Sleeping in a castle: the most fascinating historic hotels in Italy
It is the realization of a dream, the opportunity to live a fairy tale. The moment to feel like a princess or a king. But fairy tales are just fantasy. Fortunately, this is true in many parts of Italy. And it’s easier to make than you think: yes, because sleep in a castle it’s not just for crowned heads and the prices are often lower than those of less famous hotels. But the satisfaction can be immense: think of ancient manors, crenellated walls, halls and surrounding gardens, parks and glimpses of hills and flowery expanses.
Here is a little trip between the luxury resorts obtained in ex noble residences And medieval villages. Because sleeping in a castle is a dream. That can come true.
Sleeping in a castle: Casole in Tuscany
This 10th century castleimpeccably restored, is immersed in the Tuscan countryside, a 41 km south of Florence. The area has been inhabited since the Bronze Age and now the palace is the focus of one of the most large land holdings of Italy with a large hunting reserve populated by hares, pheasants and deer and surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. These products can be found in the menu of the two restaurants while the hotel delivers 39 rooms and a rich series of services: from the swimming pool to the spa created in the ancient cellar to yoga courses up to the search for truffles in the hills.
Location Querceto, Casole d’Elsa (Siena)
Telephone: 0577 961501
Compiano Castle, in the upper Taro valley
Compiano is a village in the province of Parma and is inserted between the most beautiful villages in Italy. The castle then, now transformed into a four stars hotel, is the icing on the cake: with foundations dating back to the year 1000, it towers over the town and allows you to see the entire upper Taro valley. Inside you can breathe the history of the noble families linked to the vicissitudes of the castles of the Duchy of Parmaand Piacenza and the rooms are named after these noble families.
Guests can discover the ancient soldiers’ patrol walk and enjoy the view from the towers before indulging in a lunch in the hotel restaurant or visiting the museum housed inside: and it is something special given that it is the first Masonic Museum which collects unique pieces from the world of English Freemasonry of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Via M. Rossi Sidoli, 15 – Compiano (Parma)
Telephone: 0525 825541
Castle of Guarene
Built by amateur architect Carlo Giacinto Roero in the 18th century, on the remains of a medieval fortress, this baroque-style castle was the resting place of the counts of Roero. And even today it is an extraordinary place that offers a base for discovering the Langhe, inserted in Unesco World Heritage. The fifteen rooms are luxuriously furnished, the restaurant offers the traditional Piedmontese cuisine and you can also relax in the spa and in inside pool carved into the rock. Needless to say: all around there are the vineyards of the greatest products of Italian enology. And to sleep in the castle it now boasts five star luxury just a journey of approx one hour from Turin.
Via Alessandro Roero, 2 Guarene (Cuneo)
Telephone: 0173 441332
Castello San Marco: Sicily on the sea
The San Marco Castle in Sicily it was built at the end of the 17th century for the prince of Palagonia, and incredibly survived the earthquake of 1693, the largest in Italian history. It is practically on the slopes of the Etna, a 20-minute drive from Taormina, offers a private beach as well as a centuries-old park full of Mediterranean plants, citrus fruits, olive trees and palms. Those who choose to sleep in the castle find one thirty rooms and suites all with a splendid view and a terrace but it also has a wellness centre, a swimming pool, a tennis court but above all the luxury of Sicilian sea just 50 meters.
Via S. Marco, 40 Calatabiano (Catania)
Telephone: 095 641181
Castello Banfi: hills and wine
Here you can breathe it Tuscan spirit and the magic of great wine. The Banfi castle offers rooms and suites created in the medieval houses built around the mighty walls and towers of the fortress called Poggio alle Muraa strategic defensive point between Siena and Grosseto. It is now at the center of a huge agricultural estate in an area blessed by Bacchus just 15 minutes from Montalcino and an hour and a quarter from Siena. The rooms respect the Tuscan style and outside it is unmissable to relax in the swimming pool which overlooks the expanses of Sangiovese vineyards from which arises the Brunello. There are two restaurants on site and of course a very rich wine cellar while the surroundings can be discovered with horse riding.
Castle of Poggio alle Mura, Montalcino (Siena)
Telephone 0577 840111
Relais Castello Bevilacqua: the Venetian plain
Its history dates back to the thirteenth century, its location, near Montagnana in the heart of the plain 50 km from Verona and not far from Vicenzamade him the center of gravity of countless events: and this explains why if one dreams of sleeping in a castle here you will find everything you want. The structure, originally a defensive fortress, has undergone major changes restorations in the 16th and 18th centuries and has seen many vicissitudes becoming a German command center during WWII and, with peace, a Salesian college.
