Authentic Medieval Castle Retreat
"Authentic Medieval Castle Retreat.” - Reviewed by Deborah
DEBORAH PERFECT PICK “A totally unique luxury experience off-the-beaten-track like the setting for a gothic novel. I can’t decide on my favourite detail: maybe the round bathtub in the turret, the suit of armour complete with jousting lance or the wine cellar in the dungeons. So amazing!”
Commanding a verdant, forest-covered hill overlooking the Tiber Valley and Monte Tezio Wildlife Park, you can’t get more private than Castello dei Sogni. The fully-restored Romanesque castle with thick turrets, portcullis gates and stone courtyards is an exquisite opportunity to live as in times of old with all your creature comforts, not least modern plumbing, underfloor heating, A/C, a state-of-the-art kitchen, an elevator and a luxury spa and gym in the “dungeons”!
Upon arrival, your excitement can’t help but rise as you catch glimpses of the imposing castle in the distance while navigating winding dirt roads shaded by forest. Better still, if you arrive at dusk, you’ll see soft lights glistening on the hilltop full of promise and ancient secrets. This property really is in a category of its own – away from the stresses and reality of daily life.
Eight magnificent double suites – adorned with thick velvet drapes, period furniture and tapestries – take centre stage in this grandiose fortress first built in the late medieval period. Now, it features interiors by designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, who has remained faithful to the essence of the medieval period. The result is fascinating. You really feel as though you are the guest of some historic noble family.
Offering 2000sqm (21,600sqft) of inspiring interiors settled on 5 hectares of countryside, you are in danger of getting lost in this grand castle. Thankfully, the central courtyard that unites the north and south wings helps you get your bearings and the elevator goes a long way to making sense of which floor you are on.
A fabulous dining room – reminiscent of a great hall – ornately decorated living and sitting rooms and picturesque gardens with a large heated pool all contribute to the majestic ambiance of this castle.
Castello dei Sogni is an ideal base for visiting nearby places of interest in Umbria and Tuscany such as Assisi, Lake Trasimeno and Perugia. Monte Tezio Wildlife Park is right next to the property and there is a horse riding school less than 30 minutes away. Both Florence and Rome are just a 2-hour drive away.
- Original 14th-Century castle
- Formal dining room with medieval décor
- Huge industrial-capacity kitchen
- Antique and locally-crafted furniture
- Oil paintings and tapestries
- Grand fireplaces in living areas and bedrooms
- Multiple areas for al fresco dining
- Fitness room
- Wine cellar with tasting suite in the “dungeons”
- Small chapel
- Underfloor heating
- Wi-Fi throughout
- Large, heated swimming pool
- Extensive gardens and views for miles around
- Live-in staff
Bedrooms and Bathrooms
Majestic and ornate, yet dedicated to comfort, the castle suites are every bit as impressive as the rest of the property. All suites have their own idiosyncrasies and touches of magic where you are sure to wake each morning thinking you have been transported back in time.
Easily double the size of standard hotel rooms or bigger, each suite has its own living room area with a grand fireplace and sofa and one has a library and dining room as well. You can expect your suite to have more than a few windows and many have access to a shared or private patio or balcony.
Sleeping in a King-size four-poster bed draped in fine velvet or renaissance tapestries will become second nature as you get into the swing of the Italian medieval lifestyle – but rest assured that all beds have good-quality mattresses conforming to modern comfort standards. Bedding, cushions and upholstery were designed and locally made based on preserved samples from the period – creating authentic, comfortable and soft furnishings.
Tailor-made, en-suite bathrooms vary from room to room with lots of marble and ornate details to enjoy. Many feature free-standing bathtubs or double showers.
One last note: air-conditioning. The castle is naturally very cool; and while many of the suites have individual A/C units, the south-facing rooms do not. These rooms enjoy natural airflow.
MASTER SUITE 1
Sleeps 2 – King-size bed. Extra-large suite with grand fireplace, living room, safe, A/C and private Juliet balcony. En-suite bathroom with free-standing bathtub, separate rain shower and bidet.
Sleeps 2 – King-size bed. Large suite with fireplace, living room, access to shared patio and A/C. En-suite bathroom with free-standing bathtub, separate rain shower and bidet.
Sleeps 2 – King-size bed. Large suite with fireplace, living room, access to shared garden and A/C. En-suite bathroom with free-standing bathtub, separate rain shower and bidet.
