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Palazzo Seneca. Classical luxury, Michelin dining and history beckon in Umbria

By Friday, 26 November 2021 15:27

Palazzo Seneca Relais & Chateaux was the first hotel in Norcia and among the first in Italy’s central Umbria when it opened in the early 1900s. It is set on the main square of the charming little town, famous for its black truffles, pork charcuterie and as the birthplace of Saint Benedict, that lies in the Sibylline Mountain National Park. Just 2.5 hours from Rome it is within easy driving distance of Perugia, capital of the Umbria region, and a couple of hours from the Adriatic coast.  

Timelessly elegant guest rooms

junior suite palazzo seneca Junior Suite

The property underwent major restoration some years ago and, following the 2016 earthquake, passed all the safety tests carried out by the Italian Civil Protection Agency. The same family have lived here for over 160 years, and Vincenzo and Federico Bianconi, who are 5th generation, have lovingly refurbished the property to the highest levels of design and tradition. Guests are welcomed like old friends and the 24 guest rooms and suites have a timeless elegance with a mix of artisan and antique furnishings, much of which has been sourced locally, and parquet and terracotta floors.

palazzo seneca

Fine dining and an atmospheric spa

The Michelin star Vespasia Restaurant, under chefs Fabio Cappiello e Fumiko Sakai, is a temple of fine dining with menus based on local raw materials, and breakfasts are a feast of freshly baked patisserie, homemade jams and of course Norcia’s famous cured meats and cheeses. 

vespasia restaurant palazzo seneca 1 Vespasia Restaurant

In the spa, which has a Turkish bath, a sauna and a stone hot tub, guests relax under old vaulted ceilings, and many of the treatments use ingredients from the property like honey and essential oils and many of the infusions and teas are made from herbs and plants found in the park.   

Truffle hunting and outdoor sports 

The area offers endless outdoor options from rafting to canyoning and paragliding, cross-country skiing and Nordic walking in winter, and biking and trekking in all seasons. The hotel can arrange cookery classes and outings with expert truffle hunters, and a stroll around the old town takes you back into history with visits to old churches and hidden corners. In the traditional norcineria grocery shops you can pick up all you need for picnics, from Norcia’s sweet cured ham and fresh cheeses to local wines like the Montefalco red and the Sagrantino Passito dessert wine.  For information: www.palazzoseneca.com   

   

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