I am totally baffled at the positive reviews this place has on TripAdvisor. This hotel is just about the only one to stay at if you are walking the Via Francigene after Berceto. And this is a terrible shame, because the hotel is terribly run down. It is an awful place to have to stay and worse still to eat. Once upon a time all traffic heading over the Appenines had to drive past this hotel. Then came the motorway in the 1960s and, suddenly, there was no reason for its existence. Traffic now speeds along valley viaducts and through tunnels. The result is that the owners are stuck with an unsalable hotel that hardly anyone visits. They take no pride in what they do.
The first impression is that no investment appears to have been made in the hotel since the 1960s. This can be seen in the paint work, the tiles, the fittings. The corridors are dismal. Our bedroom was ancient, with a view of a roof – an amazing achievement in an empty hotel surrounded by mountains. The bathroom was decrepit, the shower antediluvian. Although there is a magnificent menu, it is a case of eating what they feel they want to cook. There is seating for over one hundred. We were the only visitors. Our meal was abysmal. Starters was overcooked squares of store bought pasta with pesto sauce, probably from a bottle. There then came unpleasant looking veal, disgusting polenta and resurrected roast potatoes. My wife did not touch the veal or the potatoes. The only good thing was the wine, from the proprietor’s own vineyard.
The worst thing of all is that the proprietors are mean. When we ordered a beer on arrival it came without any snacks, the first time we had encountered this in rural Italy. I asked for some cheese. It was stale and I was charged €4. The lady of the house was visibly annoyed that we arrived at breakfast before the allotted time. Breakfast was absolutely abysmal: coffee, fruit juice from a bottle, plus stale bread, sachets of Nutella, honey and cherry jam and butter. That is all. No cereals, no pastries, no cakes, no croissants, no eggs, no ham or meats. Not good when you have a very long trek in front of you.
A tip to all tourists to Italy. Although you may have sensibly purchased a continental adapter to charge your mobile phone etc, in Italy electrical sockets come in two sizes. You may find that your adapter does not fit. However, if there is a hairdryer in the room you may find that it is fitted with an adapter for the socket in your room. Remove this and use this instead of your own adapter.
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