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Hotel Highlights

  • Right in the heart of historic Verona
  • Brilliant food, courtesy of a Michelin-starred chef
  • Frescoes, parquet floors and oil paintings

Overview

A mediaeval-modern mash-up dominates Palazzo Victoria hotel, where Roman ruins, Ionic pillars and 14th-century frescoes share space with white-leather sofas, projector screens and walls clad in concrete and acid-green lichen. There’s a Michelin-starred chef in the kitchens, a pool table in the salon, and white-and-gold Jacuzzis in the shiny marble bathrooms.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Palazzo Victoria with us:

A bag of local handmade pasta

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Palazzo Victoria

Advance booking offer: 15% off Stay two nights, save 5% Stay three nights, save 10% Stay four nights, save 15%

Facilities

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Need To Know

Rooms

74, including 12 suites.

Check–out

12 noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $251.85 (€195), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €3.00 per person per night on check-out.

More details

Rates include Continental buffet breakfast (cooked options are extra).

At the hotel

Projector screen in the lobby for film screenings, pool table, gym with bikes and benches, free WiFi, private parking (€40 a night). In rooms: flatscreen TV and minibar stocked with local treats.

Our favourite rooms

Book 107, a Junior Suite with an incredible mediaeval fresco above the bed, a toffee-brown polished parquet floor, a little sitting area in the corner with a plush armchair and pouffe, and a Jacuzzi-toting mini marble kingdom where you’ll want to just stay in and soak. Room 214 (another Junior Suite) has walls dressed in yolk-yellow silks, two 14th-century mosaics and romantic russet-rooftop views. Room 106, a Grand Deluxe, is decorated in Veneto’s rich regional colours and has an enviable marble bathroom.

Packing tips

A well-thumbed copy of Romeo and Juliet so you can whisper in Juliet’s ear; something tight and glamorous (Mrs Smith) or tailored and timeless (Mr Smith) for passegiata in the piazzas – the Veronese like to look the part.

Also

Small, well-behaved dogs can come too at no extra charge.

Children

Little Smiths aged 12 and under can stay for free. Colouring pencils, pens and colouring books are given to anklebiters on arrival. They’re also welcome in the restaurant, which has high chairs; the chef will happily adapt the menu for tots’ tastes.

Food & Drink

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Hotel Restaurant

The airy grey-and-white Corso Porta Borsari brasserie has an open kitchen, big windows and clusters of white tables topped with rosemary sprigs in little loop vases. The seating is a relaxed mishmash of Lucite and wooden chairs; potted olive trees add splashes of colour. As well as a glittering knife collection, chef Carmine Caló (whose moto is ‘ingredients and imagination’) has a Michelin star. Put your trust in Carmine and opt for the tasting menu: light, elegant dishes that rely on Italy’s best produce – eggs from hens reared on goat’s milk, ricotta sourced from Sicily and so on. Some of the most popular wines are displayed on the vintage apothecary cabinet at the back. Ask the sommelier to talk you through the grapes.

Hotel Bar

There’s a dark and romantic little bar with an excellent selection of local wines (many produced by Allegrini, with whom the hotel enjoys a fruitful partnership). Alternatively, sit in the masculine salon post-pool with a whisky or cocktail and admire the chequered floor and the artefacts; on cold days, pull up a chair beside the arty fireplace.

Last orders

The breakfast buffet is available between 7am and 11am; lunch is served from 12.30pm until 3pm; dinner is 7pm until 11pm.

Room service

A selection of pastas, salads and desserts can be prepared around the clock (we recommend ordering the wonderful deconstructed tiramisu and enjoying it in bed).

Smith Insider

Dress code

Very relaxed, but you’ll feel better for making the effort: a soft, clinging dress/loose shirt and chinos will do nicely.

