Capri on Atwells, Source: The Providence Journal Jun 12, 2005

In warm weather, no place in Providence beats DePasquale Square, on Atwells Avenue in Federal Hill, for Italian charm and liveliness. Now, for the first time in decades, a hotel has opened up that caters to visitors who want to besot themselves with a full swig of the old country.

Gianfranco Marrocco, who also owns the restaurants Mediterraneo and La Dolce Vita, has opened, next door to the latter, La Dolce Villa (get it?). The 14 suites occupy a formerly boring building on the square. A third story has been added, and the whole elegantly refaaded, painted lemon yellow with white trim and ship's-hull balcony railings. Think Capri.

And in back of La Dolce Villa, Mr. Marrocco has added what amounts to a honeymoon suite -- a former stable-turned-garage- turned-apartment now recast as Villa Toscana. The two-story brick structure has two piazzi and is covered with vines.

The suites have their own kitchens, so visitors can stay on and on, if work demands or leisure permits -- though it's not as if there aren't enough restaurants nearby if they're hungry. La dolce vita indeed!

More hotel rooms. Good work.

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Hotel Reviews

10 great places to discover Italy — in America By Kathy Baruffi for USA TODAY

Federal Hill - Providence "Stop by Scialo Brothers Bakery and then head to Venda Ravioli for a beautiful lunch with fresh pasta made every day from scratch, all served in a delightful little piazza with opera music blaring from tiny speakers in a Fellini-style setting," Batali says. Stay at the ultra-modern Hotel Dolce Villa on the same little piazza, then catch one of the season's final WaterFire events, spectacular bonfire displays on the river.

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 63 De Pasquale Avenue Providence, RI 02903 | (401) 383-7031

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