Swellegant Stays: Palazzo Santa Spirito – Bergamo, Italy

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The Italian city of Bergamo is one half of Bergamo-Brescia Italian Capital of Culture 2023. If you want to lap up the city’s history and architecture, not to mention enjoy the major arts program running until the end of the year, then check into the gorgeous 4-Star Palazzo Santa Spirito, the newest and most exciting addition to Bergamo’s hotel scene. Set within a converted convent dating from 1309 in the Citta Bassa (the Lower Town), the hotel’s designers have kept many of the building’s original architectural features, including its huge courtyards, stone columns, and magnificent vaulted arcades. Arriving at the hotel you will feel like a guest in a palace, but as the stylish interiors reveal, if this is indeed a fairytale, it is very much a contemporary one.

Start and end your days outside: Bergamo can be pretty hot in summer, but in the early morning and late evening, the temperature is balmy. It is heavenly to sit a while with a proper Italian espresso and a freshly baked pastry (or perhaps an Aperol Spritz, if it is later in the day) on the patio at the edge of Palazzo Santa Spirito’s verdant green lawn, soaking up the atmosphere and admiring the historic buildings around you. Depending on the time of day, you might hear the tolling of the church bells echoing over the city’s terracotta rooftops.

With so much to see and do on the hotel’s doorstep, you are unlikely to spend much time indoors. When you are exhausted from sightseeing and it is time for a rest, however, you would do well to retreat to the fabulous spa and wellness center for an hour or two. If you splash out and book the Imperial Suite, you’ll be staying underneath the convent’s vaulted ceiling, with a private spa at your disposal. The suite has its own Finnish sauna and whirlpool. Palazzo Santa Spirito’s 80 guest rooms and suites are decorated in a palette of white and neutral tones, tasteful and calming in equal measure. The en suite bathrooms are a fair size for a city center hotel, with good lighting so you can dress up in your most fabulous frock and check you are looking your very best before heading back outside for dinner and another taste of la dolce vita. www.palazzosantospirito.com



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