This is one of our very favorite places to stay in Western Siciliy. Ai Lumi [The Lights], a bed and breakfast that also offers rooms as self-catering apartment, is located at 75 Corso Vittorio Emauele and owned by Ricardo and Francesca Rizzo. Ricardo is the impresario of the team while Francesca runs the back office with consummate skill. They are wonderful hosts, fluent in English, French, and German as well as a font of local knowledge concerning Trapani and western Sicily.
Telephone: 0923-540922 or 0923-547720
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Rostra rating: 4
Palazzo Bernardo Ferro which houses Ai Lumi is quintessential Sicilian baroque. The structure has a lived-in look and feel, a familiar decrepitude that enhances its beauty. A full-on renovation would annihilate the palace’s historicity and stick out like a sore thumb amongst the other buildings on the street. The first floor courtyard has been haphazardly transformed into an atrium. Planters of various sizes and shapes contain citrus trees, flowering bushes, and little palm tress scattered amongst Doric columns that support a vaulted portico. The upper stories overlook the courtyard through logia facades.
Our room, number 34, is on the second (US third) floor. It is our favorite and Ricardo and Fracesca always refer to it (admittedly in our presence, otherwise how would we know?) as their best room. It is a large space with a very generous double bed (approximately US queen size), glazed tile floor, sienna-colored plaster walls and ceiling (around 12 feet), and a small kitchenette. The bathroom is mid-size and has a serviceable, if less than spacious shower (warning: since the hotel and next door restaurant share the same plumbing, it is best to complete one’s ablutions prior to 8 AM or after 11 PM). Next to the bed are floor to ceiling windows that open out onto a balcony overlooking the street and directly across to the Bishop’s Palace which adjoins Trapani’s Catterdrale San Lorenzo.
The website allows you to configure an e-mail with particulars as to dates and number of people, which is then answered within 24 hours as to price and availability (or you can always call). To secure a room, you need only provide an arrival time, a mobile phone number, and credit card details (if you book by e-mail, we suggest you fax them your card details). No deposit is required and you can cancel up to two days prior to arrival with no penalty (if you cancel within two days of arrival the cost of the first night of your reservation will be charged to your card). Check the website for room rates, which change with the season and the year. For Holy Weekend 2012 (Thursday through Monday), which is considered high season (along with July, August and September), we paid 100 Euros a night.
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