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Milan: Antica Locanda Solferino

Via Castelfidardo 2, Phone: 02.6570129

Reviewed by: trishmael from LA, review #841

When: December 2004

Funky, small hotel in the Brera. Marcello Mastroianni stayed here, and our room included an apparition . . . .

vera icon in the chest of drawers at the Solferino, photo by Trish on jetlag

We loved the Solferino. It's recommended in both Frommer's Budget & regular guides and the Rough Guide - and was pretty much as described: an 11-room, late 19thC building furnished in keeping with the era (and a bit beyond, some deco--each room is unique). Famous for helping to bring the neighborhood into Bohemian chic and for the actors, models, intellectuals & artists et al who started staying there in the 1970s. It's a bit worn at the heels but we were very comfortable. Think funky, romantic, guesthouse-ish.

Our room was smallish but not cramped, L-shaped with a bed with comfortable, firm mattress, an armoire for clothes, a table next to one of the big windows, and a high chest on which we could see the face of Jesus in the woodgrain (okay, the jet lag may have contributed). The windows had small balcanies overlooking the street and were filled with plants and flowerpots--I bet it's pretty in the summer. The bathroom had a tub with old-fashioned hand-held shower gizmo, and there was enough hot water for a good bath (but nothing beyond).

Breakfast (great piping hot coffee and a basket of warm, crusty rolls) is delivered en suite. The hotel has what I have read is a good restaurant, but it was closed for the holidays while we were there. No matter: there were several good places to eat close by.

The staff was friendly and helpful, although we had a little trouble checking out, since the desk clerk was late that morning, and the maid who was bravely standing in didn't know how to run the credit card machine and her English was as bad as my Italian. All of which resulted in a waiting taxi being annoyed but patient, and our missing the train we wanted to take. I think the mild disorganization was part of the ambiance, but also the holidays; the hotel was maybe half-full at most. Usually they are full up, and one must reserve months in advance. We paid 160/night, which I felt was fair for the excellent location and the funkiness of it all.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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