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“Fabulous 2 week family vacation!!”
Review of Palazzo del Duca

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Palazzo del Duca
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 August 2017

Three years ago I casually mentioned to my wife that we should consider renting a castle in Europe for our family vacation. She took the bait and started looking online. Then one day she announced that she found the perfect place in Licciana, Italy. The reviews were all top rated and the castle would accommodate our 5 families (17 members) nicely, with each family having a private unit. After corresponding with the owners, Mirella and Francesco, who were amazingly helpful and supportive throughout the planning process, we asked our children, spouses and grandchildren if they would like to go to Italy in June 2016. The answer was a unanimous YES, YES!! So, in eager anticipation, our five families began dreaming of the places they wanted to see. However, our 2016 date did not come to be as our youngest daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer. Of course, everyone agreed we could not go on a family vacation without her. We corresponded with Mirella, explained our situation and were incredibly relieved when she and Francesco graciously offered to change our reservation to June of 2017. We cannot say enough about Mirella and Francesco and their wonderful castle, Palazzo del Duca. They have created such a delightful, friendly, and warm environment that none of us wanted to leave after our 2 week stay! The location of the Palazzo del Duca allowed all of us to take not only group day trips (together we took a pesto making class in Cinque Terre and biked the wall around Lucca), but individual family excursions to other places as well: i.e. Venice, Rome, Siena, Florence, Volterra. My wife and I enjoyed immensely traveling through the mountains and stopping in little medieval villages tucked in the hills and valleys. We found the location to be perfect for our adventures. The castle is a magical place; its history and authenticity are to be savored. It is VERY spacious and the "honeymoon" apartment is romantically situated above the courtyard overlooking the beautiful pool. Whether you are in need of only one apartment or all five (it is so perfect for a large group such as ours!), you will find that it will accommodate all of your needs. The baker who comes into town every morning to sell his fresh bakery and breads, the little market where you can purchase meats and cheeses, and the nearby restaurant where you can get marvelous pizzas make the small town of Tavernelle absolutely charming. Add to this the expertise of Francesco who is a licensed sommelier and the gift Mirella has for cooking delicious and authentic Italian meals at your request (she cooked both a welcome and a farewell dinner for all of us), and you will find yourself in Italian heaven!!! Do not hesitate to stay at Palazzo del Duca! It is the perfect place for discovering all the wonder that Tuscany has to offer and for meeting two wonderful people who truly care about making your vacation as comfortable and enchanting as it can possibly be!

Room Tip: Each apartment is unique in its own way.
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  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Jamnlee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3 - 7 of 50 reviews

Reviewed 31 July 2017

We spent a week here with family and had our wedding in the amazing garden of the house. The hostesses helped us with everything, all the planning, food, wine, trips it was more then we could ever have hoped for! I recommend this place for everyone who wants a beautiful wedding venue in a real Italian village. The food and wine was the best we could have gotten and all of our family still talks about the different dishes, the kids just want to go back.

Stayed: August 2016, travelled with family
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Maria Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2017

We began our search for places in Italy to get married last year (having no idea what would be a good area) and came across the Palazzo del Duca. We had been to Italy before, but knew nothing of the Licciana Nardi area. However, we read the reviews for the Palazzo, previously written by other guests and looked at the beautiful pictures and decided to contact them about having our wedding there.

Mirella e-mailed me right away, and was so wonderful and informative! While we lived in Canada, Mirella made me feel so much love and kindness all the way from Italy, while I asked many questions about the Palazzo. After speaking with her on the phone, we decided to book the Palazzo del Duca for our small wedding with 12 guests.

We arrived late at night and were warmly greeted by Mirella's wonderful husband Francesco. We weren't able to see the beauty of the Palazzo del Duca until the morning. When we woke up we were AMAZED. What a beautiful scene. The Palazzo was decorated with Mirella's famous roses and flowers and these amazing trees draped over the backyard. This was the most spectacular place I had ever been!

Francesco took care of us in the days leading up to our wedding. He offered plenty of information about where to go hiking, and what areas around the Palazzo that we should visit. We explored the area and our family and friends fell in love with all of it.

The day of our wedding was nothing short of peaceful. The rain fell lightly, and the smell of fine Italian cooking was in the air. Francesco was making the food for our wedding and the aroma of it alone was mouth watering...

