Castle Hotels in Tuscany
Castello di Gargonza
Ideal for weddings, vacations or romantic getaways, Castello di Gargonza is a village that has been standing since the 13th Century. Its medieval design has remained intact even though the buildings have been fixed up so they can keep inspiring future generations."We have no TV in the room and this reflects our philosophy of a break from everyday life," hotel managers write. Despite the ancient appearance, you can still enjoy modern amenities like WiFi. Or, get outside to take a look at nearby Val di Chiana or dive into a panoramic pool.
Castello di Montalto
Located near Siena is Castello di Montalto, a Tuscan villa that allows for apartment rentals with up to four rooms. Besides the exclusivity of the castle, you'll also be taken by the activities available on the grounds such as gardens for strolling, a tennis court and a bocce ball court.This slice of heaven has existed for more than 1,000 years, according to hotel management. If you plan to book an event, up to 10 holiday villas can accommodate about 50 people at a time in such wings as Casa del Guardia ("the guard house"), San Martino, La Voliera ("the aviary") and Torre del Vescovo ("the bishop's tower").
Castello di Spaltenna
Calling itself an "exclusive Tuscan resort and spa," Castello di Spaltenna offers both apartments for longer-term residents, and suites and rooms for those passing through Tuscany. By spending more for a night or two in the superior suite, you can relax in a Jacuzzi and four-poster bed. When staying in the deluxe room, you even get a complimentary tour of Siena to sample the local wine.Art lovers enjoying a whimsical trip through Italy shouldn't miss the Borgo Medievale di Vertine design course. As Slow Italy notes, this building has stood since the year 1030.
Castello Quattro Torra
In Siena, stop at the bed and breakfast known as the Castello Quattro Torra, which literally translates to "four towers castle." With courtyards and plenty of plant life, you'll love this medieval spot that offers both apartments and suites in the kinds of rooms that take your breath away with their interior architecture. Also, you should see the castle’s garden.
Castello Banfi - Il Borgo
As hotel and travel resource Oyster mentions, the word "Banfi" in Italian simply means "village." The sprawling Castello Banfi hotel measures more than 2,800 hectares, and inside each room Italian architect Federico Forquet has used his refined sense of design to decorate with only the best-quality luxury items.No two rooms are the same. Whether you prefer the 40-square-meter Double Room Classic; the 80-square-meter Suite Riserva with a king-sized mattress; or the 100-square-meter Suite Poggio all'Oro with its own living room, two bedrooms and a sofa bed, you truly can't go wrong.
Castello di Tornano
The tall, simple magnificence of Castello di Tornano has graced the Gaiole in Chianti are of Tuscany since the 11th Century. The castle also houses its own wine cellar, where you can find such delicious bottles as Chianti Classico DOCG 2010 and Grappa di Chianti Classico Riserva. Stay in an apartment, cottage or a double suite; the cottages are especially cozy, at 70 square meters each. The superior double room, however, is on the ground floor and boasts a mini bar, air conditioning and an HD television.
Castelletto di Montebenichi
Located in the picturesque countryside in the Chianti region, Castelletto di Montebenichi is a good bet for those who want to see a lot of Italy. The castle is very close to Arezzo and Siena as well as numerous churches and hamlets.Keep busy with wine tours, food tastings, plenty of shopping, saunas, art exhibits, polo, spas and hunting. Couples may prefer the mini suite for two, which includes a quaint wooden staircase and a comfortable sofa bed, and all rooms have 12th Century art (dating back to the castle's beginnings) and antiques.
Hotel Palazzo Guadagni in Florence
With Renaissance-era architecture, the Hotel Palazzo Guadagni offers access to its roof, where you can enjoy plants and other flora as well as a stunning view of the Florentine Hills. This garden area also has a bar, so expect to spend plenty of cool evenings out here during your stay.The rooms themselves are meant to emulate "an old private Florentine residence," according to the hotel's management. This includes fireplaces, furniture and frescoed ceilings. Family rooms and doubles are available at this 16th Century wonder.
