Just had my first stay at Palazzola - a week as a lone female seeking r & r. I did get r & r - but it was also an extremely convivial and social place to stay. Meals are communal, and people are chatty, but if you wish you can get away from others in the chapel or gardens. I shared cabs with other residents on little trips to local hill towns such as Arraccio, Grottaferrata and Rocca di Pappa, where a chestnut festival was under way. You can take the lake path to Castel Gandolfo - but wear sensible shoes. If you want to use Palazzola as a base, then hiring a car would be perfect; Anzio, Monte Cassino and the coast are not far. And day trips to Rome are do-able - cab to Marino Laziale, then train to Termini. But one can quite happily lounge around all day without going out - Palazzola is on a different time continuum.
You don't have to be Catholic or even religious to stay at Palazzola - but I think it might be difficult if you're actually against religion. I appreciated the daily Mass and the availability of a chapel for a spot of quiet reflection.
The rates are extremely reasonable - there are also special offers on the website - and include generous full board with wine. You will not go hungry! At least two people needed special diets which were catered for without fuss. Rooms are basic, some are en suite, some have lake views, so specify what you would like.
I definitely intend to revisit!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In a stunning lakeside location just outside Rome, Villa Palazzola is a 13th century Cistercian monastery, fully refurbished and modernised with a large swimming pool and breathtaking garden terrace. It's the perfect place for parish groups, pilgrims, school groups, families, couples or people on holiday on their own who stay for a couple of days or a couple of weeks. It's also a wonderful place to hold a wedding in Rome. ... more less