This is one of those places I would rather not tell too many people about, because once it becomes overly popular I will never manage to get a room there ever again. If I were wise I'd say nothing, but that's not the point of this website, is it?.........
So....here goes. Just outside the main walls at the town of Portogruaro, situated by a freshwater stream, you will find La Dogana, or in English "The Customs"......a bed and breakfast that serves a wonderful evening meal. Fish only. And to quote the person I am travelling with to this Inn, who is Italian, travels often, likes simple pleasures but who is fond of good food, this is the only place he both stays and eats at. Everywhere else, he stays where his bedroom is but goes out for his dinner. That should tell you everything and all you wish to know about La Dogana...
The front entrace is a Trattoria, and if you arrive before opening you might have to telephone them to let you in. From the outside, it's nothing fancy to look at, but a wonderful warm welcome awaits you and you will find a restaurant downstairs and upstairs, well appointed rooms and bathrooms, a little "auberge" in style, spotlessly clean, tidy, all exposed celing beams and timber. There is no A/C, if that bothers you, but on a cool late Spring evening opening the windows works just fine. Just one tip there, beware mosquitoes as the stream and river is nearby; I personally didn't have a problem but I suspect it might be. Or be a wise traveller and bring one of those plug-in repellant things for the room. Job done.
Dinner (excellent both food and service) was fish starter and main, lovely dessert, bottle of decent wine, good conversation all washed down with a strong ristretto and a grappa. Fantastic stuff.
Great night, slept well, Breakfast....Continental, pastries, fruit, yoghurt, juice. coffee. Done, well rested, well fed, watered, ready for the day. And my bill all the above was all of 92€ (note, 1 person, double room, midweek, evening meal, note wine and grappa added by us but included in the total cost, bed and breakfast) which I think represented excellent if not outstanding value.
This place is a jewel. Go now before it gets so booked that the waiting list extends to weeks. I suspect that at weekends it's not easy to get a room. Also, Portogruaro itself is worth a visit which will add to the challenge. But be persistent, it's oh so well worth it.....
Very recommended, and as a plus make it a stay in the town, as Portogruaro is definitely worth a visit.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Relax e Tranquillità in centro a Portogruaro La Dogana un luogo di Relax e Tranquillità dove riposare e rigenerarsi a due passi dal centro di Portogruaro. Facile da raggiungere La Dogana può offrirvi Camere dotate di ogni comfort in grado disoddisfare ogni vostro desiderio.Ogni Camera del B&B dispone di bagno privato, asciugacapelli, asciugamani comfort .In ogni Camera tv LCD, frigobar (opzione), ampia cabina armadio, doppi cuscini e biancheria di pregio, pavimenti in legno. ... more less