La Locanda is a historic gem in a tiny medieval town, definitely off the beaten track. Yet situated at the crossroads of a magic, underappreciated area of Italy that encompasses Bologna, Ravenna, Faenza and Imola. This cluster of buildings began life as a tavern and post office back in the 17th century. They were combined to form a nobleman’s residence by the mid 1800’s. Many renovations later, it is now a charming tiny hotel. So much of the past has been preserved, including stunning 18th century frescos, period decor and an ancient well that predates the original buildings. Chef/owner Mirko Rocca took over in 2004. He had worked all over Europe honing his culinary chops, including a stint at Michelin 3 starred Chez Nico and as executive chef at Capri’s Grand Hotel Quisisana. Opening his own place was an opportunity to combine everything he has learned with his personal vision of simplicity, lightness and quality of the product. He is constantly experimenting and researching to reduce to use of butters and creams with out sacrificing flavors. The results are impressive. The restaurant wonderful; loved by locals. The pasta is always homemade. The menu changes every 60 days with the seasons. Using La Locanda di Bagnara as a base does require a bit of driving but the roads are so beautiful they count as a destination in their own right.
Number of Rooms: 8
Sweet Suite: #7….the largest room, the bed is in an alcove the living area is grand. But it is the trompe-l’oeil 18th century frescos which cover the walls that make it magnificent and magical.
Favorite Thing: The wine list… The restaurant is wonderful; the wine bar serves 40 different wines from the local region. All interesting. There are other wines from all over Italy, but this is a chance to try some unique and obscure bottles.
Near By: The picturesque town of Bagnara has a wonderful well preserved Renaissance fort and a small museum dedicated to the opera composer Mascagni. The hotel makes a charming base from which to explore nearby Ravenna with its famous mosaics (37 k); Bologna (33 k); Faenza, a historic ceramic center (17 k) and Imola which is home to a famous racetrack and the marvelous Michelin 2 star restaurant San Domenico (13 k)
Amenities: The Restaurant, wine bar, non-smoking, Sat TV, air con, free internet, hair dryers, non-smoking