As soon as I walked in the lavish, 4 bedroom apartment with walls covered in elegant paintings and exquisite furniture, my first thought was: can this be real? The answer is YES and, it’s more reasonable to stay here than you might expect! With sweeping panoramic views, easy access to the city center, and plenty of room for at least 8 guests, staying in this Palace Hotel in Siena, Italy was one of my most memorable experiences.
First and foremost, this is a former palace! Located in the heart of Siena and right by its most historic monuments you’ll find the hotel/apartment: Domus Nannini SPA – Palazzo Nannini. Located right in front of the Piazza Salimbeni you have easy access to shops, restaurants, and sights. But really, who needs all that when you have this:
The other day on my Instagram stories I reminisced on the incredible time my Mom rented this palace for her girlfriends while in Italy and I got to tag along. I decided to indulge in the luxury of the former palace. One day they went out shopping so I threw up my tripod and had a little photo shoot right in the lounge. I even had a wardrobe change.
I was wearing a more casual outfit, then I switched it up to a more glamorous look, complete with wine.
I was first struck by the incredible painted ceilings that measure almost 20 feet (6 meters) that decorated the bedrooms. But the lounge area with its golden furniture and exquisite chandeliers have stood the test of time. Pictures truly don’t do it justice, you have to see the detail for yourself!
Out the window you’ll have a bird’s eye view of the hills of the Tuscan countryside and the traditional orange colored tops of the buildings in Siena. Out your front window you’ll see the Piazza Salimbeni. From the hotel, you're within walking distance of the most important sites in Siena, including the immaculate Siena Duomo.
We came at Christmas time and were delighted to see an incredible, lit-up Christmas tree right in the middle of the square. But the real surprise was we happened to be there during Mercato new Campo, a “Big Market” reminiscent of the 14th century markets held here. Each year people march to the city center to shop at over 150 stalls from the best local cuisine and handmade shops. We watched in awe as a parade of people danced and sang to the Piazza del Campo to Palazzo Pubblico’s courtyard. We went December 6-8th which around the time the celebration takes place.
Staying here is a bit different than staying in a regular hotel or AirBnb. (Oh, you can find the Palace Hotel on Booking or AirBnB’s website.) You’ll meet with your host, Gianluca, and he’ll ensure that you have the perfect stay. He also greeted us with wine and other Tuscan treats and walked us through the apartment.
Upon entering the large wooden doors you’ll find a mirrored closet and a corridor that brings you to a bathroom with a tub and shower.
Each room is fully furnished and each bedroom comes with a flat screen TV along with a marble bathroom for each.
You’ll find a dining area fit to seat 10+ people along with a window with beautiful views of Tuscany. There’s also a kitchen that has everything you need for cooking: pots, pans, microwave, gas stove, and things like olive oil and salt.
In the living room I felt like the Medici royalty could have lounged on the gold sofa while looking out of the view of the large windows. The room has 20 foot high ceilings with exposed wooden beams along with paintings on every wall. There were flowers in vases, crystal chandeliers, and even individual toiletries in each bedroom.
There are some rules when you stay here: you cannot have parties (such as bachelorette or bachelor) and you must respect the beauty of the palace. This is understandable to preserve the history. There’s also private parking nearby with a covered garage. I do remember that when we left I turned the wrong way down a one way street (a TINY street) and nearly ran into a church. So, watch where you’re going!
Siena itself is well worth the visit- an incredibly well-preserved medieval town at the heart of Tuscany. It makes it easy to travel from here and see more of the wonders of Italy.
Staying here feels like staying in a part of history. This beautiful palace hotel is frozen in time, like an art piece, yet somehow cozy. You’ll feel like you’re Italian royalty as soon as you step inside.
Read more: The Tuscany Itinerary You Should Steal