I found it hard to choose Il Marchese del Grillo, so many enticing B&Bs do there seem to be in Sulmona. But what a fantastic option it turned out to be. The historic house is set around a courtyard, giving it a wonderfully intimate and relaxing feel, although it is right in the centre of the town and handy for the sights and an attractive evening passeggiata.
The guesthouse has a wealth of facilities, including a kitchen for guests, a reading room and a roof terrace overlooking the town. Alessandro and Marta help guests to find parking, and will provide a permit.
Rooms are beautifully done. We stayed in the ground floor room, which featured high, vaulted ceilings and parquet floor. Others we saw were light and airy.
Breakfast is possibly the best I've had in Italy. There is a great selection of sweet, savoury, hot and cold foods, with cakes made by a family member and everything else coming from local independent shops. Marta was on hand to cook things to order, and I really enjoyed her scrambled eggs with mozzarella.
The first characteristic that strikes you at Il Marchese is taste. Nothing is out of place, and the hosts have managed to blend antique pieces of furniture and the original features of the property with modern touches and good lighting.
The second is the quality of the hosting. Alessandro and Marta are the friendliest landlords I have every met, and nothing seems to be too much trouble for them. While enjoying a drink on the terrace, we got plenty of information not just on Sulmona itself, but also on our next destination; Alessandro even rang ahead to secure bookings at restaurant he recommended, despite the fact we'd checked out. The house is a labour of love, with everything picked carefully by its hosts.
Only one star in this hotel, but it should deserve more... It's located in a liberty building right in the very centre of town, and it is family-run. the lady, in particular, is very friendly and helful... whatever you need, just ask her, and she'll go fetch it in her flat... in my case it was a needle and thread to fix my backpack strap, and even insisted she'll stich it for me.
A great room, clean and comfortable - with private bathroom and television. There was also a tiny soap and shampoo... what more can you ask in a hotel of the same cathegory. In August 2007 the price was 54 euros for a double room - breakfast is not available.
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