Italy: What do you think about Spello?

Oct 13th, 2004, 08:02 AM
  #1  
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Italy: What do you think about Spello?

Looking for rants and raves, good to know info and recommendations on things to do and see, places to eat and moderate hotels
(dbl 80-140E).

Heard it has attractive stone walls and gates plus many medieval and Renaissance churches. Thought it might be a good place to do daytrips to Spoleto, Assisi, and Trevi via train. Where else might I go via train or bus?

Also looking for views, flowers and maybe some opportunities for hiking, vineyards, olive orchards?
degas is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 10:53 AM
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I read that this was a good place to eat. La Bastiglia (Piazza Vallegloria #7 Spello, Italy; phone 011 39 0742 651277, fax: 011 39 0742 301159 or e-mail [email protected]
degas is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 11:04 AM
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I like Spello, and it is the perfect centro base to explore Umbria. I only know the one hotel, but it is a good one, Palazzo Bocci. However, the Malvarina rural B&B is above Spello in the hills and gets good reviews. Good luck Degas. I loved your Molvania posts.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 11:17 AM
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Here are abridged versions of two messages that I posted recently in response to inquiries about Spello.

"Bevagna and Montefalco are interesting;
one can eat very well, if traditionally, at Coccorone in Montefalco, and the red Sagrantino di Montefalco wine is little known outside Italy and well worth trying.

Spello is much more charming than Spoleto. While Spello is built of the same rosy stone as Assisi, Spoleto's buildings are mostly built of a dark grey local stone.

The Palazzo Bocci is beautifully appointed and many of the rooms have lovely views of the Umbrian countryside.

There are two very good restaurants within yards of the Palazzo Bocci: Il Mulino, which, I believe, belongs to the Palazzo Bocci and is a little more adventurous, and La Cantina, which is traditional. For Italian cuisine with a nouvelle and fusion influence, the restaurant of La Bastiglia (at the top of the town) is well regarded by foodies."

"I stayed at the Palazzo Bocci in Spello for three days.

Personally, I loved Spello: It's a tiny jewel almost untouched by time. There's a tiny, not very exciting museum, and a lovely Pinturicchio chapel in the main church, just across from the Palazzo Bocci.

The two restaurants in Spello that I liked were Il Mulino, which I think belongs to the Palazzo Bocci, and La Cantina (I think; it's across the street from the Palazzo Bocci and up a few steps; rather unobtrusive signage). If you're more into nouveau and fusion type cuisine, La Bastiglia, a hotel at the very top of Spello, gets good reviews from foodies. There are quite a few other restaurants in Spello that I didn't try.

If you can, drive to Bevagna and Montefalco, both also very medieval and atmospheric. In Montefalco, the Coccorone is wonderful; my best meal that year in Italy. And they make a wonderful red wine in Montefalco called Sagrantino di Montefalco."

In answer to some of your other questions:

I think the Palazzo Bocci is within your price range.

Spello does have stone gates, medieval and Renaissance churches; it probably has stone walls as well, but I don't really recall them.

Spoleto, Assisi and Trevi can easily be reached by train. For Bevagna and Montefalco, I had to take buses.

The views from the top of Spello are quite wonderful. You can hike, as I understand it, on a trail over Mount Subasio (I hope I have the name right...) from Spello to Assisi.

Someone has to be making the Sagrantino di Montefalco and the less interesting Rosso di Montefalco, and it should be possible to make arrangements to visit a vineyard. The local tourist offices should be able to help you with that.


Eloise is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 04:13 PM
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Has anyone stayed at La Bastiglia? Curious aoout the rooms and the location.
Thanks.
-Bill
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Oct 13th, 2004, 04:48 PM
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Bob and Eloise, thanks so much for the inputs. I might look into walking from spello to assisi and then taking the train back.
degas is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 05:03 PM
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Iamq: I have not stayed at La Bastiglia, but I can tell you that it is at the very top of Spello, a fair hike up from "beautiful downtown Spello."

The views from the terrace and, I imagine, from many of the rooms must be splendid.

I know it has a Web site, but I haven't been able to find it.

If you google "La Bastiglia," you will find reviews of the restaurant on Chowhound and (in Italian) on Veronelli.
Eloise is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 05:13 PM
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The best gelato we had in Italy on my honeymoon was in Spello, right outside the gates.
MonicaRichards is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 05:30 PM
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Degas, the hike from Spello to Assisi takes about seven hours according to a website I went on (15km). I was thinking of doing that next year, also. I figure those seven hours could be much better used for drinking wine.

