5 hotels in the middle of nowhere. Italy.

Casadonna

Hotel Casadonna is located in a XVI century monastery in Abruzzo, surrounded by the mountains of the National park.

The main feature of Casadonna, and the reason for its birth, is the 3 Michelin stars restaurant Reale run by chef Niko Romito and Cristiana Romito, his sister.

Looking for a location that would host a restaurant and headquarters for his expanding activity, the chef found this abandoned monastery and initiated its restoration. By 2011 the ex-monastery was turned into a home for the 9-rooms of the hotel Casadonna, the restaurant Reale* and a professional cooking academy “Niko Romito Formazione”. The outdoor area includes an experimental vineyard, an orchard grove, and a garden of aromatic and wild herbs. Casadonna is an example of harmony, modernity, history, and a sustainable connection with the surrounding natural beauty of the area. The materials used for the interior were recovered from palaces and churches of Abruzzo. Ancient monastery doors are mounted on oxidized iron frames. The wood is treated with bee’s wax according to traditions. Rooms have a minimalistic design, relaxing for soul and mind. In each room, guests will find a hammam, which is not a common hotel feature. An integral part of staying at Casadonna is Reale* restaurant of modern Italian cuisine.

The philosophy of Reale is to emphasize taste with full respect for the ingredient, an achievable goal only through relentless research on producers, techniques, and nutrition. Romito’s dishes are precise, balanced, and “simple”. Each course becomes the perfect synthesis of elegance and comfort.

The balance of the restaurant is also founded on the exceptional dining room service, casual and at the same time elegant and technically impeccable, under the supervision of Cristiana Romito, flanked by the sommelier Gianni Sinesi.

Eremito

Eremito translated from Italian means hermit. This name explains the concept of the hotel with perfect precision. It is an ideal place to escape from your daily routine, pause life, and pursue inner balance.
Eremito is located in the middle of nowhere in the Umbrian valleys, surrounded by kilometers of woods and complete silence. Inside the monastery walls, the hotel guests will find the same quiet atmosphere of tranquility. Guests are kindly asked to put their smartphones in silent regime and avoid phone calls in the hotel’s premises.


There are only single rooms and none of them has a phone, a fridge-bar or a tv. There is not even need for air conditioning thanks to the thick stone walls which favor a pleasant temperature inside. The structure itself combines and blends the most advanced green building techniques with ancient materials: a photovoltaic system provides 100% of the electricity consumption for the entire hotel. The main lighting after sunset is given almost exclusively by torches and candles.

To diversify meditative leisure, the hotel offers a relax area dressed in stone with a heated pool and a steam bath. Herbal teas made with dried herbs picked in the nearby forest will accompany a pleasant moment.

The kitchen of the hotel’s restaurant is completely based on 0 km products, partly produced in the vegetable garden of Eremito. The menu is fixed, vegetarian, and consists of recipes chosen from the Mediterranean monastic tradition, which through its flavors recalls the memory of the ancient villages born around those monasteries.
I’d say, Eremito is not just a hotel lost in the woods. It’s an experience, a full immersion in asceticism furnished with all the necessary (but not more than this) for your mental wellbeing.

Palazzo Venart

Differently from the other hotels in this list, Palazzo Venart is located right in the heart of Venice. However, it can surely highlight your stay with the most pristine feelings of isolation and tranquility, despite being at walking distance from San Marco square and Rialto bridge.

The hotel is situated in the premises of a historical building of the XV century opening to the Grand Canal with its elegant garden.  For hundreds of years, the building has been considered as one of the most beautiful in Venice. Thanks to a careful restoration, the interiors of the palace can be compared to a museum: frescos, painted ceilings, tapestry, pieces of art, and interior details dating back to centuries ago, surround the guests in the rooms and the common spaces.

Eleven finely decorated rooms and seven suites pay homage to the Venetian culture and personalities that brought glory to the city. The rooms are named after them: Marco Polo, Silk Road, La Traviata, etc. In a way, it gives a feeling of living in the middle of nowhere throughout different cultural eras.

Another Highlight of Palazzo Venart is the two-starred restaurant GLAM, run by multi-starred chef Enrico Bartolini. Exclusive signature menus, creatively revisiting traditional tastes of local cuisine, will enrich your already unforgettable stay.

Casa Fantini


The main concept of this hotel is the idea of calmness and harmony with nature. I love spending time by a lake, it’s a reliving experience for me. At Casa Fantini this effect is brought to the absolute utmost.
There are three key elements – water, gardens, and stone, which represent the natural heritage of lake Orta, where the hotel is located. Two buildings make the hotel’s complex. One built in the XIX century, the other is a new construction.

The interior echoes the delicacy of the landscape with its minimalism, neutral colors, and natural materials like wood and stone. Blue accents of reflecting surfaces correspond to the water of the lake.

Among the rooms offered by Casa Fantini, there are superior ones with Turkish baths and private terraces with spectacular views of the lake. There are two suites as well, occupying the whole XIX century building – one suite per floor. The most exclusive accommodation of the hotel is a private house with a garden and an outside pool.

The hotel offers a list of relaxing treatments and massages, including a scecial “Ritual of Sleep”. You can enjoy all SPA-rituals in your room, or terrace, if weather conditions are favorable.

The heart of the hotel is its lounge with the atmosphere of a living room, where guests can spend relaxing time together, and at the same time, on their own, reading a book or just enjoying the landscape through floor-to-ceiling windows. Another common space is the outside pool.


Casa Fantini’s restaurant, run by Paolo Bullone, offers a seasonal menu that enhances the local specialties and the Italian culinary tradition.

Lupaia

Lupaia is a place for those who are looking for the atmosphere of an Italian agriturismo, and at the same time adore high-level service of exclusive hotels.

This charming boutique hotel surrounded by Tuscan hills is situated in the Montepulciano region, famous for its wines. Distant from any settlements, it is still not that far away from Siena, or Perugia if you decide to try a flavor of a Tuscan town.

The hotel comprises the main building and five separate cottages dated 1622. Lupaia offers 12 rooms and suites, all unique but united by the idea of comfort and relaxation, with stunning views from the balconies, private terraces, and gardens.

It gives the impression of living in a small private village where privacy, silence, and serenity are the main priorities.
At Lupaia guests can also adorn their staying with taking part in cooking lessons or having a picnic equipped with all the necessary accessories and traditional delicacies in the olive grove.

My recommendation for an autumn activity is to join a truffle hunt in the nearby woods with a local truffle hunter and his dogs. Or to have a small spa-trip to thermal baths which are less than half an hour distance from Lupaia.

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