Sleeps 2 – King-size bed. Large suite with fireplace, living room, walk-in closet and access to shared patio. En-suite bathroom with free-standing bathtub, separate rain shower and bidet.
Sleeps 2 – King-size bed. Large suite with fireplace, living room, access to large private patio and A/C. En-suite bathroom with rain shower and bidet plus a round bathtub in the turret.
Sleeps 2 – King-size bed. Extra-large suite with fireplace, living room, dining room, library, access to private patio and A/C. En-suite bathroom with rain shower and bidet.
Sleeps 2 – King-size bed. Medium-size suite with fireplace and sitting area. En-suite bathroom with free-standing bathtub, separate shower with two rain shower heads, double vanity and bidet.
Sleeps 2 – King-size bed. Medium-size suite with fireplace, sofa, and en-suite bathroom with rain shower and bidet. AC.
ALL BEDROOMS INCLUDE CLOSETS, HOTEL-QUALITY SHEETS, BEDDING, TOWELS, BATHROBES, SLIPPERS, AQUA FLOR FIRENZE TOILETRIES, HAIR DRYERS, UNDERFLOOR HEATING, HEATED TOWEL RAILS AND WI-FI.
The castle’s lovely central courtyard unites two wings. The north wing is home to two bedrooms and most of the living areas. The south wing has the remaining 6 bedrooms as well as the gym and the spa in what is humorously known as the “dungeons”.
The Romanesque architecture is supported by the medieval décor where rustic chandeliers, frescoes, tapestries and artwork abound. Impressive fireplaces give each room its focal point. There’s only one television to distract you from the beauty that surrounds. Plenty of board games and the library provide entertainment when you are not enjoying the lovely walks or the heated swimming pool.
A stately living room and a formal dining room provide fabulous areas inside for majestic gatherings. There are numerous spaces outside – including multiple terraces within the castle confines – for socialising and eating together as a group. There is also a cute romantic spot in one of the turrets to prepare a candlelit meal for two should you wish to enjoy a special moment away from your group with your favourite person.
The underground level is home to a hidden gem: the spa and fitness area. Here you will encounter an exquisite Turkish bath and rain shower intricately decorated in colourful tiles and marble. Next to it is a fully-equipped massage room with beautiful barrel vault ceilings.
The fitness area has state-of-the art gym equipment including a running machine, step machine and every type of weight possible, plus a great sound system. The floor is fitted with cushioned mats for floor exercises, yoga and Pilates.
The kitchen is worth a mention, too. Grandiose as you might expect, this professional kitchen was designed with the help of a chef and is fully equipped for groups large and small. From catering for a banquet to an intimate family meal, you have everything you need. For careful wine pairing to accompany your dining, you might want to explore the wine cellar or take part in a private wine tasting activity.
Outside, the heated swimming pool is set in a secluded area of the grounds. It comes complete with a shower, changing rooms and plenty of sunbeds.
- Formal dining room with medieval décor
- Exquisite living room and sitting room
- One big flat-screen TV with satellite
- Huge, industrial-capacity kitchen
- Wine cellar with tasting suite
- Multiple areas and terraces for dining outdoors
- Extensive gardens
- A/C, heating and Wi-Fi throughout
Rental Price Includes
- Cleaning every 3 days
- Linen and towel changes once a week
- Wi-Fi connection
Know Before You Go
- Totally unique experience off-the-beaten-track
- Only one TV
- Cell phone reception not great but Wi-Fi throughout
- Original castle with stone walls and floors
- Most bedrooms have individual A/C while south-east bedrooms enjoy natural airflow.
- One safe plus an alarm system throughout
- Animal trophies on display
- Overnight stays in Italy’s popular tourist destinations are subject to a daily tourist tax payable to the host upon arrival or check out. Between 1-5 Euros per night per person depending on the location.
Staff and Services
- Cleaning every 3 days
- Sheets changed once a week
- Live-in staff
- Property manager has office on site
- Private chef and wait staff available upon request ($)
Kids Services & Activities
- Kid-friendly property
- Highchairs and cribs available upon request
- Inflatable toys for pool
- Bouncy castle
- Sorry, no pets allowed.
Activities Available On-Site or Nearby
- Wild life park, horse riding centre, restaurants, antiquing, churches, monuments, sightseeing, walking, wineries, museums.
- Itinerary planning – pre and post-arrival
- Round-trip airport transportation
- Grocery shopping service
- Babysitting services
- Organizing car rentals
- Booking tours, excursions and restaurant reservations.
- Other services may be available – just ask!