At night the city of Rome sparkles in the distance laid out like a grid of sparkling lace below the Park Hotel Villa Grazioli. A 30 minute drive outside of the city, the villa perches high on a hill that must have offered a beautiful view to the cardinal who had it constructed in the late 1500s. Yes, I said the 1500s.
After a few days of city hotels my boyfriend and I wanted to get out into the country a bit. I can’t say that the villa is in the country (not by this Kansas girl’s standards, but it is on a generous piece of property just off the main road in Grottaferrata. The tree in front of the hotel is said to be 400 years old. (As with all my travel posts, these photos were taken by me.)
I actually found the villa through hotels.com and then read reviews online before booking a room for us for one night. This is one of the lobby rooms.
Here is another public space on the first floor.
The real reason I wanted us to stay here though was because I wanted to see the frescoes that were painted in the late 1500s for Cardinal Carafa. Over the years they were restored and added to. It’s a beautiful piece of history to explore.
We also had an amazing meal in the dining room. It was a formal affair and it didn’t feel appropriate to take photos at the table, but it was here that I was introduced to Sicilian pink shrimp, which is now a favorite. We had some amazing local wines with dinner, including one by Casale Marchese. Our waiter arranged a visit to the winery the next day, where we toured the grounds and met the owners of the property, the Carletti family, which has owned the winery for five generations. The main part of the house dates to 1301 and was on the road to Rome during the pilgrimages of the Dark Ages.