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Trip Report Milan, Parma, Mantova and environs - hotel report

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Thanks again to everyone who helped me plan our last-minute trip! I hope to repay the favor by providiing some feedback on a few hotels.

Day 1 - Principe di Savoia, Milan

Easily the most comfortable hotel of our trip. Because we grabbed a non-refundable discount rate, I thought we'd be relegated to a microscopic or flawed room. I'm happy to report that the staff could not have been lovelier and gave us a large, quiet room with a large (but oddly-configured) bathroom. This hotel is within walking distance to the train station (It's a bit of a walk but totally doable.), which is why we chose it. It's not in the most scenic of locations, but the hotel is located right next to a subway stop. We didn't use it, but the hotel also offeres complimentary car service to the Duomo area. The hotel has a gym and lovely but small pool.

Day 2 - Palazzo Arrivabene, Mantova

Charming but low-frills hotel on a beautiful, quiet street. The hotel was quite reasonable and felt extremely private. We had a gorgeous, enormous sitting room and dining room to ourselves, and the room was clean and spacious. As is the case with many Italian hotels, the bed and pillows are extremely firm. Next time, I will bring my own pillow. A rather elaborate breakfast was included in the rate.

Day 3 - Trattoria la Buca, Zibello

We came here because a few people had encouraged us to try the restaurant, and we were not disappointed. The pasta is unlike any I've had before. There is an inn (3 rooms) across the street. Nothing particularly gorgeous or charming, but the rooms are large, quiet, and comfortable.

Day 4 - Palazzo dalla Rosa Prati

Lovely location overlooking the Duomo, charming room. The staff is incredibly helpful and eager to please. Again, the bed was very firm and (to me) uncomfortable, but this is the norm in Italy. Breakfast was included but pretty unappealing - boxes of cornflakes and pre-packaged yogurt. We went elsewhere for a bite.

Day 5 - Antica Locanda dei Mercanti, Milan

I have very mixed feelings about this place.

The pros:
Great location, friendly staff, lovely breakfast, gorgeous balcony.

The cons:
Terrible, terrible shower. We had very little water pressure and water was warm at best - and we tried at night and again in the morning. The room is extremely spare. No extra pillows or blankets and the bed was, yet again, extremely firm and uncomfortable. I don't think the spartan attributes of the room make up for the things we liked, and I don't think I'd stay here again.

I will also add that we stopped (but did not stay overnight) in a charming little town called Gazzola. There is a terrific restaurant there called Antica Locanda del Falco. This stop was a last-minute addition to our trip. Had we planned better, I probably would've stayed overnight, as it's a gorgeous little village.

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