Imagine standing on the long garden terrace of a 13th-century monastery.
As the sun sets across the still waters of a wide lake, the domes of a papal palace glint in the evening light, drawing the eye to the imperial city of Rome below and onwards to the Mediterranean glistening in the far distance.
In the silence and harmony of dusk the only sound is birdsong and the hooting of the occasional owl perched in the trees on the slopes running down to the lakeshore.
Then picture the cloister of a medieval building in an idyllic setting, lovingly restored with comfortable en-suite bedrooms and serving delicious meals using fantastic local produce in the original timber-panelled refectory.
In summer, meals are enjoyed outside under the trees while in winter you can cosy up to a log fire in the old Library.
Behold! You’re beginning to get an idea of the magic of Palazzola.
This is a place where God speaks. If asked to describe Palazzola in one word, most people would say: stunning! Your shoulders start to relax within hours of arrival as its tranquil calm weaves its spell. Soon the only thing you’ll want to rush to is lunch.
Palazzola is not a five-star hotel.
It’s much more than that. Comfortable, friendly, welcoming, with history all around you from the remains of an imperial Roman villa to the murals in the refectory left by occupying German troops.
In summer, Palazzola particularly welcomes families and parish groups. You can visit Rome and explore the delightful Castelli towns nearby. Take a stroll around the lake to Castel Gandolfo or simply spend your days lying in the sun beside the magnificent outdoor swimming pool, carved out of rock at the end of the garden.
At other times of year we welcome groups of students, religious orders, retreat groups or those seeking a few days of peace and quiet to recharge their batteries, refocus their life or just relax. Palazzola is perfect for a conference, a family gathering or a wedding. It offers something for everyone.
Have a look at the pictures on the website but be certain of this: no photo can do justice to the beauty of the place. You’ll discover this the first time you emerge through the low doorway onto the magnificent panorama of the garden terrace.
It’s like coming home You know that however long or short your first visit, you'll want to return.
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Palazzola, a magic retreat just outside Rome
Palazzola, Via dei Laghi, Rocca di Papa, RM, Italia