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Assisi: Residenza d'Epoca San Crispino

Via Sant'Agnese 11

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Reviewed by: Amelia2004 from IL, review #649

When: June 2004

More a "residence" than a "hotel", this tiny inn offers spectacular views, charming rooms, and a perfect location at a very reasonable price.

I highly recommend Residenza d'Epoca San Crispino to anyone who is interested in something a little different from your typical "hotel." The Residenza is in a 15th century building that has been exquisitely restored.

There is no full time staff and no breakfast service, so if you want hotel style service, this is not the place for you. However, we had a suite of rooms with a tiny kitchenette, offering us a small chance to feel like we were living - rather than simply vacationing - in Assisi. This is the type of place you visit and want to stay for at least a week!

Rooms were spacious and charming - We stayed in the Sora Acqua suite which included a large bedroom with a spectacular view of the Basilica di Santa Chiara and a poster bed, a small bedroom suitable for one person, spacious bathroom and a 'family room' (sofa, TV, dining table/chairs and tiny kitchenette).

The furnishings were tastefully suited to an old building yet were comfortable. Perhaps the best part of the suite, however, was the small, private terrace that overlooked olive gardens and the countryside. Seeing the greens, browns and purples of the Umbrian landscape being warmed by the late afternoon Italian sun from your own private terrace is, by itself, worth the price!

Bathroom was modern and large - Our bathroom had a large shower and offered us enough space to "spread out" a little. A word of caution - the bathroom floor was up one step and it was easy to forget the need to step down as you were leaving the bathroom.

Breakfast - The kitchenette, to our delight, came equipped with coffee, milk, cereal and croissants. Despite our limited coffee making skills, it didn't take us long to figure out how to use the almost-idiot-proof cappuccino maker. We also loved the chance to go shopping for fruits, cheeses and pastries to supplement our breakfast. A bottle of wine with some bread, cheese and prosciutto also makes a wonderful meal away from restaurant noise and fellow tourists.

Location is perfect except for the parking. The Residenza can be a little hard to find, but once you know where it is, it takes only 2 minutes to walk to the Basilica di Santa Chiara, 3 minutes to walk to the Piazza del Commune, and perhaps 10-15 minutes to walk to the Basilica di San Francesco. (I had been to Assisi several times before and couldn't find the Residenza on my own. Only with the help of the tourist office in the Piazza del Commune could I figure out where it was!)

Assisi is filled with tourists during the day but can be almost deserted at night, so the Residenza was very quiet in the evening. Because the Residenza is in the heart of Assisi (which is a hill town), getting your luggage to and from it can be a challenge. The parking lot close by is down hill from the Residenza and part of the trek is on a dirt path. The parking lot we used (Piazza Matteoti) is further away (behind the Cattedrale di San Rufino) and is uphill from the Residenza, but the streets are paved. We carried our luggage downhill from that parking lot when we arrived and then had a taxi take us to the parking lot at departure. Given the weight of my mother's suitcase, it was worth the money!

Very personable staff aren't always available - Because this isn't a hotel, the front desk isn't always staffed. You need to carry your keys with you and there's a separate key for the front door (which is locked at night). Unlocking that door can be a challenge! Also, by the time we thought about going shopping for some groceries, there was no one around to ask about where to go. But Isabella was very helpful in setting up our reservation and getting us situated. Also, our thanks to her for being so nice when we called at 10:30 at night because we couldn't get our key to work!

Price was very reasonable - There were three of us so the per person cost for the suite was about 65 euros a night. I thought that was a great value!

Reviewed by: Lily from US, review #187

When: October 2002

Wonderful historic residence, center of Assisi. 7 suites, warm and kind staff, beautiful rooms, modern conveniences. Couldn't recommend more highly.

Drove into center of Assisi to drop off bags. San Crispino is on a little side street next to St. Clare's. The manager was waiting for us and came out to help us unload the bags - Isabella continued to be this thoughtful throughout our stay.

The residence is very quiet, not to mention beautiful. It's recommended in one of Karen Brown's books. We had the most expensive apartment with 2 large bedrooms, 2 large baths with shower and tub, huge living room/dining room. Off one bedroom is a deck that spans the length of the apartment with table and chairs. It's a stupendous view over the hillsides straight ahead, to St. Clare's to the right and another beautiful church on the left. Sat there with friends and glass of wine thinking "it doesn't get better than this".

Minimum stay 3 nights, I believe, and they pro-rate the weekly rate of 1365 euros i.e.195 per night for this apartment which could accommodate 6. We only had 4. Didn't see the smaller apartments but would expect them to look like the pictures on the web. Ours,"Brother Sun", did.

I hope to get back to Assisi and will definitely stay there again.

Pauline's Note: These are large suites in a hotel, not apartments with kitchens. Check out the web site - they look great!

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

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