Live out all your royal fantasies by checking into one of these dreamy Italian castles-turned-hotels.
There’s no shortage of spectacular castles in Italy. Many centuries ago, stone-walled castelli were owned by the wealthiest of noble families who ruled across the country. Fortunately, several of these stately structures have survived intact, and have been rebuilt and reintroduced as magnificent hotels—many featuring original structures, centuries-old furnishings, and sweeping views of the Italian countryside.
If you’ve ever dreamed about living like royalty, you can turn your fairytale into reality. Here are nine awe-inspiring castle dwellings to sleep like a king or queen in Italy—all richly steeped in history, but with modern-day amenities suitable for today’s travelers. Added bonus: Each enchanting estate boasts an outdoor swimming pool. Andiamo!
Castello di Petroia
This XII century fortress has been passed down from several noble families and is the birthplace of Federico da Montefeltro, the most well-known renaissance Duke of Italy. Close to medieval towns Assisi, Gubbio, and Peruggia, Castello di Petroia occupies a hilltop surrounded by 600 acres of abundant farmland where fresh jams, honey, olive oil, truffles, and prestigious “Chianina” veal are all produced on-site—and can be savored during a hands-on cooking class or candlelit dinner at the gourmet restaurant.
The expansive property also features numerous walking and horse riding trails, along with an idyllic outdoor swimming pool and a hot tub set among olive trees above the lush valleys of Petroia.
INSIDER TIPSummer and early winter activities include a black truffle hunting excursion inside the estate with a resident expert and his talented dog, Stella. In the evening, the hotel chef will prepare your bounty in a specialized dinner paired with Umbrian wine.
Castello di Galbino
Tucked into the hilly countryside near Arezzo, Castello di Galbino is a grand, square-shaped castle boasting four round towers and Renaissance-era arched loggias. The nine-bedroom villa—available to host events and intimate weddings (there’s even an on-property chapel), or as a full buyout for up to 18 guests—honors its centuries-old history with antique furniture, vaulted ceilings, and original frescos, while state-of-the-art amenities and luxurious linens from local company, Busatti, ensure a comfortable stay.
The castle’s location lends itself to leisurely days spent al fresco—strolling through the lush garden, dining under the vine-covered pergola, or taking a dip in the swimming pool, which is perched just uphill from the villa and offers breathtaking views of the widespread Tuscan terrain.
Castello di Vicarello
WHERE: Cinigiano, Tuscany
Secluded atop of southern Tuscany’s rolling Maremma hills, the 12-century Castello di Vicarello has been converted into a refined Mediterranean estate. At the center of this boutique resort are nine elegant suites housed in warm-hued, original stone buildings, surrounded by enchanting organic gardens, lush vineyards, and olive groves, which provide much of the produce for its farmhouse kitchen.
There’s no shortage of seasonal activities on offer here: immersions in wine production and olive oil harvesting, hiking, horseback riding, cooking classes, wine tastings, truffle hunting, leather workshops, and yoga and meditation in the award-winning spa. Summer months invite basking in the Tuscan sun at dual valley-facing infinity pools—vino in hand, of course.
Castello Di Spaltenna
Thick stone walls, knights in shining armor, decorative shields, and antique relics leave no doubt that the Castello di Spaltenna is undeniably a medieval treasure. This 12th-century castle, set in the heart of Italy’s famed Chianti region, is rich with history and legend. For example, the bedrooms were originally built as monk’s quarters since the property started a monastery.
While the Spaltenna complex is replete with embellishments from the past, enticing amenities—such as a luxe spa with a heated indoor pool and sauna, an underground bar with an impressive wine cellar, and an outdoor swimming hole surrounded by a private park—create an ideal setting for a leisurely stay. Accommodations range from beautifully-renovated rooms and suites to country-style apartments and two fully-equipped villas, each with a private pool.
INSIDER TIPThe authentic flavors and ingredients of the Chianti region are showcased through a range of culinary experiences—from a casual wood-fired pizza under the pergola to a gourmet dinner at Il Pievano restaurant, which earned a Michelin star in 2017.
