Are you sometimes fatigued with your hectic lifestyle in Florence? Stay for a short break at the weekend or during the week. It’s just 67 km away (by car or train). Escape to the medieval village of Palazzuolo sul Senio in the Mugello. Try something different during the refreshing spring months, especially in the summer but also in autumn. Stay in the charming village hotel Locanda Senio, an albergo diffuso. Try the local products such as the cheese of the Faggiola.
The Mugello area is where the Medici family came from and used to go back regularly to get away from Florence; UNESCO recently put their castles on the World Heritage list. The Mugello landscape is different than the ‘usual Chiantishire,’ as it is more genuine with vast valleys, gentle hills, high mountains, woods and even forests. Plenty of flora and fauna. A fantastic countryside in which to go mountain-biking, walking and trekking. But also an ideal destination to hit a golf ball, ride a horse or just to relax and enjoy life.
The small medieval village of Palazzuolo sul Senio was founded in 1373; it’s where Niccolò Machiavelli stayed in the ancient Palazzo dei Capitani, which can still be visited today.
The Albergo Diffuso. What does this mean? The Locanda Senio is a small charming village hotel with rooms, suites and apartments all situated in the main building or in the so-called Borgo, the old medieval part of the village where real Italian life takes place. Diffuso in Italian means ‘spread-out’. Guests can naturally always make use of all the facilities and services of the hotel in the main building, such as the bar, restaurant, living room, terraces and garden, swimming pool and wellness centre. Ercole will always look after you from morning at breakfast in giving you advice on what to do and where to go, or by serving you lunch or dinner. His wife Roberta looks after the guests’ appetite by preparing and cooking fantastic home-made local dishes. Actually it is like staying at home but in a cosy village family-run hotel at the same time.
Roberta and Ercole always ensure that only locally sourced products are used. One of the best examples used by the Locanda Senio are those of the La Faggiola, the local cooperative AGRICOOP. Their speciality is cheese, like the cacciotta toscana, pecorino, raviggiolo and ricotta. All are made from local farmers’ milk. The shop is just a few hundred metres outside the village in a place called Quadalto, on the main road linking Florence with Palazzuolo sul Senio; besides selling cheese, they have a good choice of other local Tuscan/Mugello products (salamis and hams, wines, marmalades and jams, honey and much more). Ask anyone in the village or at the Locanda Senio where it is and go and visit them. It’s interesting to know that their products are also on sale in Florence (at the CONAD under the brand “Sapori e Dintorni” and at the COOP). The shop in Palazzuolo sul Senio is open every day from 8.30am to 12 noon and from 2.30 to 5:30pm. Visit their website www.faggiola.org (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone 055/8046053.
Last but not least, Palazzuolo sul Senio is on the border with Emilia-Romagna, therefore it is ideally situated not far from fascinating places such as the picturesque villages and towns of Brisighella (35km, famous for its wines and olive oil), Faenza (45km, famous for its ceramics), Ravenna (85km, world-famous for its mosaics), Cervia (100km, a day at the beach), and the regional city and foodie capital of Bologna (80km).
Offer: special price for readers of The Florentine
Full weekend but at reduced rates
Half price Friday night, normal price Saturday night. Late check-out time so leave late on Sunday afternoon whenever you want after a relaxing and full day. 2 dinners included (4 courses) excluding drinks. Aperitivo welcome drink upon arrival. Euro 365 for two, based on 2 people staying in the same room. Staying in a suite extra 20%. Families with kids get an apartment at special prices and singles a room without extra charges; special rates for week stays. Just send an email and write ‘FLORENTINE OFFER’.
La Faggiola gives a 50% discount on its raviggiolo cheese to readers of The Florentine staying at the Locanda Senio.