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Palazzo Bontadosi, Umbria

Enjoying a panoramic perch in the mediaeval hilltop town of Montefalco, Palazzo Bontadosi brings style-savvy modern touches to a heritage setting in rural Umbria. Once home to a 15th-century cardinal, it's clear that life in the church back then didn't mean donning a hair shirt, as this 10-room retreat teams trad frescoes with glam architectural bones. Fine-art fans will fancy Room 1, the cardinal's former study, which contains a bathroom alcove used for clandestine meetings with his girlfriends. For quality couple time of your own, make for the underground spa, housed in a 12th-century cellar, awash with steam rooms and a cool pool. Main restaurant Aurum suits its former-palace setting, with white Verner Panton chairs in stark contrast to the vaulted ceilings. Ballsy reds are the go in the bar, which boasts an adjoining art gallery for cultural indulgence.

Palazzo Bontadosi, Umbria
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