Ancient Italian village is being turned into a new kind of hotel, where the rooms are spread out across town and you share the streets with residents. Sextantio Albergo Diffuso is a brand new boutique concept: bits of the hotel are spread around a micro-village in the Italian Apennines. Daniele Kihlgren, a modest, Swedish-Italian entrepreneur spent about five years and several million euros reinventing this village as an albergo diffuso (a hotel with bedrooms in several buildings).
It’s a throw-back to the Middle Ages, with craftwork made by villagers, restoration-revived traditions and rustic simplicity maintaining the hilly hamlet’s mediaeval charm, but with modern luxury seamlessly incorporated.
Each of the 32 guest quarters at Sextantio, which start at $252 per night for a double, is unique. Some are simply furnished, with stone walls and small windows that let in little light. The more ornate rooms have centuries-old painted wood ceilings and working fireplaces. Six units in a modest palazzo on the main square share a small loggia on the upper floor with countryside views.
The decor is largely limited to antiques like armoires, cupboards, dressers, and a few oddball found objects: an altar railing leaning against a wall, an old saddle casually draped over a sawhorse, ancient spinning trestles, and iron farm implements. The developers constructed each bed by laying a plank across iron sawhorses and topping it with a hand-stuffed mattress. The beds are raised high off the ground, just as they were for hundreds of years when chamber pots were stored underneath. Every room also contains a cassapanca, a hope chest that has long been the most important piece of furniture in Italian households.
This magnificent place was home to George Clooney during his two-month shoot of ‘The American’, and it’s easy to see why he chose it.