A fine retreat at any time of year, the Castello di Semivicoli has a particular attraction during these sultry dog days: it’s just 20 minutes from the Adriatic coast and 20 km from the Majella mountain nature reserve, in the hilly heart of the Abruzzo region.
Dating back to the 1600s and seat of the local barony, this large manor (no battlements) came into the capable hands of the Masciarelli family in 2004 and was completely renovated, part of it as a boutique hostelry. The spacious rooms and suites retain all the architectural features of the splendid old building, and are handsomely furnished with a canny mix of antiques and contemporary design, including Driade chairs and Philippe Starck bathrooms. Charming secret gardens add to its allure, and if unimaginable circumstances should keep you indoors, there’s also a fitness room.
If the name Masciarelli sounds familiar, that’s because it’s on some famous labels. Gianni Masciarelli and family produce some of Abruzzo’s – and indeed Italy’s – finest wines from over 350 ha of vineyards all over the region. 1.5 million bottles a year. Local varieties Montepulciano and Trebbiano prevail in this prodigious output, fruit of a singular passion and an ongoing quest for perfection.
So a winery visit and tastings are practically obligatory at the Castello, just in case you needed any further persuasion.