The Albergo delle Notarie is an extraordinary hotel in a remarkable city.
It is housed in an unprepossessing building on a corner in the Old Town sector of Reggio Emilia. It is very handy to the local shops off the Piazza Prampolini and surrounding areas.
The Old Town is a charming introduction to Italian piazza life – taking in the sun over an espresso, watching everyone ride their bicycles (young, old, and in-between – no car bullying or lycra macho / aggro here), socialising, gathering for weddings at the town hall. Well worth just sitting and watching – as my wife & I did for a considerable time over luncheons and dinners over our 6-day work visit.
The hotel compliments this very well. It is a short stroll from the main piazza (Prampolini) and the little shops that run off that piazza. No traffic noise (no cars, except your taxi to the hotel door) in this part of town – just the sounds of people in the neighbourhood. (I think that there might be parking exemptions for hotel guests, but I am not sure.)
The hotel is exceptionally comfortable – a large and airy room, especially welcome after a gruelling 33-hour haul from Australia. It also has a very friendly and obliging team in place. Everyone – the front desk folk, the porters, the restaurant staff, the housekeepers – all without exception were very obliging and friendly.
The restaurant has a deserved reputation as one of the best in this city.
There are many nearby eating-out options, ranging from local cafes to small food shops for do-it-yourself ingredients stored in your hotel fridge. You should be aware that the shops have the very civilised practice of closing for an afternoon break before re-opening in the evening – so you should plan your shopping accordingly.
The “newer” part of Reggio Emilia – around the railway station – is about a 15-or-so-minute walk away (or a quick taxi ride from the hotel door).
Wi fi access was a bit patchy, although the staff worked hard to resolve it. It is provided by an external provider – you have to buy a scratchie card for a log-in. I was worried about calling the Help Desk for help (my Italian is very rustic and probably unintentionally hilarious) but Daniel of the front desk called up for me and worked through the issues.
All in all, a marvellous stay!
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