Top table

Sit at the round table in the corner by the windows and olive trees. There are also tables outside and in another alfresco area close to the lobby. For drinks, we like the pool room or the romantic little passageway with a wall made from blue wooden doors

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Start with a stroll around the chi-chi boutiques that line Via Adua, Via Mazzini and Corso Porta Bosari. Sit and enjoy apéritifs in one of the famous squares – Piazza Bra, Piazza delle Erbe or Piazza dei Signori. Admire Italy’s oldest municipal building, the Palazzo del Commune and its looming Torre dei Lamberti, which dates back to 1193. Go and visit the statue of Juliet at Casa di Guilietta on Via Cappello, and frown at the unsightly tourists who manhandle the poor lady. (There’s a little museum, if you want to delve deeper into Shakespeare’s tragedy.) The walls nearby are covered with brightly coloured chewing gum and graffiti declarations and endearments left by modern lovers. Catch a play at the historic theatre Teatro Romano, across the river (www.comune.verona.it). The theatre has a museum stuffed with statuary and ye olde domestic items: coins, vases, pots and the ilk. Be sure to see an opera at the Arena di Verona +39 045 800 5151; www.arena.it) on Via Roma. Make the hour-long car trip to Lake Garda: even the drive is spectacular. If you liked the bottle of La Griola you had with dinner, have a wine tasting at the Allegrini vineyards, 15–20 minutes away by car (ask the staff to arrange).

Local restaurants

Locals all but brawl over seats at Caffe Mazzanti (www.casamazzanticaffe.it; + 39 045 800 3217) on popular Piazza Erbe. Expect to start off standing (the aperitivo, sushi and pasta are worth the wait for a seat). Al Pompiere (alpompiere.tv; +39 045 803 0537) on Vicolo Regina d'Ungheria is authentic, cosy and full of treats for gluttons: a corner stocked with more than 35 cold cuts; a cheese counter with more than 100 cheeses. Try tigella (flatbreads served with different accompaniments, including cheese, creamed mushroom, aioli, tapenade and so on) at Tigella Bella (+39 045 801 3098; www.tigellabella.it) on Via Sottoriva. Save room for sweet gnocchi served with Nutella and other sugary sauces. Pizzeria Impero (+39 045 803 0160) on Piazza dei Signori serves some of the city’s finest pizza. Decor and service are low-key, letting the food shine.

+ Enlarge
Verona’s chic shopping district

Palazzo Victoria

Via Adua 8, Verona, Veneto, 37121

The hotel is located just a few steps from the Arena amphitheatre, close to the arterial Via Mazzini and opposite Corsa di Porta Borsari, the heart of the city’s shopping area.

Planes

Verona airport is 15km away, with flights to London Gatwick, Stansted, Manchester and other destinations. Taxis are readily available at the airport;. Venice airport is 105km (an 80-minute drive) away.

Trains

Verona Porta Noava is a 10-minute drive from the hotel, with services connecting to Venice, Bologna, Milan, Florence and Rome.

Automobiles

Venice is an 80-minute drive. Parking is available at the hotel (€40 a night).

Reviews

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Anonymous review

by Rosa Rankin-Gee , Parisian script tease

We arrived in fair Verona, where we lay our scene, at the stroke of midnight. When I saw our bed – the size of a small football field – my mind could sing only one song: Joy to the world, the King has come. Our ceilings were high, our wallpaper silk. The bathroom was marble, the mirrors well-placed and there were handmade chocolates, on a little plinth, to welcome us. I pulled back the…
Read more

Palazzo Victoria

Anonymous review by Rosa Rankin-Gee, Parisian script tease

We arrived in fair Verona, where we lay our scene, at the stroke of midnight. When I saw our bed – the size of a small football field – my mind could sing only one song: Joy to the world, the King has come. Our ceilings were high, our wallpaper silk. The bathroom was marble, the mirrors well-placed and there were handmade chocolates, on a little plinth, to welcome us. I pulled back the curtains. ‘A balcony!’ I squealed. ‘Just like the play indeed! I can call up to you, O bright angel.’

Mrs Smith ignored me and shed her clothes, replacing them, in nine seconds flat, with a white bathrobe: one of man’s greatest inventions. We called room service and waited in towelled stars on the bed. When it came, we lifted the silver domes and tore like beasts into tagliata di manzo. The steak was pink as a blush, soft to the knife, and salt and iron to the tongue. We slathered fresh burrata with olio and aglio, and praised the cows, sheep and olive groves from whence they came. After that, sleep came thick and deep. Our room was so soundless that Mrs Smith, a fierce proponent of ear plugs, cast her fluorescent orange friends to one side. When morning broke, we were fixed, and discovery could commence.

Palazzo Victoria is a beautiful unification of three 14th-century ‘palaces’ where the fusion of old and new is flamboyant. Subterraneous Roman ruins peek out from under glass walkways and original frescoes (regularly touched up by the Belle arte di Roma) are juxtaposed with – this bit is more Baz Luhrman than Zeffirelli – living walls, indoor waterfalls, butter-soft white leather sofas and mega light installations featuring short abstract films. Of the 71 rooms, the best have wraparound balconies, bombastic views and ivory bathtubs. Communal charms include an Olympic pool, well, pool table, courtyard gardens, and a bar with a Prohibition-themed cocktail list. (Mrs Smith advised that this was not a good idea before breakfast.)

