Staying at the Palace Hotel Relais Falisco was an interesting experience – if you like interesting experiences - but you need to know that the hotel is actually in Civita Castellana rather than the tripadvisor indication of Viterbo, which is nearly 60km or 40 miles away!
Civita Castellana is not really on the tourist trail – the number of entries on tripadvisor tell the story- and you can sort of see why. The centre is a warren of narrow lanes, made even more complex by a unintelligible one-way system, parked cars and 90 degree turns. The facades of many buildings away from the centre are crumbling and overall it is clear that not much money has been invested in the infrastructure.
On the other hand, what you get in the town is a piece of real Italy – washing hanging out of windows, grandparents sitting in the streets watching kids playing, noise, hardly any tourists and plenty of opportunity to practice Italian as there is limited English spoken.
The hotel is well thought through in terms of a conversion from a former palazzo and – most important for the town – has self-contained parking in an inner courtyard. It is located right in the middle of town some 50 yards from the duomo – you have the pleasure of loud bells on Sundays and other special occasions.
The hotel was pretty quiet when we stayed & you sort of get the impression that passing trade may be thin on the ground most of the time – this appears to be the only hotel the French hotel chain has in Italy - but we think that a bonus. While staff were courteous we had some breakdowns in communication about things being asked to be done and whether they would etc.
Our room was clean and tidy, with a large, comfortable bed and adequate bathroom but with inadequate soundproofing – as we found out about midnight when we were ‘entertained’ (though thankfully not for too long) by a neighbouring couple.
The treat of our stay here was not really the hotel, but the La Scuderia restaurant, which does not appear to be owned by the hotel even though it is located in the entrance portico. Large wooden doors mean that you have to ring a bell to gain access. The menu was verbal rather than written with no indication of price, no wine list meant a choice based on recommendation - no price again – and it was all great. Food and wine were excellent and the price was the most economic on our vacation. Recommend booking at weekends as the place was bursting at the seams with people from the town!
Overall, we thought the hotel was generally comfortable but have stayed in better and worse places. Room rates are generally attractive but the economic pricing regime tends to tell the story about demand levels. Probably won’t be rushing to return in the near future – but would love the same restaurant experience elsewhere in Italy.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Near from Rome, in the historical center of a small art city, relais falisco, 17th century palace, is a 4 stars hotel, skilfully restored, which offers 43 rooms including 8 suite, 3 conference rooms and a fitness center. Relais falisco is situated at only 20' from the motor-racing track of vallelunga, the golf club "le querce" and less than 1 hour from Rome int.l airport. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Palace Hotel Viterbo