By Cailey Rizzo
February 15, 2018
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Courtesy of Castello di Ugento

Step back in time to Renaissance Italy at the newly renovated Castello di Ugento in Puglia.

The castle, which dates back to the 17th century, has been restored and transformed into a luxury boutique hotel. Guests can sleep underneath frescoes, wander the 18th-century walled kitchen garden and look out from a towered bastion that was built by the Normans.

The €10-million, five-year renovation created nine modern suites in the castle without sacrificing the historic architecture of the building. Guests can touch the walls in their rooms knowing that they date back hundreds of years. Some artifacts uncovered during renovation even date back to the 12th century B.C.

“Whilst our ambition has been to create a very contemporary space, we’ve done it with no disruption to the building’s infrastructure, which was the challenge imposed by the historical monuments national trust,” Diana E. Bianchi, one of Castello di Ugento’s co-founders, said in a press release.

In addition to the hotel, the castle also houses the Puglia Culinary Centre — developed in partnership with the Culinary Institute of America to teach ancient Pugliese cooking — and a museum wing with restored frescoes and a permanent collection of 20th-century Italian art.

Courtesy of Castello di Ugento
Courtesy of Castello di Ugento

The hotel also has a garden where guests can wander and chefs can pick fresh herbs and produce for their meals. It’s located less than three miles from the sea.

Nightly rates start at about $400 (€330) in the low season and $520 (€425) in high season.