Verona, needless to say, is a cracking destination for couples – the literary heritage of Romeo and Juliet is profound, and if you ignore the suicide bit at the end, very inspirational. We wandered out of the hotel through the regal, ramshackle Piazza delle Erbe, and within a minute, found ourselves at Juliet’s house, its archways palimpsested with decades of lovers’ graffiti. Later we tell a friend we of course stroked Juliet’s breast for a photo. ‘Didn’t she mind?’ he asked timidly, before he realised we were referring to a bronze statue (whose right mammary gland is supposedly lucky). Another fun thing to do is solidify your relationship’s eternity by writing your names on a padlock and attaching it to Juliet’s trellis.

‘We’ve not done it on the Pont des Arts, and we’re not going to do it here,’ Mrs Smith said firmly. ‘Now take a picture of me stroking the breast. And use the Retrocam.’

Verona’s true charm lies in its delicate size, and such superbly conserved architecture it has Unesco World Heritage status. Facades are high and fringed; some are mustard, others milky turquoise, and more still terracotta and fox red. And Shakespeare was right to big up the balcony. Here, they’re majestic, waterfalling with succulents and Rapunzel-esque ivy.

Another nice thing is, you never have to take the bus. Within a 10-minute amble, you can see the arena, the San Zeno basilica and some of the world’s worst mime artists. Also, there are apparently much fewer tourists per square metre than either Venice or Rome. That’s how we’re measured these days. From Gucci to tabbachi, Veronese shopping is leather-heavy and great. Mrs Smith even bought a whole new outfit, and it featured sequins.

She wore it that night for dinner at the hotel’s on-site Borsani 36, a ‘show kitchen’ manned by six chefs each armed with giant tweezers for precise plating. Homemade ravioli was cloud like and silver lined with smoked aubergine, and a Barbie-coloured beetroot risotto found its Ken in its salty, fiery seafood ragout. Then the beef! Again. What beef! I would marry that beef.

Being a lonely all-male team, the chefs took a liking to two potential Juliets and so divided our shared dishes with flair, elaborate pesto art and the occasional wink. Star-cross’d lovers must feel at ease in Verona: earlier that day, one porter had taken the opportunity of a lift-ride à deux with Mrs Smith to ask for her ‘Facebook name’…

Over dinner, Mrs Smith began to tell me about Roman gesture. She had been to Rome once. ‘We should do this to the chefs,’ she said excitedly, running her little finger down her cheek. ‘It means ‘mmm… delicious!’ ‘ I caught the waitress’s eye and was in the midst of the little finger move when Mrs Smith’s face fell. ‘Stop!’ She yelped. ‘I’ve just remembered. That one means ‘I’m going to kill you.’ Women! You can’t take them anywhere. Anyway. It had been a hard day’s eating; there came a point where we fancied bed again. Not a problem. We enjoyed a deconstucted tiramusu and the last of our local Valpolicella in the comfort of our room, delivered by a team of people, including a chef in a hat so high he had to bend slightly to enter through the door.

In total, we spent 40 hours in Verona, of which 70 per cent was happily at Palazzo Victoria. We never once considered joint suicide. A superb sign. We sped away back to Paris on a long train ride through the Alps after a breakfast of sanguinello mimosas, sugar-dusted sfogliatelli and cappuccini with milk hearts. Give me my sin again.
 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Palazzo Victoria's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

If you are looking for the best views over Lake Garda, this is the hotel for you (Terrace Suite).

 

Don’t expect

I would recommend they consider serving afternoon tea – it's such a perfect setting and their desserts are delicious!

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This is an excellent, stylish boutique hotel well located within walking distance of all the delights of Verona. Brilliant food and service.

Don’t expect

Room sizes and layouts differ because of the conversion, so you could have small bathrooms even within the same category of room. Rooms overlooking the quiet side street can become a little noisy on weekends. No blankets were supplied in case you didn't want to swelter under a duvet.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the delicious food, and the comfy sofas and good coffee in the reception area for lounging and meeting people.

Don’t expect

The urban view could be better.

Rating: 9/10 stars