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Spello (Umbria): Villa Pandolfi Elmi

I can't recommend Villa Pandolfi Elmi strongly enough. We travel to Europe at least yearly and always stay in small B&Bs - this is without a doubt the best we've stayed at. The villa is an old manor house just outside of Spello (about a 5 minute walk) and is just gorgeous. The house was built in the late 1700s and is filled with antiques (our bedroom was an old library and had beautiful frescoes in it). On the grounds is an old chapel that is absolutely beautiful inside along with a garden you can relax in. Access is easy from highway and parking is just inside the courtyard (a major plus for a hilltown). Fabrizio, the owner, is an amazing, outgoing man that speaks perfect English and will happily share his love and knowledge of the house, town and region that he grew up in. He is a great host and he and his girlfriend treat you like you are a member of their extended families. They truly made our time in Spello!

As a sidenote, Spello is a fantastic base for exploring Umbria. Not only is it a very scenic town in its own right, but its a great central location for day trips in Umbria are a hour or less away, eg Perugia, Spoleto, Gubbio, Assisi, Montefalco, Todi. I looked at a lot of different places to base ourselves and Spello just made sense: central, tourist sights but not touristy, hill town, Roman ruins, great restaurants, easy to get to, lots of reasonably priced accomodations, etc. Because its so close to Assisi we were able to easily stay late in Assisi and get a feel of it in its untouristed form without dealing with the overpriced accommodations and mediocre restaurants.

Posted by
280 posts

So happy to hear that you loved Spello as a home base. We will be basing ourselves in Spello for 6 nights starting June 17th (the day before Infiorata begins!). Spello just made sense to us also. What were your favorite restaurants etc.?

Posted by
5641 posts

Our favorite restaurants during two weeks in Spello-
Porta Venere-Best food and service-
La Cantina- hit or miss. When good, very good. Service not consistent.
Ristorante Il Molino- well prepared meals.
Osteria del Buchetto-small, a little out of the way, nice homestyle food and experience.
Make sure to stop by Bar Giardino Bonci for an espresso and pastry. The garden in back is beautiful with views. The owners are such welcoming people. A slice of Spello!

Posted by
364 posts

In terms of restaurants, Buchetto was our favorite. The pastas were good but their antipasto misto was the best I've ever had. All local stuff and very seasonal. The wines Massimo stocks is just amazing. He speaks a little English, just let him know what you're looking for and he'll choose an amazing bottle.
Il Molino is also very good (as is the enotecca immediately uphill from it). Fun fact about Molino: the chef there was the first chef to bring "novelle cuisine" to Italy back in the 80's. There's a pasta dish on the menu that is citrus based - I believe it has "il molino" in the name thats highly unusual and really amazing.
For what its worth, I thought that Porta Venere (the restaurant, not the gate) was just "meh". Great view, but expensive and mediocre food in terms of the other restaurants in town. According to our innkeeper, they've gone downhill over the years; go for the view not the food.

Posted by
5641 posts

Marcus, sorry about uour experience but we had two exceptional meals at Porta Venere. The only bad meal we had in Spello was at La Cantina one night but the first time we ate there it was wonderful.