Castello Banfi — Il Borgo
Formerly a farming village that arose in the 1700s around the medieval Banfi Castle, Castello Banfi – Il Borgo has been restyled into an upscale resort. Surrounded by far-reaching vineyards, the estate produces high-quality red wines—including Brunello and Super Tuscans—and offers complimentary vino in the guest rooms, along with tastings in the wine shop.
While this charming historical destination may be a wine enthusiast’s dream, visitors also come for the two distinguished restaurants, Enoteca, Balsameria, glass museum, and serene pool with stunning views of the vines and Tuscan countryside. Fun fact: To reflect the property’s deep-rooted wine heritage, each of the 14 rooms and suites is named after one of the bottles produced by Banfi.
Situated atop a hill overlooking the town of Nerola, and just a stone’s throw away from the Eternal City of Rome, lies this majestic, medieval hamlet—the epitome of a fairytale castle. The completely renovated, 5-star Castello Orsini is comprised of several spacious buildings, each marrying its rich history, antique furnishings, and timeless charm with modern-day comforts and lavish amenities. Traditional Italian dishes crafted with local produce hail from its central restaurant (with numerous areas for indoor and al fresco dining), while picturesque gardens, a heated outdoor pool, and panoramic views of the Tiber Valley allure just beyond the castle walls.
INSIDER TIPThe castello offers a sweet and savory buffet breakfast daily, along with on-property cooking classes and olive oil tastings available on request.
In the heart of Chiantishire stands this classically-restored medieval village and monastery—occupying the top of a high hill among vast stretches of vineyards, chestnut forests, cornfields, and towering Cypress trees. Castel Monastero features 74 contemporary-yet-rustic rooms and suites, along with one villa, a fitness center, and two sophisticated restaurants: one housed in the XIII century cellar, the other owned by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay—both serving gourmet local cuisine and fine wines.
The castle’s location invites exploration of neighboring Tuscan towns, including charming Siena and medieval San Gimignano. And when relaxation is in order, a luxurious full-service spa and two outdoor swimming pools await.
INSIDER TIPDuring fall months, an experienced hunter and his keen-nosed dogs lead truffle-hunting excursions through the property’s surrounding fields and woods.
Il Castello di Bibbione
WHERE: San Casciano in Val di Pesa
Before this farmhouse property was making married couples’ dreams come true as a magical wedding venue, Il Castello di Bibbione, situated between Florence and Siena, was the centerpiece of a medieval village dating back to the 9th century. A panoramic terrace, charming courtyard, and Romanesque church at the foot of the castle create an unforgettable setting for special events. Looking to relax? Guests seeking the ultimate Tuscan wellness retreat come here for its sensational full-service spa and picturesque infinity pool overlooking the rolling hills of Chianti. Stylish accommodations—appointed with antique furniture, kilim carpets, and present-day comforts—range from deluxe apartments to a roomy four-bedroom villa.
INSIDER TIPMore than 200 acres of farmland surround the castle and guests can organize tastings of the exceptional Chianti Classico and extra-virgin olive oil produced there.
Castello San Marco Hotel and Spa
WHERE: Calatabiano in Catania
Located on the east coast of Sicily, near Taormina, is this 17th-century baroque castle set in a 10-acre park. After extensive restorations, the Murabito family opened the ancient residence’s doors to visitors several years ago. Today, Castello San Marco Hotel and Spa includes 28 elegant garden suites dispersed around the main castle structure, along with a top-of-the-line spa offering a variety of rejuvenating treatments. Throughout the property, refined details—think lava-stone arches, stately fireplaces, and opulent chandeliers—pay tribute to its historic past.
Families and couples flock to this boutique beach hotel to unwind. It’s easy to spend a whole day lounging by the sizable swimming pool or under an umbrella on the private beach, then cooling off with a drink at the beachside bar before dinner at Mastri Flavetta restaurant.