I am booked next Fall at Palazzo Bocci in Spello. Be forewarned that I made the reservations last week and one of their days were already full. If you are going between now and then, I recommend you make your reservations soon.
maitaitom is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 05:42 PM
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After suggestions from Bob my fiancée and I chose Spello and the Palazzo Bocci for a single night whilst enroute between Venice and the Amalfi Coast next June on our honeymoon.

The hotel looks marvellous on its web site (no surprise there then!) but every review, I think without exception, written all over, on the web and in the press and guidebooks has been overwhelmingly positive that it seems like a complete no-brainer!

Thanks Bob for making me aware of Spello and the Palazzo Bocci, and Maitaitom - I'm even more relieved now that I made my reservation last month!

Dr D.
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Oct 13th, 2004, 06:55 PM
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We just stayed in Spoleto and loved it. We did not go to Spello though. We did like our hotel in Spoleto - Hotel San Luca although it was a walk. It was 150 euros in September. Take a day trip to Spoleto....not touristy at all! Very beautiful and we had some of our BEST meals there!
mgfit is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 07:07 PM
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Am I wrong in thinking that neither Assisi nor Spello has a rail station in the actual town?

I believe Assisi's rail station is a good bit away from the town, and after a 7 hour hike, I personally would be exhausted. I also believe Spello's rail station is below the town, but don't know the distance.

tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 07:17 PM
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One source says Spello is 10 km (6 mi) SSE of Assisi so 7 hours of walking seems too long.
degas is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 07:39 PM
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But wasn't the earlier poster referring to the route over Mt.Subasio?

I have taken a shorter hike in the area, and a drive nearly to the top of the mountain, and it is huge and desolate. I was frightened (I'm admittedly nervous and a little cowardly about adventures) that we would get a flat or be stuck in a ditch, absolutely miles from the nearest human beings.

But from town to town, the distance is indeed short. We drove back and forth in 15 minutes or so.
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Oct 13th, 2004, 08:53 PM
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But wasn't the earlier poster referring to the route over Mt.Subasio?

Exactly. That is supposedly the best hike if you want to experience the area. Wine still sounds (and tastes) better.

maitaitom is offline  
Oct 14th, 2004, 01:21 AM
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I read about those hikes and I think it's a great idea, and with the fact that buses can take you (in Assisi, for sure) to the train station with no problem, getting to the station after the 7 hour (or how many hour) hike shouldn't be a big deal.

Also, I recommend Il Mulino, even if it was a bit over budget for us--it has very good food.
Jackie_in_Italy is offline  
Oct 14th, 2004, 01:34 AM
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Oh, and I forgot to add:

check out my blog entry about Spello here (we loved this town, sort of unexpectedly):
http://www.stelleinitalia.blogspot.com/
(you have to scroll down a bit to find the entry "Bello Spello")

and some pictures here:
http://www.thelongtriphome.com/trave...es/000090.html
Jackie_in_Italy is offline  
Oct 14th, 2004, 02:40 PM
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Thanks everyone for the additional inputs.

Jackie, your Spello story was great. I'll have to remember to take some super glue on my next trip.
degas is offline  
Oct 15th, 2004, 07:12 AM
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glad you liked my Spello story, degas! I definitely plan to take superglue with me from now on when I travel . Not worth it to lose more pairs of sandals.
Jackie_in_Italy is offline  
Oct 15th, 2004, 07:38 AM
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Over on slowtravel, Bill Thayer gave me the info below on hiking the area. Another fella said he was sixty and not in very good shape but walked over the mountain in about seven hours.


Since Mt. Subasio lies between them, there are three basic routes: around Subasio on the west, around Subasio on the east, and over the top of Subasio. The easiest is the first, the longest is the second, the hardest is the third.

I've done the third, it's a full day's expedition, at least if you stop and look carefully at what God and centuries of human culture throw in your path.

The W route can be made to pass thru some of the Franciscan places (S. Benedetto and S. Damiano), takes 2 hours of actual walking, maybe 5 hours total, and has good views of the Umbrian plain, but two cautions:
the first part of the walk can be dull and not very pretty if you follow the road via Capitan Loreto, so my advice would be to leave Spello by the back door, the Porta Montanara and the little road that veers left from there (i.e., not the two more visible roads that head off to the cemetery);
do this as early as possible, since later in the day, the beautiful view of the plain, due W, often turns into a blinding haze.

The E route is much wilder, and starts out like the one over the summit ? you go to Collepino (a pretty place) ? but then you keep on following the main road, and girdle the mountain via S. Giovanni and Armenzano. I've done part of that, it's traffic-free, see diary, Oct. 10, 1997.

None of these walks is difficult: surfaced roads thruout, not excessively steep.

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