Hotel Reviews - Europe

Vicenza: Good things come in small packages at Hotel Relais Santa Corona

Caroline suggests a new destination for those who have exhausted the big three Italian cities…

If you love all that Italy has to offer but have exhausted the main cities such as Florence, Rome and Venice, why not pay the beautiful city of Vicenza a visit? We spent a week there last June and adored it. An easy journey by train from Verona airport, Vicenza (City of Palladio) is well deservedly a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The town itself merits a good few days of exploration with the famous Teatro Olimpico, twenty three Palladian villas and palazzi, numerous beautiful churches and some interesting museums. Vicenza also makes an excellent base for day trips by train or bus to Verona, Padua, Venice, Lake Garda, and the lesser known Bassano del Grappa and Marostica.

Relais Santa Corona

Bassano del Grappa, a bus ride from Vicenza

We stayed at the eight-roomed Hotel Relais Santa Corona which is situated in a restored 18th century palazzo in a quiet side street opposite the medieval church of Santa Corona. Rooms are decorated in a contemporary style, beds are comfy with lovely linen and all the things you need such as air conditioning, safe, free wi-fi and 32″ LCD satellite TV are provided. There is even parking available for 15 euros a day although with Vicenza being such a walkable city and public transport so good for exploring further afield, a car is really not necessary. The boutique hotel does not have a restaurant but an excellent buffet breakfast is provided each morning.

Relais Santa Corona

View from our room at the Relais Santa Corona

The hotel’s location couldn’t be better for sight-seeing and is just a few minutes’ walk from several good bars, cafes and restaurants for dinner. Being a relatively small city, prices for eating out or just having a drink in the piazza before dinner are amazingly good value compared to the likes of Rome and Venice. We used to enjoy two glasses of prosecco accompanied by a plate of canapés, sitting at a smart cafe looking across to the Basilica Palladiana for 9 euros. Dinner for two plus a bottle of wine in our favourite little restaurant by the floodlit cathedral rarely came to more than 50 euros.

Relais Santa Corona

Cafe culture!

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