Breathtakingly romantic Sextantio Hotel in Italy

Sextantio Albergo Diffuso is a fortified medieval village, located in the mountains of Abruzzo at 1250 meters above sea level, inside the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga national park. The village is a classic example of an Italian medieval hill town, with perimeter walls encircling houses and squares. This is not your ordinary hotel but is the result of a state-of-the art, visionary restoration effort that pairs deep respect for the past with a new kind of hospitality. It took 10 years to turn the sassi (stone settlement) into boutique bedrooms, but the resulting hotel is true to the caves’ tufa-rock roots: simply furnished, candlelit and calming.

The result is, to go by the literal translation from the Italian, a “scattered hotel” composed of a main structure (a restored military turret) around which 42 guest rooms are scattered in multiple stone buildings. All are within the confines of the original settlement but because they’re overseen by a single manager, the traditional services you’d expect from a hotel are guaranteed. This makes Sextantio ideal for the independent traveler who wants to have the authentic experience of living within a rural community without the extra involvement of renting a self-catering apartment.

Guest rooms are characterized by a simple minimalist style featuring wood-beamed ceilings, granite arches, Philippe Starck-designed bathroom sinks and modern beds. Each room is different in style but they all combine contemporary comforts with a level of detail worthy of an archaeological dig. There is usually a fire going in the old stone hearth of the small breakfast room where a spread of homemade bread, jams and local cakes is laid out on hand-crocheted lace placemats. A locanda that is also part of the complex has been transformed into an elegant restaurant featuring traditional Abruzzese cuisine. Staying at Sextantio is a special experience in sustainable tourism that both uniquely conveys a sense of place and is definitely ahead of its time.

Visit the Sextantio Hotel’s website for reservations here.