Castle Hotels in Emilia Romagna
Castello di Rivalta
The Castello di Rivalta is home to the Residenza Torre di San Martino, the hotel where you'll spend your nights. Wake up to pretty views of parts of the castle while you snuggle in a posh four-poster bed.As you wander around and appreciate the culture of this part of Italy, satiate your hunger by stopping by the Antica Locando del Falco, a restaurant that sources most of its edibles through its local store. You may want to stop by the store yourself to fill your own pantry with local chocolates, cheeses and wine.
Locanda Del Re Guerriero
It's not exactly easy to land a room at Locanda Del Re Guerriero, as it offers just 12 suites. If you manage to reserve a spot, though, you can see aged art, stroll through a garden or learn some of the language when you browse through the comprehensive library.Pets are welcome, which is a tough accommodation to come by in these historic castles. At night, the grounds come alive with lighted paths and walkways, so you can see how different Italy looks once the sun goes down.
Antico Borgo di Tabiano Castello
Perfect for a honeymoon or those who want to feel alone when venturing through Italy's hills, Parma's Antico Borgo di Tabiano Castello feels like a world all its own. Rooms available include the classic, superior and junior suite as well as several other suites.With a swimming pool and terraces, nature lovers should not miss this dreamlike castle hidden away in Parma. Definitely sit down to a meal at L'Antico Caseificio if you can, as you'll walk away from your table full and happy.
Castle Hotels in Umbria
Castello di Petrata
In Umbria, you can take in aerial views of the fantastic 14th Century Castello di Petrata from aboard a hot air balloon. That works out well, as there's a lot to see across the castle’s 8-plus-hectare grounds and Assisi nearby.Once you're back on solid ground, unwind with a bike ride, hot tubs (in the rooms or outdoors), televisions, garden walks, art lessons, a freeform pool and even horseback riding. In the morning, fuel up with a breakfast buffet featuring Umbrian-style options. The castle's junior suites have a cozy and modern ambiance, so much so that you almost wouldn’t believe that their early use was as masters' chambers.
Just north of Perugia, you'll find the Castello dell'Oscano. With rural, Renaissance and medieval architecture to be seen, no matter what your tastes are, you'll fall in love with the rooms here.Take a long look and adore the greenery with a park close by that includes "lindens, oaks, ancient pines, cypresses, and olives," according to Slow Italy. You may notice truffles around the park, too. The castle has its own Ristorante del Castello dell'Oscano for a fine dining experience that can accommodate groups of up to 10 people.
Castello di Petroia
Those in Umbria just couldn't stand to let the Castello di Petroia fade and wither away, and so during the 1980s they got to work renovating the structure, which spreads across 325 hectares, Oyster notes.Come see a piece of Italy's medieval history (this castle was originally erected in the 11th Century), which offers up to 13 suites. If you're lucky, you'll get a room that lets you see some of the Chiascio River Valley, but if not a comfortable swim in the castle's pool ought to suffice. No matter where you spend your time here, you'll be impressed by the artwork and design touches.
Castello di Monterone
Another Italian stop with a medieval background, Castello di Monterone in peaceful Perugia has a pool that lets you look up at the toughened castle walls as well as the blue Italian sky as you float along.Dating back to the 13th Century, the hotel has modern touches and charms such as its restaurant, the Gradale del Castello di Monterone, which cooks up succulent fare every day and night. Don't leave without taking some time to snap photos from the vantage point of the castle's walkway on the roof. The stained glass windows throughout the building are also things of beauty.
Castle Hotels Elsewhere in Italy
Castello Chiola in Abruzzo
Deep in the Abruzzo region, in Loreto Aprutino, you'll find the Castello Chiola, which has stood since the 13th Century. Ideal for weddings or family vacations, the various suites may be 60 square meters or up to 100 square meters for some; all include an LCD TV, air conditioning and heating, a library, a mini fridge and a pool outside that's open during the warmer months.Breakfast is available every morning, and for dinner, Chef Emanuele Saracino of L'Amatico Torchio whips up authentic cuisine. Keep your stomach full with food tours, or work it off with strolls in the Abruzzo-Marche Apennines mountains.
