My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

La Tavola Rotonda: My Italian Castle

2011/02/03by Donna Hull

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La Tavola Rotonda

When you think of accommodations in Italy, does a castle come to mind? My idea of castle lodging is a fairytale building perched in the Bavarian hills of Germany, perhaps with snow-capped mountains in the background. I never expected to be sleeping in an Italian medieval castle dating from the 1200′s. But that’s what Alan and I experienced on a baby boomer road trip through northern Italy when we traveled with Claudio Fontana of A La Carte Italy Tours.

La Tavola Rotonda sits next to a busy road in the small village of Chiavenna Landi in the Italian municipality of Cortemaggiore close to the major cities of Parma, Milan and Bologna. Claudio planned our two-day stay here with the women of our traveling group in mind, I just know it. You see, these were our accommodations during the “baby boomer aventure in Ferrari land” portion of the trip. While Alan, and our travel companion Jack, shift gears in those sleek red cars, speeding along the streets of Maranello; Sue (Jack’s wife) and I stand on the sidewalk—and watch. Oh, there is that visit to the balsamic vinegar estate, but that’s not exactly like driving a Ferrari. It seems only right that we spend our nights behind the thick stone walls of an authentic Italian castle-fortress.

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A tub fit for a travel princess

After a hard day of touring the gallery of sports machines (one can hardly call them cars) at the Lamborghini factory, walking the assembly line where Ducati motorbikes come to life and the before mentioned watching from the sidelines while the boys had Ferrari car fun, I have earned a long soak in a hot tub. Lucky for me, the double whirlpool tub in our junior suite offers relaxation befitting a boomer travel princess. The large room also includes a seating area, desk, flat panel TV, mini-bar and my favorite Italian bathroom accoutrement—heated towel racks. The small windows, covered by iron grates, make me feel as if I’m locked away in a castle tower.

La Tavola Rotonda offers two dining choices. For our first night, Alan, Claudio and I dine in the castle hotel’s elegant restaurant for a fine Italian dinner. On the second evening, our group enjoys pizza from the wood-fired stove in the Pizzeria. Room rates also include breakfast in the Pizzeria where local salamis, breads and oh-so-tempting pastries fill the buffet table.

During our visit, cool fall weather prevents us from sitting at the wrought-iron tables in the inner courtyard. Outside the walls, farmer’s fields stand dormant, waiting for spring. I can only imagine a future trip when the fields are green and summer’s scent fills the air.

Do you have tips for visiting Italy’s Parma region? Or, have you stayed at La Tavola Rotonda? Post a comment to tell us about your experience. Alan and I will return to one day.



A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of My Itchy Travel Feet: Breathtaking Adventure Vacation Ideas.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Roxanne Hawn February 3, 2011 at 4:27 pm

You had me at “double whirlpool.” Sounds terrific. Also, I just wanted to drop by and say HUGE congratulations on being a finalist in the Best Travel Blog category in the 2011 Bloggies. That’s a big, big deal. I hope you get oodles of votes.

http://2011.bloggi.es/

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
February 3, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Roxanne, I’m a whirlpool gal, especially double ones :-). Thanks for
the bloggies mention. Much appreciated.

Reply

Vera Marie Badertscher February 3, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Rapunzel, rapunzel, let down your long hair. Aren’t we all just suckers of castles? But then, some of us also like to drive–weren’t you even tempted to take the Ferrari drive?

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
February 3, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Vera, driving the Ferrari was beyond me. Have you seen all those gears
that need to be shifted?

Reply

Debbie Beardsley February 3, 2011 at 9:19 pm

To true! But why are we all suckers for castles? I think the Ferrari would have intimidated me too but my husband would have jumped in. Sounds like a fabulous place to stay.

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
February 3, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Yes, guys do like their Ferraris. Me? I was just as happy with the
room in the castle.

Reply

firstSTREET February 3, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Great photos! Looks like a beautiful place to be!

Reply

Anonymous February 4, 2011 at 12:05 am

This sounds just divine. Castle and Italy in the same trip? Perfection.

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
February 4, 2011 at 3:20 am

Plus Italian wine and food. Don’t forget that important part of a trip
to Italy.

Reply

vakantiehuizen mallorca February 4, 2011 at 11:51 am

Really good experienced faced by you.I also have desire to stay in a Castle during travel time.

Reply

Anonymous
Twitter:
February 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm

I love the fact that you both were ‘taken care of’ on the trip! Sounds like there was something for everyone!

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
February 8, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Something for everyone is the best of both worlds when you’re
traveling with others :-).

Reply

Anonymous
Twitter:
February 13, 2011 at 6:09 pm

I hope you got a turn at the ferrari wheel too as well as a soak in the luxurious bath tub

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
February 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Thanks, Heather. I’ll work on that for next time.

Reply

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