Imagine waking up every day to sunrise views onto Pavia’s main town square, and a Duomo designed by the hand of grandmaster Da Vinci himself. Well, at Le Stanze del Cardinale you don’t have to daydream anymore because this is the reality of staying in such an accommodation…
Le Stanze del Cardinale: Staying in the heart of Pavia
Opened in 2015, Le Stanze del Cardinale’s aim is to combine the comforts of a French-style guesthouse with all the luxuries of a modern day hotel. The result is an accommodation that’s the first of its kind in Pavia and the kind of place that you won’t want to leave! Each room is carefully curated to create the feeling of being at home, all the while maintaining a sumptuous air of a luxury getaway that you’d expect to find in a four or five-star hotel.
The bed and breakfast (and yes, the breakfast is incredible!) is mere steps away from the Duomo (one of the largest cathedrals in Italy), the Fraschini Theatre, and all of the Italian cuisine you could ever ask for! Osterie and trattorie (singular ‘osteria’ and ‘trattoria’, English translation ‘tavern’) are abundant throughout the town and plenty of authentic Italian food can be found steps away from the B&B.
Other highlights of old town Pavia include visiting one of the oldest universities in Italy, wandering across a perfect reconstruction of a covered medieval bridge and wandering in and out of the city’s many churches. If you really love ecclesiastical history, then the Certosa di Pavia, reputedly the most beautiful Renaissance monastery in Italy, is just a ten-minute train ride away.
Single rooms have views onto a quintessentially Italian courtyard. It’s the kind of space that you wouldn’t think still exists and the type of place you’d expect to see in a movie. Double rooms and suites overlook the courtyard, and are full length, meaning that they also overlook the Duomo to the other side of the centuries-old building. The Duomo is unique in that it was meant to be covered in marble, but construction money ran out and so its façade remains red brickwork to this day.
Suite del Cardinale
In total, Le Stanze del Cardinale offers five rooms and suites, each at varying price points. We spent our stay in the Suite del Cardinale on the first floor, which comprises of one double room, one bathroom and an open plan living area that doubles as a second double room.
In the morning, we awoke to the sun rising up and above the Duomo, and quaint Italian views of a bustling town square. Staying in the heart of Pavia was something of a dream come true, especially so since we were surrounded by beautiful paintings and antique furniture.
Amenities of the suite include hot drink making facilities, a flat-screen TV, minibar and fluffy monogrammed robes. Although I could easily have stayed in bed all day, sipping on the various teas and flicking through the many art and history books that are left for your perusal, it was hard to stay indoors knowing that cobbled streets and quirky façades were on our doorstep- quite literally!
Breakfast at Le Stanze del Cardinale
When it comes to your first meal of the day, and arguably the most important, breakfast is taken just as seriously at Le Stanze del Cardinale as you’d expect from a luxury accommodation. In collaboration with next door Samovar, which is said to be the best patisserie and coffee shop in the entire city, there’s a whole array of pastries, cereals and other treats on offer.
Hot options and even hotter drinks are also available on request. Breakfast is served in the accommodation’s ground floor café, which overlooks the main town square, dozens of pigeons, and the Duomo itself. Again, the dining experience is enhanced by the attention to detail which runs through every room. Check out was as smooth as check-in… we’ll definitely be back!
Accommodation Developments; 5 New Rooms on Offer
Just before we left on a surprisingly warm and sunny morning for the end of January, Paolo, owner of Le Stanze del Cardinale, showed us the new soon-to-be-opened development nearby. Right across from the accommodation of Galleria Arnaboldi, on the first floor of the former palace, five new ensuite rooms are to due to be opened in early 2018.
Some have views onto the Duomo, others are just steps away from the Grand Piano that sits squarely in the heart of the Palace’s former ballroom. All rooms have the sumptuous details that are synonymous with the other suites and guest rooms already on offer in the various Maisons d’Hôtes dotted throughout Pavia.
Grand paintings adorn the walls, pretty fabrics can be found on the bedspreads and in the curtains, and fluffy rugs cover the floors. Each room is well decorated and yet retains its own vibe, much like the already available properties. I would happily sleep in them all!
Thank you so much once again to Paolo and the rest of the team for making our stay both at Galleria Arnaboldi and at Le Stanze del Cardinale so enjoyable and relaxing! All opinions, words and photos remain my own.