Castello Orsini in Lazio
Not quite in Rome but close enough, Lazio's Castello Orsini is one of the oldest castles in all of Italy, having stood since the 10th Century. It's been expanded upon and reinforced since then, and today you can choose from 14 rooms in the classic or deluxe suites; classic rooms let you see nearby Sabina and Nerola, and they also have a mini bar. Deluxe double rooms are spacious due to added mezzanines. Pamper yourself at the Beauty Farm, which includes a pool that is heated during the colder months so you can always visit. There's also a spa.
Grand Hotel dei Castelli in Liguria
If you yearn for the sea, you need to book a room at the Grand Hotel dei Castelli, located off Liguria's Sestri Levante peninsula. One of the newer castles in the country, it was only erected in the 1920s. The building was repurposed into a hotel sometime in the 1950s.Despite its younger birthday compared to many other hotels that you'll find in Liguria and beyond, this one does have a touch of old, according to Slow Italy: "Byzantine items recovered from ancient buildings of Southern Italy were included in the construction."
Eremo della Giubiliana in Ragusa
The lovely Eremo della Giubiliana in Ragusa has quite a rich history, CreativCastle states: “Two hundred years later [from the 16th century], a wealthy landowning family of the area, the Nifos, acquired the property, and its present-day descendant, Vincenze Jolanda Nifos, has restored and converted the property into a charming and elegant hotel."With limestone floors and furniture from Sicily, you can understand how the various rooms in this castle used to be cells for friars. And the Don Eusebio Restaurant is repurposed from an old refectory.
Castello Bevilacqua in Verona
It's always packed in the Castello Bevilacqua. It could be that this building, open since the 14th Century, is in popular Verona, or it could be because there are only seven suites available on a daily basis.If you're fortunate enough to get a room, you'll enjoy bathrooms with bubbling hot tubs, WiFi and beautiful, old art. Oyster does have one small disclaimer though: "Be aware that reaching the upstairs rooms requires lots of stair-climbing."
Hotel Castello di Casiglio in Lake Como
Lake Como is already a beloved vacation destination, but the Hotel Castello di Casiglio is a destination in its own right. Lake Como is only about 11 kilometers from this 3.5-hectare castle that has been a sight to see since the 15th Century. It did undergo some renovations, but these were very carefully. Ask about letting your dog or cat come along, as certain suites are pet-friendly.
Palazzo Dragoni in Rome
The "Dragoni" part of the name of the Palazzo Dragoni refers to the Dragoni clan, an Italian family. You'll see the family crest all over the castle grounds; just look out for a multi-headed dragon.With meeting areas, an in-house restaurant, fresh floral arrangements and stunning views of Rome when you look out nearly any window, the castle lets you delve into the history of this amazing city.
Castello del Belvedere in Lombardy
With both apartments near the castle as well as rooms and suites on the castle grounds, Castello del Belvedere’s sheer magnificence might just make you a little weak in the knees. Estimated to have been built in the 18th Century, the castle offers a view of Lake Garda and a park that you might want to have a walk through. You can also see the lake when swimming in the castle's pool.
Hotel Castello di Sinio in Piemonte
Staying at Hotel Castello di Casiglio is certainly the memorable experience. Its website claims that it's "a place so unique, so distinct, it could not exist anywhere else." With five rooms and nine suites, you'll have to make a reservation fast, but if you do, you gain access to the Barbaresco and Barolo vineyards, where you can sample some of the best wine in Italy.The hotel rooms are so colorful and vibrant that you might not want to leave bed. But then again, you could also start your morning with apple brioche bread pudding or banana macadamia pancakes from the Pardini Vini e Cucina restaurant. Images by: EdiHoch MeleCoronato tpsdave