Virtuoso Life - September/October 2017 - 202
Style and substance:
Umbria's Palazzo Seneca.
HOTEL OF THE YEAR
Palazzo Seneca, Norcia, Italy
his award recognizes a beautiful part
of Italy that has so much to offer and
needs tourists as never before," says
Virtuoso travel advisor Julia Kostina
of Vancouver, British Columbia. "I was totally
charmed by it." When Federico Bianconi and
his family, whose roots in hospitality go back
more than a century, took over the 50-yearold Palazzo Seneca in 2008, they tasked
V I RT U O S O L I F E
the region's best artisans with refurbishing
the property using exceptional Umbrian
materials and objects. The result was an
intimate 24-room hotel that fused design,
local traditions, and exemplary service.
Then a 6.6-magnitude earthquake last
October devastated much of the town and
surrounding villages - many of Norcia's inhabitants lost their homes and jobs. "The
Bianconis took on the responsibility of
leading the area's recovery," Kostina says.
"They're beautiful people who care for others who are less fortunate and love the
land where they were born." After reopening Palazzo Seneca in April, Bianconi and
his family are helping put Norcia back on
Italy-lovers' lists. Virtuoso travelers receive
breakfast daily and a $100 resort credit.