Monday, 10 September 2018

Cappuccini Resort hotel review – history in the hills of Franciacorta, Italy



Where is Cappuccini Resort?

Cappuccini Resort is perched on a hill on the slopes of Mount Orphan in the heart of the Franciacorta region, in the province of Brescia, Italy. It’s closest to the little village of Cologne (not the German one). It’s a great base from which to explore the region’s many vineyards and wineries, as well as the beautiful Lake Iseo, which is quite a bit smaller than Lake Como, but just as beautiful and a lot quieter.

There’s quite a big hill to get up to get into the resort. You’ll be fine in most cars, but if you’ve hired a little Fiat 500 like we had, you will have to give it some welly to get up the hill. It took us two attempts!

We drove from Lecco in Lake Como which was around a 90-minute drive. If you want to fly, it’s a 30-minute drive from Bergamo-Orio al Serio airport, 55 minutes from Milan-Linate airport, and 90 minutes from Milan Malpensa and Verona-Villafranca-Catullo airports.



What’s Cappuccini Resort like?

The original monastery was built in 1569. In 1805, the Kingdom of Italy suppressed all convents and monasteries, and the place fell into disrepair. But in 1987, Rossalba Tonelli and her family decided to bring Cappuccini back to life and open it as a hotel and resort, and things are still run by the Tonelli-Pellizzari family today.

Staying there feels like a mix of staying in someone’s home, an actual monastery, and a wellness retreat. It’s quiet, and you do feel like you’re sneaking around at times, but mostly it just feels very peaceful. Strolling from your room to the dining room, through the cloisters lit up with fairy lights is all very, very lovely.



What are the rooms like?

Cappuccini is a renovated monastery, and the 14 rooms – with names such as ‘The Tenderness of Brother Ottavio’, ‘Aurora Fra Angelo’, and ‘The Joy of Brother Augustine’ – are former monks’ cells which still keep a lot of hints to the past.

It did feel a little like entering a prison cell going through the first metal-barred door off the cloisters, but the comedically-sized tassel key to open the room door was a bit more plush, and a little less penal. Our room was large and relatively sparsely decorated, with a large fireplace in the corner. It’s very much in an ‘old’ style, but fitting and in keeping with the resort’s history.

The bathroom is similarly large, with a decent power shower and views out over the gardens. Just be careful you don’t end up flashing someone.



What is there to do?

You’ll want to get out and about in the Franciacorta region, but the temptation to stay perched away from everything on the hill is strong. It’s a great place to relax, eat, drink, bathe, and explore. There’s a lovely outdoor saltwater swimming pool with loungers and views out over the region, and garden paths with olive groves and vegetable patches to wander around.

About 300 metres down the hill from the main building, there’s a spa with indoor pool. If you’re staying at the hotel, you can book 30minutes of private use of the hydrotherapy pool, which is a great space to relax in – although 30minutes is not a lot of time to do it in. The only problem is getting in and out of the spa – there’s an electronic gate which I guess people are meant to be monitoring, but it took a good ten minutes on both ends of our visit to get the doors to open. Not particularly relaxing when you need to hot foot it back to the airport.

Always important, what’s the food and drink like?

There’s a large wine menu featuring loads of Franciacorta at reasonable prices. Many of the bottles are between the 25-35euro mark – which is what they’ll cost you to buy direct from a shop/website in the UK.

Breakfast consists of super fresh croissants, homemade jams and preserves, bread, fruit, pastries, mini cookies, fresh orange juice, and double espressos all round, enjoyed on the patio overlooking the herb patch with a happy little bunny hopping about.

Dinner is seriously good, and was my favourite meal of the entire trip. We were one of four or so tables in the restaurant, but there was still a quietly relaxed atmosphere and we didn’t feel awkward. The menu is full of traditional Italian flavours, but with a modern, creative twist, and a definite focus on local produce. Most of the herbs and vegetables come from the hotel garden. Highlights included a veal ragu, and the steak tartare amuse bouche.

So overall…?

If you want to simultaneously be able to get away from it all, and be in the middle of an exciting and still relatively undiscovered region full of delicious food and wine, Cappuccini Resort is the place to be.

For more information, you can book Cappuccini Resort through Booking.com, or through their website.

And if you have no idea about Franciacorta, how it's made, what it is and more, check out our guide to Italy's fanciest fizz. 


I stayed at Cappuccini Resort on a trip to Franciacorta organised by Clementine Communications and hosted by the Franciacorta region. Although the stay was complimentary, all my opinions are my own and not in any way influenced by delicious Franciacorta wine. 

2 comments:

  1. This sounds amazing. Really need to get myself to Franciacorta... I read your other article on it and I am very intrigued!! Love my champagne, so really want to try this next.

    Sarah

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