a traveler United States
We stayed at Palazzo del Duca as a part of the cooking and wine touring option. We traveled with friends and shared the Malaspina apartment, which was spacious and comfortable. The kitchen was well equipped, bathrooms nice and beds comfortable. It had a huge dining table that could seat 12, if we wanted to throw a big party, and a large living room! Both cooking classes were good and loved getting our hands all floured up with making the pasta and other local dishes, such as torta d'erbe and chestnut flour cakes. Our host Francesco took us touring to a couple of wineries in the Cinque Terre with a wonderful lunch at a restaurant in Manarola. We also enjoyed an informative visit with the local beekeeper and happened upon the annual horse festival in Comano, which was a great slice of local, rural culture. The village is very small with only a bar/restaurant, but loved getting away from the hustle of larger Italian cities. And it was great that we could walk out the door and go three or four different directions on well marked trails thru the hills and tiny villages. Meals at Casa Turchetti and Montagna Verde were also very good, especially Montagna Verde! The local winery, Casteldelpiano is also a gem to visit.
a traveler United Kingdom
Here once more, this time in the Depandance apartment which is ideal for two, especially as it has its own seating area with table and chairs overlooking the pool and gardens. People have written elsewhere about the background and history and so all I can add here is to reinforce the positive views about the location, apartments and most importantly, the owners, Mirella and Francesco, plus Pat. They are so genuine and helpful and want to help you enjoy your stay more so tap them for information. Both Francesco and Pat are very knowledgeable in all wine matters! Ideal for an informal stay in the area. Will be returning. Each time we visit we find somewhere new to explore. This area has so much to offer, sea, walks, mountains, wine, food, medieval villages, and others. It is underrated area and difficult to find information in standard guidebooks. Try Pontremoli, Filetto, Bagnone, Villafranca, Equi-terme, the lakes, Cinque Terre, Viareggio, Lerici! Will again be recommending to all I know!
I've been fortunate to spend many summers of my life in different areas of Tuscany and being at the Palazzo in Tavernelle offers something I have yet to experience anywhere else in Italy. The Palazzo itself is an incredible restored palace, beautifully furnished and very comfortable. When you leave the palace you find yourself in a village with winding stone streets that take you back to a different time. Every morning you can get up and see the sheep being walked up the mountain to graze and a lady in town makes cheese from their milk which you can try(highly recommend). From Tavernelle, you can hike or drive to other villages with more castles, places for food, and views than you can possible see on one trip. If you want to experience real Italy where you aren't surrounded by a sea of tourists this is a great area to be. The Palazzo and the surrounding areas are enough of a reason to come visit but what really makes staying at the Palazzo a truly incredible experience are the wonderful hosts, Mirella and Francesco. The last time I visited I was able to do a cooking class and a wine tasting with Mirella and Francesco. Mirella is an incredible cook and taught us to make bruschetta, homemade ravioli(no pasta machine necessary- the best ravioli I've ever had), sgabei and so many different foods that were perfectly accompaniments to the wines Francesco expertly introduced. You truly get the farm to table experience, all of their food is locally sourced and the fresh, local ingredients as well as the love they put into making the food really make the difference, some of the best meals I've ever had were at the Palazzo! They are hosts that will go to great ends to ensure that you are having a great Italian experience, they also took us on a tour of the Cinque Terre wine coop as well as a seafood lunch with wine tasting at one of Francesco's friends Cinque Terre vineyard and restaurant, it was one of my best days in Italy. I really cannot say enough about my time at the Palazzo, I cannot wait for a time to go back! Once you go there, it's the only place you'll want to go back to in Italy!