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San Severo: Hotel Portofina

Via Aurelia, 30, San Severo exit from A12, Phone: 0766.570159

Reviewed by: Nancy from NM, review #132

When: 1999

Small hotel overlooking the sea, an hour north of Rome airport.

Only good for a Last Night in Italy if itís mid-April through mid-September. Seaside hotel with a patio restaurant, located north of FCO, an easy one hour (or less) drive on A12, which is a generally empty autostrada.

This is a small and funky faux-Saracen establishment featuring inexpensive rooms with baths and terraces overlooking the sea. Of course the sea is a little brackish right there (between Santa Mariella and San Severo), but the sun still goes down quite nicely and youíre sitting outside enjoying the local Etruscan vino bianco. No phones in the rooms but there is one in the lobby that takes phone cards.

The first time I stayed there, by myself, one of the brother-owners (the Fina family) set a table for me on the terrace facing the sunset. (It being mid-September, everyone else was eating inside.) The table was set for one, with a fresh rose in a little vase and a candle, in the middle of an otherwise empty patio. I had explained about my Last Night in Italy. He understood. When I entered the restaurant, he showed me outside to my table. The sun had about a half hour to go. Flavio said, as he seated me, "Here, lady madam, you are the star of your own movie." Iíve been back to the Portofina a few times on other Last Nights, alone and otherwise, and actually stayed a few days once to explore Etruscan sites and blasiate in the area.

The food is good; I like the pizza bianco with the fresh fish antipasto, followed by more fish. On a Last Night in Italy, itís nice to smell the sea and eat fish. Last Night criteria fulfilled: easy drive to airport, romantic feature (on the sea), in-hotel restaurant with terrace, casual and inexpensive. In busy summer weekends and August, reservations advisable.

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

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