Ever dreamed of staying at a place that combines modern comfort, a historic building and an art gallery at the same time? Well, then here’s the one to go for: Hotel Settecento in Presezzo, Italy!

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I recently picked this hotel by pure chance when I was looking for accommodation for a few days in northern Italy – more precisely the region of Bergamo and Lago di Como – and I can’t deny that I was more than pleasantly surprised by its appearance.
Truth be told, when we were approaching the hotel it didn’t instantly blow my mind since the building itself is somewhat inconspicuous, but as soon as we entered we began to feel its special vibe. The lobby turned out to be located in a room with a high vaulting (which reminded me a little of some old temple), was furnished in an elegant and modern way and decorated with sculptures and paintings. That was the moment I realized – me being a huge fan of anything artsy – that this was my kind of place to stay at!
After having done the check out, I couldn’t help but immediately stroll around the hotel’s many halls and rooms, which were tastefully decorated with amazing paintings and furnished with exquisite furniture.

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The Hotel Settecento (meaning the number ‘700’ in Italian – probably following the time of the building’s construction) is located right at the entrance of the cosy municipality of Presezzo, 13 kilometres or 15 minutes by car from Bergamo – a town which is, despite its many attractions and charming medieval alleys, quite often and undeservedly ignored next to its bigger sister Milan.
Just a few metres from the hotel you’ll find the family-owned Gelateria called ‘Black Horse’ where all the locals usually spend their summer evenings enjoying their large selection of delicious Gelato. Other than that Presezzo unfortunately doesn’t boast about its fancy night clubs or anything. However, the hotel itself is an ideal choice to discover the region’s many attractions. For example, you can go hiking in the nearby mountains, do a boat trip on Lake Como, go to Lake Garda (the two of them being easily reachable in about an hour’s drive), spend a day shopping in Milan or discover Bergamo.
If you’re up for a night out, the latter – with its own university and thus representing a student town – is just a short car or bus ride away!

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When it comes to the accommodation, the hotel houses 52 individually decorated rooms which are divided into three different categories: ‘Standard’, ‘Superior’ and ‘Deluxe’. Their modern details are found in perfect harmony with the ancient character of the building, which dates back to the 18th century and was once a private manor house. Back in the days, when such houses were owned and inhabited by rich aristocrats, it was common to have a chapel at home, so this is what one can still come across at the hotel! That very chapel whose marvellous ceiling painting and stucco are still perfectly preserved is nowadays used as a location for fancy dinners and events.
Speaking of dinners, don’t miss out on having one at the hotel! Even if the prices are a bit higher than at the other restaurants in Presezzo, the dishes are absolutely mouth-watering!
Of course, Breakfast is worth mentioning: I caught myself spending a whole hour munching through the Continental, English and American buffet consisting of a large variety of cakes, fruits, different kinds of eggs etc.

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When you’re feeling like relaxing a little after visiting the surroundings places, there are plenty of things to do at the hotel. In the summer, you can relax at its outdoor swimming pool with the adjoining Summer Bar or, during the winter months or on a rainy day when it’s too cold to run around in a bikini outside (which – according to the locals – doesn’t happen too often from mid-May to the end of September) you can also use the indoor pool area, scented tea and fresh fruit being at hand. For the sporty ones, there is the possibility to use the hotel’s very own tennis court or rent a bike and discover the neighbourhood. Furthermore, the staff will be happy to make a reservation for a golf course for you or organize riding lessons at a nearby stable. If neither of these options appeals to you, you can still spend some time flicking through the discretionary books and magazines in one of the numerous reading spaces.

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As you can see, my stay at this remarkable hotel that combines eclectic art, delicious food and a comfy yet special atmosphere was very unlike any other I had experienced before. Speaking of which, one thing I haven’t mentioned before is that despite its exquisite appearance a room at the Settecento is still affordable – even for Travelettes on a tighter budget!

Did we get you hooked on a stay in Presezzo?

 

sarah rainerSarah Rainer is a 24-year-old travel/fashion/design/art/food enthusiast, living in Austria and currently studying in Vienna. Sarah speaks German, English, French, Spanish and a little Italian. So far she has visited most European capitals, a few Greek islands, Corsica, the south of France, Madeira, the Dalmatian coast, Istanbul, Dubai, New York City, Washington D.C., Vancouver and its surroundings, Seattle and the Yucatán Peninsula. When she’s not traveling, she plans the next trip with this year’s destinations including Amsterdam, Brussels, Antwerp, Krakow and Thailand. Find more of her stories on her own blog here.