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Hotels

9 Castle Hotels in Italy We’d Love to Check Into

Way back when, gorgeous, stone-walled castelli were owned only by the wealthiest of Italian noble families, who lorded on high over their countryside kingdoms. Today, a few that survive have been transformed into hotels to suit every budget and taste level. From a crenelated fortress with sweeping hilltop views to a regal Baroque palace with an underground wine cellar, here are the 9 castle hotels in Italy that top our list.

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Castello di Casole, d'Elsa, Tuscany

A lane flanked by cypress trees leads guests to this 10th-century castle turned boutique hotel, whose setting on 4,200 rolling acres of Tuscany countryside means sweeping views from each of its 42 rooms. Many are housed in separate stone farmhouses, which fan out from the former stables and feature original paintings and beamed ceilings. After a dip in the infinity pool, refresh yourself with a treatment in the wine cellar-turned spa before a hearty dinner of Tuscan classics—potato and Tuscan cabbage ravioli stuffed with aged Stracchino cheese and partridge ragout; fillet of beef Tosca with foie gras and black truffle—paired with regional wines at restaurant Tosca.

Check Prices for Castello Di Casole in Tuscany, Italy

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Castel Monastero, Chianti, Tuscany

The name gives it away: first built in the 11th century, Castel Monastero served as a monastery before it ever became a noble residence. The property’s secluded location in the Chianti hills means all the more privacy for its guests—predominantly honeymooners—who come to kick back in its 74 rooms, de-stress at the full-service spa, take a dip in the two-tiered outdoor pool, play a round on the on-site tennis courts, and dine on "pici" pasta and Chianina meat in La Cantina, the medieval wine cellar turned restaurant overseen by none other than Gordon Ramsay. Want to explore further afield? The hotel also offers guided bicycle tours and rentable vespas for touring nearby vineyards and villages like Val d'Orcia and Castelnuovo Berardenga.

RELATED: The Most Stunning Hotel Villas in Italy

Check Prices for Castel Monastero in Tuscany, Italy

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Castello di Velona Resort, Montalcino, Tuscany

Peace now surrounds this former military fortification, which was taken over by a noble family in the 15th century and redecorated with frescoes and expensive art and furniture. Today, the 12th-century watchtower remains, while the main loggia (built during the Renaissance) houses its 46 guest rooms—a mixture between old “Castle” suites (think vaulted oak-beam ceilings, terracotta tile floors, and decorative fireplaces) and newer “Sunset” suites, all of which come with balconies or patios overlooking the Val d’Orcia. History aside, it’s the hot spring spa guests come here for, which features two mineral water-fed pools, a Turkish bath and sauna, and treatments that incorporate local grapes and olive oil. Follow it all up with a glass of Brunello di Montalcino, produced at the hotel’s own winery.

Check Prices for Castello di Velona SPA Resort & Winery in Castelnuovo dell'Abate, Italy

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Castello di Guarene, Guarene, Cuneo

It may have been built on the site of a Middle Ages-era fortress, but Castello di Guarene looks anything but medieval. In the 18th century, nobleman Carlo Giacinto Roero transformed his future summer home into a baroque palace—all high ceilings, stone walls, parquet floors, and chandeliers at every turn—where his ancestors lived until 2011. The 12 guest suites are equally lavish, with period furniture, silk and velvet tapestries, and heavy drapes that frame windows looking out onto the property’s 18th-century-style gardens and distant Piedmontese hills. Beyond the restaurant (which serves local specialties like slow-cooked veal cheek and roast-filled egg pasta), there’s a spa, wine cellar, and indoor pool built inside a rock cave.

Check Prices for Castello di Guarene in Guarene, Italy

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Castello Bevilacqua, Bevilacqua, Verona

The approach to this restored 14th-century castle—a long pine tree-lined drive that winds its way past manicured gardens and sweeping lawns—sets an impressive tone for the rest of your stay. The reception is marked by a glass chandelier, tasseled curtains, and large oil paintings; upstairs, just seven individually styled suites have their own antique furniture, armoires, timbered ceilings, and views of the hills. The medieval-looking restaurant is atmospheric, but not as much as the stone-walled wine cellar, where sommelier-led tastings include platters of local charcuterie and cheese and are given by candlelight.

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Castello Banfi - Il Borgo, Montalcino, Tuscany

During the 18th century, a farmer’s village was built up around the medieval Banfi Castle as a base for cultivating the surrounding vineyards. Today, it’s now a hotel themed around the region’s legacy of winemaking. All 14 rooms are named after bottles produced by local vintners, the on-site wine shop hosts tastings of local Brunello and Super Tuscans, and the fine-dining restaurant Sala dei Grappoli offers alfresco seating overlooking the vines. Not a wine lover? No problem—days are just as easily enjoyed by the stylish white-stone pool, at the bottle and glass museum (which traces the evolution of glassmaking back to the 5th century B.C.), and simply strolling the grounds, where brick and stone pathways wind their way past cypress trees, ivy-covered brick archways, and a picturesque rose garden.

RELATED: 7 Gorgeous Wine Country Hotels Around the World

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Castello di Petroia, Umbria, Perugia

Unlike other castles where rooms are built in surrounding buildings and villas, all 13 rooms at Castello di Petroia—a 800-acre hilltop estate famous for being the birthplace of a Duke of Urbino—are found in the original 11th-century stronghold, which is still protected by a surrounding wall. Expect exposed beam ceilings, stone arches, original 18th-century paintings, and antiques. You’ll feel like you’re living in the Renaissance while dining at Restaurant Accomanducci, thanks to its long tables lit by candelabras, leather-backed chairs, timbered ceiling, and massive fireplace. A seasonal pool, Friesian horse stable, and scenic walking paths complete the picture.

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Castello di Monterone, Umbria, Perugia

It’s easy to be wooed by Castello di Monterone’s medieval white-stone façade, beautifully kept grounds, and spectacular pool with views of the countryside—but if you think the exterior is impressive, wait until you get a load of what’s inside. Wooden staircases and ceiling frescoes harken back to the 13th century, as do the stained-glass windows lining the bar, where you can knock back an aperitivo before a traditionally rustic Umbrian meal (wild piglet with Colfiorito potatoes; hand-made umbricelli with sheep’s ricotta, sausage, and truffle) at Ristorante Gradale. After dropping your bags, head up to the rooftop walkway, where you can look down into the valley between Assisi and Perugia.

RELATED: 9 Most Charming Towns in Italy

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Castello Orsini, Nerola, Lazio

A castle hotel near Rome? This 10th-century hilltop stunner—one of the oldest in Italy—is as close as you can get to the Eternal City while still feeling worlds away. Just 14 rooms (some with mezzanines) look out over Sabina and Nerola, along with a heated pool, spa, and restaurant. Everywhere you look, you’ll find reminders of its medieval origins: standing armored knight statues, hanging tapestries bearing coats of arms, hanging lances. Members of the famous Borgia family and Garibaldi once roamed these halls, though these days you’ll mostly find newlyweds and wedding parties—along with history buffs who come to eye its crenellated corner towers and surrounding gardens.

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