Full of character and comfort, Locanda San Tomaso is a family-run and friendly B & B in Treviso, Italy. While many tourists only know the town as the gateway to Venice (thousands arrive at its airport to board shuttle buses or take the train to Venice–only a half hour away); one of Treviso’s other claims to fame is the local Italian bubbles: prosecco.
Recently granted DOCG status (the name cannot be used for wines made outside of this protected area), Treviso is the start of a prosecco wine route that runs to and through Valdobbiadene—a few miles down the road—and the reason why my husband and I had booked a room here for two nights.
But we quickly discovered this historic town has a bewitching vibe all its own: starting with our stay at the charmingly eccentric Locanda San Tomaso.
Located near the imposing San Tomaso Gate that leads inside Treviso’s ancient 16th century city walls and into its historic heart– the inn’s small sign over its tucked away door is easy to miss in the dark (yes, we missed it). Arrival by taxi would be no problem, but driving a rental, we had to adjust for one-way streets and the pedestrian-only San Tomaso Gate. There is a large public car-park next to the inn, however, so it’s no problem once you’ve found it.
Check-in at the six-room Locanda San Tomaso was fast and helpful (the English-speaking young woman also offered recommendations for nearby cafes and bars for food and drink). Because reception is not manned 24/7, you do need to email or phone if you are arriving later than the time stated on the website (around 8 p.m.). Also, there is no lift, and two flights of stairs plus the various half-dozen steps here and there mean this place is not for those who cannot do or do not like (lots of) stairs.
But if you like quirky, funky, and vintage Italian style — this inn is a perfect fit. Commencing with the room key—hooked onto the wire from a prosecco wine cork, I admit, I loved the place.
Framed antique postcards, old family photos and books, artwork, sculpture, tablescapes, retro cameras, and more: the rooms, hallways, stairs, breakfast room, are all definitely filled with a colorful collection of artful whimsy. But honestly, it never felt like some of the overdone claustrophobic clutter I’ve occasionally experienced in American country B & B’s. Maybe because it seemed so clean, dusted and artistically arranged.
Each of the six rooms are named after wines; ours was Bacò (I think I liked it better when I originally thought it was “bacio” or kiss). All have AC, flat screen tv.s and free wi-fi; although the first night it didn’t work, the second night there was a strong signal. The room was wood beamed and spacious, spotless and lovely—with polished wood floor, comfy bed and even a small welcome basket of homemade cookies—a nice touch. The windows overlooked the canal/moat and the town gate.
Morning time, it was noisy from the ring road traffic, but night time it was quieter than the rooms that overlooked the two bars inside the historic area. The bathroom was nice (fun artwork)–not huge, with a shower; and there was plenty of hot water and towels, plus hairdryers were available in cute cloth pouches near a refrigerator on another landing (with complimentary bottles of water) if needed.
Breakfast is included in the rate (double rooms start at $118) and served in the attic upstairs room with its slanted ceiling. (Taller type lodgers will need to pay attention when getting up and down from some of the tables.) Tables are “shabby chic” and cool artscapes– set with vintage dishes, along with small bowls of homemade jams, while a buffet set-up is loaded with pastries, cakes, muffins, meats and breads. There is also separate cheese station. Coffee is excellent and made to order (cappuccino, espresso, American coffee, etc).
Adjacent to the b & b is a great cicchetti bar where we sat outside one early evening and sipped the local favorite Campari spritz and ordered a paper cone full of fresh fried calamari from a walk-up window. It’s a ten-minute walk at most to Treviso’s historic and pretty center from here—through arcaded and cobbled streets lined with shops, cafes, bars, faded frescoed house facades—and tiny canals where you’ll still see the occasional waterwheel. Bikes can also be rented at the inn—you’ll see them when you walk in. (This is a very bike-friendly town.)
Saturday morning after we checked-out, we stepped outside the b & b’s door and were totally surprised to step into the midst of a street market. Vendors sold wheels of cheeses, jars of local honey, meats and sweets. Serendipitious travel at its best—we hope to visit again with more time to explore and sample all this underrated and lovely town has to offer.
Review and photos by Donna Tabbert Long