It is happening up North, just as it is happening down South: restaurants are opening hotels, or teaming up with them, to offer their guests both a good meal and a good night’s sleep. From the Locanda del Pilone in Alba, Piedmont, where a one Michelin star restaurant is housed inside an elegant resort, to the Locanda di Alia in Castrovillari di Cosenza, in Calabria, where a delightful luxury hotel is nestled in the green of mount Pollino is home to a fine-dining restaurant, chefs across Italy are looking at the bigger picture. What is better than knowing that a bed is waiting for you after a long, enjoyable meal?
At Ristorante Parizzi, for example, a bed is just upstairs. A Parma institution, the restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star in 1980 and recently was invited to join Le Soste, a prestigious Italian restaurant association.
And beginning in December 2008, restaurants guests were given the opportunity to book a room at Parizzi Suite & Studio, an elegant, yet comfortable establishment made up of thirteen apartments, not far from the city center.
The apartments, and the restaurant, are housed in a 17th century building located at 71 Strada Repubblica. Each suite is decorated differently with elegant details and classic furniture, while the studios are more minimal in design. The attic of the building was converted into a spacious loft with windows looking out onto the bell tower of San Sepolcro church. Classic design objects fill the spaces, along with a large, round, hydro-massage bathtub.
“The idea”, explains chef Marco Parizzi, “to add a couple of apartments on top of the restaurant came to me nine years ago. I was living in a hotel in Rome while filming a well-known food tv show. I realized that there were many limitations to my living arrangements.”
Parizzi has since made a fortune out of that experience. He decided to invest in apartments, rather than basic hotel rooms. Each apartment has a spacious bathroom, the best mattresses on the market and satellite TV, creating a place where guests might come not to sleep, but to live. They have the freedom and comfort to spend a night or a month, as if it were their home.
“The goal was to outfit the rooms with all the comforts of a private home. The apartments are structured like real apartments, furnished like real homes and the service is so accommodating that it feels like family.” All this for the price of a hotel room.
A visit to Parizzi Suite & Studio also offers food lovers the chance to book a table downstairs and enjoy the daily specialties at Ristorante Parizzi, a favorite among the people of Parma for over half a century.
And to top it all off, guests can even order room service by calling down to the restaurant. “We offer the same menu we serve in the dining room at a discounted price.”
Parizzi Suite & Studio – Strada Repubblica, 71 – Parma – tel. 0521 207032 – www.parizzisuite.it
Ristorante Parizzi – tel. 0521 285952 – www.ristoranteparizzi.it
MARCO’S CULINARY PHILOSOPHY
A salad of smoked pork fillet, wild herbs, black truffle and Xeres vinegar is more than just an appetizer: it is an example of chef Marco Parizzi’s culinary philosophy.
His cooking is innovative, but driven by the land.
Pork meat is a traditional ingredient in the cuisine of Parma, but in this dish it appears in an untraditional way.
The pork is brined and then smoked, almost turning it into a salume. It is then served on a mixed salad of seasonal wild herbs with shaved black truffle. When truffles are in season, Marco uses local specimens collected in Fragno in the hills outside Parma.
The salad is finished with an aged red wine vinegar.
By Mariagrazia Villaitalian chef, italian cuisine, parma, Where to sleep & where to eat