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Arquata del Tronto: Hotel Regina Giovanna

Via Salaria, 5, Phone: 0736.809148; Fax: 0736.809844

Reviewed by: LynK from FL, review #1081

When: June 2005

Friendly owners (wife speaks English), best meal of our trip at their restaurant, wish we could have stayed longer. {3 star}

In front of the Hotel Regina Giovanni, photo by LynK

We visited the tiny towns of Pescara del Tronto and Arquata del Tronto in Le Marche to see the area where my husband's grandparents were born. There was very little information on the web about hotels in the area. We had no reservations and found the Hotel Regina Giovanni late on a Saturday afternoon. We booked 3 rooms for the 5 of us and on June 11 and 12 we were the only guests in the hotel.

The 25 room hotel is owned and run by a young couple, Sal and Cristina. They have a baby boy born in February or March 2005. Cristina speaks pretty good English and was extremely kind and helpful. The 2 Queen rooms were large and comfortable with good beds, real wood paneling, satellite TV (no English channels as I recall..maybe CNN), clean modern tiled bathrooms. Our teenaged daughter had a room with one twin bed that was more plain and modest than the Queen rooms but still nice. The rooms are not fancy, but are well kept and very clean. The shower stalls with glass enclosures are very small and are difficult for a large person to use, but one room did have a shower with a curtain so there are different possibilities if that is a problem. There is an elevator.

We arrived about 6 p.m. and asked if dinner was possible at 7:30 p.m. which was agreed upon. Sal was the chef and in one and a half hours he put together the best meal we bought in nearly 3 weeks in Italy. We left the menu to them and we had many courses of a whole variety of excellent food. Everything was homemade and fresh and absolutely amazing. They accommodated our teenaged daughter's vegetarian diet. Cristina was the server and made us feel like royalty. How they pulled off this meal with such little notice continues to baffle me. We were only able to have dinner one night due to an invitation elsewhere but I wish I could have had another dinner there.

Breakfast was also excellent, though less extensive: wonderful coffee with warm croissants, the best hot chocolate ever for our 9 year old, juice, bread and butter and jam.

The hotel also has a bar with gelato and coffee. A few locals stopped by occasionally during our stay, and we met no other native English speakers during our stay in the Arquata del Tronto area. Apparently the hotel is completely full in August, mostly with Germans who come to trek and bike in the Mont Sibillini National Park and visit the Piano Grande, which is about a 30-45 minute, relatively easy drive from Arquata and well worth seeing. The mountains are snowcapped even in June.

The hotel is called a 3 star hotel, but I'd add a few stars for the friendliness and warmth of the owners and the fabulous food they prepared. I highly recommend this hotel and the area for an authentic, non-touristy experience in Italy.

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

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