaged by malaria - it sits in such a splendid mountainous location.
The breakfast was very good and generous, with fresh citrus juices and eggs. The service is excellent throughout, very friendly, courteous and efficient at the same time. I was also especially moved when we asked for wine glasses the previous night - we bought some reputable local wine and wanted to try it in the room. I was a bit hesitant to ask, because sometimes they are not very benevolent towards drinking and eating in a room. However, the concierge-Signora said to us: "Of course, with pleasure - would you like glasses for white or red wine?".
Service like this makes a difference.
I highly recommend this hotel; and for that matter, the whole surrounding countryside, which is quite unexplored while full of delights, like hill towns of Montemerano, Pitigliano, Capalbio, Etruscan marvel Vulci with its medieval tiny castle and a breathtaking bridge; Lago di Bolsena with its towns – Capodimonte, Montefiascone, and many, many more, where as always in L’Italia, each town has its own character and every turn gives a traveler endless reason to call Italy a land of endless fascination.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.