Playing Frozen at the magical Palazzo Novello

We have very few toys with us on this trip: a couple of colouring books, a jigsaw for each of them, a few dolls and characters, some finger puppets and, of course, the ipads stuffed with preschool apps and a download of the movie Frozen. My nearly three-year-old daughter is a little obsessed with Frozen and the great thing about visiting properties is that many of them allow her to re-enact the story as she can pretend she is in Elsa’s palace.

When we arrived at the Palazzo Novello, an independently run boutique hotel in the town of Montichiari, just outside Brescia, my daughter was wide-eyed. It is a beautiful place, with a grand stone staircase running up the centre of the ground floor. We had to climb these steps to get to our room (and drag our heavy suitcases up!) and at the top was a great hall, where they hold private functions, and hopefully soon weddings. Just off this grand room was our suite. A proper princess’s chamber with a grand four-poster bed surrounded in reams of white netting. The minute we got into the room my daughter begged to put on her Elsa dress (a practical nightdress with Elsa on it, rather than a dressing up costume!) and she stood on the middle of the bed singing ‘Let it go’.

She came on my exploration of the property the next day and I could tell she was imagining being a princess. Older children would have even more fun making up stories in this old palazzo with lots of hidden nooks and crannies. The children were made to feel very welcome, allowed to stand in the kitchen and watch the eggs being boiled and the pasta sauce stirred. I actually got a little time to catch up on my writing as I left them free to explore, knowing there were kind eyes watching them.

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