While we have a pretty awesome range of cultural sites and monuments down here in New Zealand, one thing you sadly don’t see a lot of is castles. That might be due to the fact we’ve never had our own kings or queens (just a stab in the dark guess), but it’s a real shame, because many of the ones you can find overseas, particularly in the UK and across Europe, are truly spectacular things to see and experience. The beautiful nation of Italy has its fair share of magnificent structures and recently, one of its centuries-old masterpieces has become a stunning new accommodation option for visitors to the Umbria region.
The Hotel Castello di Reschio was a restoration project which spanned over three decades. The Umbrian Castello’s (that’s Italian for castle if that wasn’t clear) origins date back to the year 1050 and had long sat among the hills of Umbria, right on the border of Tuscany, in ruin. It remained a forgotten relic until the mid-1990’s, when the Bolza family, who own the Reschio Estate which the restored castello sits on, decided that the ruin could be more than just a relic without a purpose and began an epic restoration effort. Almost thirty years later the finished product is finally on display, a stunning 36 suite hotel for tourists to come and enjoy.
With Count Benedikt Bolza, a London-based architect as well as heir to the estate, at the helm, the restoration adopts a faithful but modern approach to the interior design, with many of the restored castello’s original stone fireplaces, wooden floors and high ceilings retained and refurbished to maintain the feel of the sites 11th-century origins. The restoration is very much a family and community effort, with the vast majority of the resources for the interior sourced locally from the Umbrian region.
Of course, a modern hotel charging almost €900 a night has got to have more going for it then just a few interesting historical features, and this one more than comes through on the amenities, with a bar, restaurant, outdoor pool and indoor Roman-bath inspired spa (converted from the castello’s former wine cellar) among the highlights.
It might be tough to get out to central Italy in the next few months, but if you find your way into the gorgeous Umbria region looking for a truly unique and luxurious getaway, you could do a lot worse than this stunning spot, which is set to open its doors for visitors in the European spring.
Images courtesy of Philip Vile.