A family hotel with a street art vibe. A warm, attentive team. Welcome to Carla Contenti’s hotel.
“Our hotel philosophy: hospitality and friendliness with a smile on our face.”
With its immense fresco covering its austere 60s façade, the Hotel Arca can be seen from afar in Spoleto. “It was painted by a local world-renowned artist,” says Carla with pride. Art is a constant fixture in this three-star hotel, from reception to the 57 rooms and restaurant. A dreamlike world with nature and Umbrian symbols in the spotlight. A few years ago, with a law degree under her belt, the young Carla stepped away from her career opportunities to take over the family hotel opened in 1964. “It’s one of Italy’s first motels, inspired by the American concept of a place where travellers can be sure of good-value accommodation with washing and refuelling facilities.” It remains so to this day. The strong retro vibe in no way compromises on the comfort and services now expected.
Like the rest of the hotel, the 57 rooms at the Hotel Arca showcase the work of national and international artists. Some focus on deeply poetic wall frescos depicting typical Umbrian plants, while others highlight posters from the Festival dei due mondi which has taken place annually in Spoleto since 1958. Spacious, comfortable and functional, the rooms present a simple design with strong neo-sixties lines in a nod to the hotel architecture.
The dining room is decorated with shimmering colours, crowned with a fresco showing an apple tree (mela) with deep red fruit. Local products are given pride of place at breakfast, lunch and dinner. And why not enjoy your breakfast on the bar terrace among the talkative guests passing through, discussing the news, paper in hand?
The birthplace of Etruscan civilisation, Umbria and its gentle wooded hills form the green heart of Italy. With culture and heritage, the Hotel Arca is a chance to take a welcome break at the heart of a lively town steeped in almost three thousand years of history.
A former Roman city, Spoleto winds around a hill crowned with a papal fortress. Austere in appearance, Spoleto offers wanderings down winding lanes, palaces and medieval monuments. And, every summer, the Festival dei due mondi music, dance and theatre festival takes place during the last two weekends of August.
Roman in style, Spoleto’s Santa Maria Assunta cathedral was built in the 12th century. Remodelled over time, it boasts a beautiful Renaissance portico, a rose window and a 13th century mosaic. Stunning frescos can be found inside.
This 230 metre-long bridge rests on nine Gothic arches, 76 metres above the Ticino river. It sits atop a Roman aqueduct which forms the foundations of the bridge. This is the starting point for a lovely panoramic walk across the verdant hills to return to the lower city.
Don’t miss the beautiful Perugia, an Assisi city whose pretty sloping lanes are travelled by pilgrims on the St. Francis Way, or Orvieto, a cultural city home to kilometres of underground passages that tell stories of the past from ancient times, the Middle Ages, World War I and more.