At This Italian Castle-Hotel, Nostalgic Details Make for Epic Design Moments
Plus plenty of fresh ideas to take home.
Published Nov 21, 2023 1:52 AM
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.
The air in northern Umbria, a beguiling pocket of Italy that is densely forested and dotted with hilltop medieval towns, smells of sweet anise, chestnuts, and honey. It is a land of truffles and Orvieto, of ceramics and textiles. This is where Reschio, a nearly 3,700-acre estate, is nestled against the border of Tuscany, just below an arc of destinations for lovers of Renaissance greats Piero della Francesca and Giotto.
The property—bought in the 1980s by the Bolza family—is home to a network of farmhouses-turned-villas and a design studio headed up by Benedikt Bolza, the family’s scion and Reschio’s chief designer. But the 36-room Hotel Castello di Reschio is the crown jewel.
There is much to be said of the operation: locally sourced and homemade ingredients for the restaurants; stables that train Spanish horses without bits; a spa with Roman baths that transport you to another time. The hospitality is unrivaled, and the staff members don’t just seem invested in each other—it’s clear that they are, and the warmth is palpable. The experience is a singular one, which is more than worth even a short trip, but what continued to delight me on a quick November visit were the expertly designed spaces, packed with inspiration for anyone who appreciates a collected look. Bolza says that bringing the hotel to life, which required a near-total transformation of the circa-1050 castle, was his hardest project to date.
“It was the only project we’ve ever done that we did for ourselves. I didn’t have a client, and I wasn’t used to that,” he explains. “You’re asking yourself, well, I want to do this because that’s how we like it. Will that work for all the people coming through and sleeping in those rooms?”
Bolza describes his design philosophy as ever-evolving, but always with a dash of nostalgia baked in, something made very clear in his furniture and lighting at BB for Reschio. Each room of the hotel is inspired by a family member; ours was created in homage to a botanist great-grandfather. I noticed nods to the 19th and 20th centuries—Belle Epoque, Art Nouveau—with some fresh contemporary touches in the mix. (Hello, monochromatic chartreuse and moss-colored cushions.)
And though it’s likely that you don’t live on a sprawling Italian game preserve filled with wild boar, you can still take some of Reschio’s design ideas home.
The Pondlike Pool
Roman pines surround the pool, located just outside the hotel walls, and create an intimate yet airy environment—and provide a great idea for fenceless backyard privacy at home. I sat on one of the BB for Reschio’s contemporary-leaning verdant loungers, another idea I want to steal for my future second home. The pool’s temperature was just right even on a cooler day, but the most intriguing part of the design is how it melts into the landscape as if it has always been there.
The 1930s-Inspired Lighting
BB for Reschio’s made-to-order (and pricey) products aren’t just for the villas and hotel. You can actually purchase them, and if I were in the market? I’d go for the lighting. The Poggibonsi line, inspired by 1930s Italian designs, comes in various shapes and sizes, including portable versions. The one sporting a velvet lampshade is after my texture-loving heart.
The Of-the-Moment Outdoor Furniture
That outdoor furniture I mentioned dots the pool deck, patios, and other pockets throughout the property. The curved edges and details are as on-trend as they are timeless, and hues like a grassy green, sky blue, and night sky black are a reminder of why pulling color ideas from the surrounding landscape is the move.
The Inviting Boot Room
Cottagecore, but make it Italian. During the day, the hotel’s florist mans the boot room, a home to the freshly cut blooms that grace guest rooms and public spaces. The liminal outdoor area is covered in inspiring terracotta-hued limewash and lined with dried bouquets, baskets, and vases galore. Twenty dried artichoke hearts—flowers intact—in varying sizes make a home above the often-roaring fireplace, and I’ll be stealing that idea for a future dinner party tablescape.
The Serene Roman Baths
Reschio’s spa is housed in the castle’s ancient wine cellars, and its star is a saltwater pool in an ethereal space. The way the light bounces off the stone walls and the crimson daybeds that flank the pool’s edges contribute to a serene atmosphere I’d like to channel on a regular basis. The quickest way would be to mimic the soothing tea tray setup, with cozy chamomile, a dish of honey, and double-wall glasses.
Get the Look for a Little Less
Tomato girl summer may have come and gone, but the longing for a collected, Italian-inflected home is no trend. Below, find products I sourced on-site at Reschio, as well as others that would fit right in.