Restored by Cerato family in the early 90s, today it offers the possibility of discovering unique corners such as the vaulted rooms, the roof garden and the splendid frescoed rooms while in the suites you sleep among precious curtains and beams painted with flowers. Inside there is also a restaurant specializing in the most refined Venetian cuisine.
Via Roma, 50, Bevilacqua (Verona)
Telephone: 0442 93655
Casiglio Castle: a stone’s throw from the lake
The first traces of its history date back to the 1900s when the soldiers with a fortified camp. The one that has come down to us, obviously, is more recent and the current form is the result of the restoration of the 1400 structure which over the centuries has housed a cardinal’s refuge, the Consulate of Justice of Milan and several noble families.
The building, immersed in a 4-hectare park, with a large swimming pool surrounded by cypresses, beeches and laurel trees, today it has a horseshoe structure and houses 45 rooms, furnished with period furniture and carefully chosen fabrics. Such a sophisticated location, among other things not far from the always very popular Lake Como and its pearl Bellagiois often chosen not only by those who want to sleep in a castle but also by those looking for spaces for events, parties and weddings.
Via Cesare Cantu, 21, Erba (Como)
Telephone: 031 627288
Castle of Monterone: the skyline of Perugia
Located in Umbrian countrysidea few km from Perugia that stands out in the distance. the Monterone Castle dates back to the 11th century when it was a military outpost to protect the road it gives Perugia was going towards Rome. Over the centuries the defensive aspect has disappeared but the charm of the old stones and vaulted rooms in which they were created has remained 18 rooms furnished with deliberate simplicity to highlight the charm given by time to the structure.
Each of the rooms has a strong point: that of the Ladies has ten windows that allow a special visit to Perugia while that of the Dragon it has characteristic loopholes, it is wider than the others and according to tradition it is the one that hosts a ghost. Couldn’t miss one health centre with turkish bath and swimming pool and a restaurant that offers dishes that use local raw materials.
Str. of Montevile, 3, Perugia
Telephone: 075 5724214
Castello di Vicarello: olive groves and organic agriculture
Built over 900 years ago by Republic of Sienathe Castle of Vicarello it is immersed in 40 hectares of olive groves, farmland and vineyards in the Maremma countrysideabout thirty km from the sea and in a fortunate area which allows, with a movement of a few tens of kilometers to reach Montepulciano, Pienza and on the other side theArgentario. Structure dates back to 1100 and still today the buildings overlook a courtyard which is accessed through an ancient arch. The nine rooms they have a different style and in the garden there are two swimming pools overlooking the Maremma hills.
The restaurant offers dishes that use the raw materials of the estate with the foreground the oil, the wine and other organically produced foods. If you want to pamper yourself, choose the Tower Suite: it is at the top and offers unforgettable 360-degree views.
Via Vicarello, 1, Poggi del Sasso (Grosseto)
Telephone: 0564 990718
Spaltenna Castle: treasure of Chianti
Stone walls, armor as decorations and unique pieces from the past tell immediately that the Spaltenna Castle it has come to us as a medieval treasure. This 12th century palace, located in the heart of Chiantione kilometer from Gaiolein reality more than a fortress it is a village born around the parish church of Santa Maria and a walled and fortified monastery. All around you are surrounded by vineyards and woods in the heart of a valley that is always green, while inside the rooms and suites are luxurious treasure chests furnished with pieces that often come from the old convent.
A lot of history, however, does not clash with modern services such as the wellness center with heated indoor pool and sauna, an underground wine bar with an impressive wine list and an outdoor swimming pool. There are also two restaurants, one with a Michelin star.
Via Spaltenna, 13, Gaiole In Chianti (Siena)
Telephone: 0577 749483
Hermitage of the Giubiliana: the legacy of the knights
When you arrive you are struck by the ancient structure that dates back to the twelfth century and it was part of a feudal estate at the center of which, in fact, was this hermitage which was also a fortress. Soon, however, the fortified house, thanks to the Knights of St John, stationed at Malta, they transformed it into a convent. And this long history explains why this hotel also offers those who want to sleep in the castle the opportunity to visit one necropolis of the 3rd century BCin the park.
The rooms are 16 in whole and in part they occupy the ancient friars’ cells with stone floors: they are furnished with Sicilian period pieces and are surrounded by gardens and flower corners. For customers there is also a wellness area and a restaurant, Don Eusebio, obtained in the hall of the Knights of Malta.
Contrada Giubiliana, SP25, km 7,500, Ragusa
Telephone: 0932 669119