Our stay at the Al Battistero d'Oro was a highlight of our trip due to the gracious hospitality and authentic Italian coziness we experienced as guests of Patrizia, the owner and operator of Al Battistero. If one appreciates authentic historical Italian architecture and art, you will get a kick out of this place. The accommodation is not a free-standing cottage or house, but rather a charming 18th century apartment building located in the "old city" section of Parma. One enters through these types of buildings through a large wooden gated entrance that leads to a private, "internal" cobblestone courtyard. Many of the windows of the building look out over this courtyard (this includes all the guest quarters of the b & b). We stayed in a lovely double furnished with comfortable twin antique beds (outfitted with high-end linen). Other authentic antique furnishings and art also made us feel as if we were "back in time" in Old Europe. However, it was nice to have modern amenities as well. They included access to a little butler's pantry equipped with a beverage fridge stocked with bottled water, a tea kettle and teas. The bathroom was a nice size with a bathtub and shower, toilet and bidet (bidets are commonly found in many Italian hotels and homes). There is also a hairdryer, adapter/converter, shower gel and shampoo. Patrizia also offers another a guest room on the lower floor that is directly off the courtyard. It has its own private entrance (this room is the blue and white one shown on the website). Both of these guest quarters are connected to the charming expansive apartment where Patrizia resides. The quarters are also used to welcome personal family and friends to her own home. Patrizia offered the same grace and personal attention that one would come to expect when one is entertaining close family and friends - this is primarily why we felt this stay was so special since the experience goes beyond the room. She was very anxious to make sure she served us a continental breakfast that suited our tastes and needs. We were served what is typically an Italian breakfast (Italians eat continental style and make lunch their biggest meal of the day so be aware of this custom since it is very different from the USA). We had delicious cappuccino, hot chocolate, brioche, homemade jam.
Other special "perks": we really appreciated was having unlimited free WiFi access (and the powerful signal. Note that most other places have either very limited free Wifi, or charge 5-6 Euros for a 24 hr period). We found the location a very convenient walk to the Piazza Duomo (where the fascinating 11th century Parma Cathedral is located) and, the Parma art gallery, archeological museum, theater, park and shops. Patrizia also allowed us to use her 2 bikes to get around (do note that the bikes are adequate for leisurely riding and have no gears).
Patrizia made dinner reservations for us at a quaint trattoria in town that all the locals frequent called Trattoria al Tribunale. We had an outstanding meal consisting of world famous Parma prosciutto, wine, homemade pasta (the pumpkin stuffed ravioli was phenomenal), breads, cheeses. It was only a 10 minute walk through the old city from our b & b. Do note that Parma is a very old city with over a 2000 year history. Meandering through the streets of the old city one realizes that the infrastructure of this area is still very unchanged from its deep past. We also loved that fact that life here is low key, and not swarming with tourists - a real plus in our opinion!
We felt the price of our stay was a real value given all that we enjoyed. We wish to return if only to see again our new dear friend, Patrizia!
The "apartment" in the residence is on the main floor (third floor). There is no noise on...
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10 May 2012
Dear , Dear Lady, ' it was a real pleasure to have you guests. I try my best to make all of you feel at ease and friends and I'm happy when it happened . That 's bed and breakfast 's philosophy
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Waiting you next tour in Italy
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