Castel di Lama | A Royal Retreat

In the lush southern hills of the Marche region, with a view that sweeps from the Adriatic coast to the most beautiful section of the Apennines, lies Borgo Storico Seghetti PanichiNot just a country house but a whole lordly pile dating from the early 17th to the 19th centuries, now offering luxury hospitality.

There’s nothing metaphorical about its noble attributes: the two women responsible for the conservation and upkeep of the listed buildings are descendants of the Royal House of Aragon, progeny of the family resident in the Borgo since 1750, mother and daughter, Princesses turned entrepreneurs, Giulia Panichi Pignatelliand Stefania Pignatelli Aragona Cortes.

While the Seghetti Panichis still live in the historic abode and open it to day visitors, guests can choose between eleven lavish suites or apartments with antique furnishings in two other buildings in theBorgo: the Relais Villa and the Residenza San Pancrazio. The Coffee House with its superb panoramic terrace is where breakfast is served, under an arbour of vines in the summer, and where you can watch the sun set behind the Monti Sibillini over an expertly-mixed cocktail. All this in magnificent grounds, practically a botanical park with rare and beautiful plant species, bioenergetic areas, fruit and vegetable gardens, as well as a pool and treatment room for staying guests.

The latest addition to the complex is the Ristorante del BorgoThe duo of young chefs, Davide Fabi Cannella and Davide Camaioni, local boys both, are collecting more five-star reviews with every month that passes since opening last year with a contemporary slant on time-honoured regional recipes and local specialities (fish from the Adriatic, lamb from the mountains, porcini mushrooms and truffles, local cheeses, and more). They’re open for lunch and dinner every day of the week, and for events.

The Seghetti Panichi Princesses head a thriving cultural association at the Borgo, with a bookshop and regular exhibitions. They also arrange excursions with professional guides into some of Italy’s most stunning mountain scenery, within easy reach. And bear in mind that the lovely little town of Ascoli Piceno and the sandy beaches of the Adriatic, including the smart, palm-lined resort of San Benedetto del Tronto, are just a few kilometres away.