Minutes before the wedding, I realized that I didn't have a bouquet of flowers. I wasn't too concerned as our wedding was very simple to begin with. Then, Francesco came around the corner with a bundle of flowers in his hand and gave them to me. He had gone out of his way to buy flowers for me while at the market that morning!! My heart swelled at this unbelievably kind gesture. We married outside in the beautiful yard, with the fresh rain smell, and the beautiful roses around us. It was the most amazing moment of our lives, thanks to the kindness of Francesco and Mirella.

After the wedding, we all anxiously awaited the food that we had been smelling all day. Francesco invited us upstairs into one of the living areas. We walked in, and couldn't believe our eyes. He had decorated the entire table, with flowers, rose petals, and beautiful dishes. We sat down, and enjoyed a five course meal, accompanied with Francesco's home made wine, which was absolutely divine. I am telling you, this was the best food and wine any of us had ever experienced. He had even gone to get fresh goat cheese from the farmer down the road!

Finally, after the fantastic dinner, Francesco came out with a cake in his hand (which we weren't expecting). When we looked at the top of the cake, he had it decorated with cartoon pictures of my husband and I! Once again, we were amazed at the kindness that Mirella and Francesco had shown us, without knowing us for long. They had gone above and beyond to make sure that our wedding was the best day of our lives and it really was.

We are forever thankful for the love and kindness had shown us during the trip, and on our wedding day. All of our guests fell in love with the Palazzo del Duca, as we did. We still look at the pictures (as seen below) and smile because our wedding couldn't have been more perfect thanks to Mirella and Francesco. They are the most kind and wonderful people you will ever meet. If you are considering the Palazzo del Duca for a vacation, or for your wedding, I highly recommend it! You will experience the magic of this Italian gem and you will leave with your heart full.

Thanks again Mirella and Francesco. We send you all of our love!

  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Michow1989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2017 via mobile

A medieval fortress in the mountains! As good as it sounds. A quaint getaway 1 hour from La Spezia and 5 Terre. Conveniently located and well kept. Could easily hold 21 of us for a week.

No cell service made the stay even more quiet. For fitness, the canyon across the road is highly recommended!

Stayed: July 2017, travelled with friends
Thank SimonFraser92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mire75, Proprietario at Palazzo del Duca, responded to this reviewResponded 17 July 2017

Thank you so much for your review. We are so glad you enjoyed the place, the surrounding area and the quietness. We will be very happy to host you again in the future if you think to come again in Tuscany.

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Reviewed 16 May 2017

I was part of a group of 18 people who stayed at the palazzo in 2016, It is every bit as beautiful as portrayed in the pictures. We had several exceptional dinners outside under the lights and Francesco's wine is exceptional. Because there are separate apartments everyone had personal space and at the same time could enjoy communal living. My only negative comment is that I didn't stay longer and I plan to visit again in the near future. I have visited other wonderful places but I feel that I "lived" in Italy.

  • Stayed: July 2016, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank maureenbenton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mire75, Proprietario at Palazzo del Duca, responded to this reviewResponded 19 May 2017

Hi Maureen,
what a fabolous review, I am so delighted you had a lovely time and that you felt like you have lived in Italy. That says everything to us.
I hope that we may welcome you back soon to Palazzo del Duca.
Mirella

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Palazzo del Duca

Address: Via Borgo 77, 54016, Licciana Nardi, Italy
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Massa Carrara > Licciana Nardi
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Licciana Nardi
Price Range: $178 - $269 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Are you looking for an off beaten path Italian vacation, a mix of Italian rural life, contact with nature, relax and tranquillity? Palazzo del Duca offers all of that in the magic atmosphere of a 17th century old palazzo situated in the heart of a lovely tiny medieval village surrounded by the natural beauty of the Tuscan-emilian Appennines National Park. A paradise for lovers of all activities in close contact with nature: trekking, hiking, fishing, horse riding, canoeing etc. Etc. At very close distance there are the 100 Lakes Park and Alpi Apuane Park. We are in Tuscany, but very close to other 2 regions, Liguria and Emilia Romagna. The area is gem-set between mountains and sea. In 30 minutes driving you can go skiing in the winter or you can go visiting one of the most beutiful coasts of Italy, 5 Terre (Unesco Site), Portovenere and Gulf of Poets ... more   less 
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