Hotels in Italy

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Hotel Accademia

by Sarah Shuckburgh

The Accademia Hotel is wonderfully situated, half way up via Mazzini, the smartest street in Verona. Designer boutiques flank this marble-paved pedestrian thoroughfare, along which shoppers throng all day, and even denser crowds perform the evening passegiata. Follow the flow for 200 yards, and you arrive at the hub of the old town, Piazza Erbe. A short amble in the other direction brings you to the spectacular Roman arena, where operas are staged in summer. The river Adige, which circles the old town, is never more than a short stroll away. As a base for visiting the sights of Verona, the Accademia is perfect.

Behind an ornate renaissance facade, the hotel foyer is modern, but opulent, with chandeliers, gilt and mirrors. The first floor breakfast room is fairly hideous, with padded walls of swirly pink fabric, and plastic flowers arranged in front of net-curtained windows. The orange juice, spinning in a chilled dispenser, tastes like orange squash. The ground floor restaurant also has a corporate feel to it, and sure enough, in the winter months, the Accademia is full of delegates attending business meetings in the hotel's six conference rooms.

However, the staff are welcoming and efficient. The chambermaids in particular keep very busy - closing shutters and curtains whenever you go out, remaking beds after each siesta, and producing clean towels and sheets daily. The rooms are of varying sizes - ours was small and oddly-shaped, squeezed between the ground floor and the lofty piano nobile above - but we had a marble bathroom and two soft armchairs. Some rooms face a quiet internal courtyard, others face via Scala, a cobbled street used by cars and motorbikes. Our window looked on to via Mazzini, and below us, endlessly fascinating two-way streams of elegantly-clad, chattering pedestrians flowed over the pink and white marble paving. The noisy chatter continues long into the night, but the double-glazed windows and heavy shutters allow peaceful slumber.

First published by Travel Intelligence Ltd

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