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I Portici Hotel Bologna, Bologna 

69 Via Indipendenza
Italy 40121
Tel: 39 051 421 85
view web site ›'s insider take:

If you need to be near the train station, this handsome newcomer is a more attractive option than any of the maxi-hotels that overlook the tracks (including the uninspiring new Una Hotel Bologna). Housed in a converted palazzo that belonged to a Belle Époque iron magnate, I Portici goes for a neutral, minimalist palette of colors and furnishings that serve to focus attention on its acres of restored Art Novueau frescoes—which embellish 60 of the 87 guestrooms. On the ground floor, next to the airy, skylit lobby, what was once the Maccaferri family's private theater is now used for regular café-chantant evenings of cabaret, theater, and jazz; here too is the restaurant, with a light Bolognese menu presided over by former Grand Hotel et de Milan chef Sergio Corvi. The hotel has free Internet access and a 50-berth parking lot, plus a small gym and Turkish bath.

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