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Convento dei Fiori di Seta, Bologna

Editor's Pick
34 Via Orfeo
Italy 40124
Tel: 39 051 272 039's insider take:

A novelty on the staid Bologna hotel scene, the "Silk Flower Nunnery" offers ten rooms in a converted 15th-century convent. Some will find the contrast between contemporary design details and the surviving original brickwork and frescoes a little jarring, but it works better in real life than it does on the Web site: Though colors and contrasts are bold, there's a playfulness in the mix of designer chairs, silk drapes, Turkish carpets, and huge flower prints (the nuns who lived here were famous for their floral embroidery) that mostly works. The lobby, mezzanine breakfast area, and four ground-floor bedrooms occupy the original convent church; the sacristy has been turned into a tiny but highly glamorous wine bar. Six upstairs bedrooms are more modern in style. Bathrooms are generous in size—and although only one has a tub in addition to the shower, there's a small basement spa area where guests can soak in a four-seater whirlpool or take a Turkish bath. Free Wi-Fi access is included in the price of the room.

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