Have you ever wanted to indulge your inner princess and stay in a castle? I admit I have! As a child I’d pretend I was Cinderella, trapped in my parents house as I unloaded the dishwasher. I sat glued to the tv like millions of others as commoner Kate Middleton married her real life prince and waved to the world from Buckingham Palace. And I’ve dragged Tim to countless castles on our travels. So I couldn’t wait to stay at the 12th century medieval Castello di Petroia that dominates a hill overlooking the Chiascio valley in Umbria.
We felt like true castle-dwellers as we settled into our suite with period furniture, paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries, antiques, and a cozy stone fireplace in the sitting room. Each room and suite at Castello di Petroia is uniquely decorated and have a very romantic whirlpool bath, perfect for soaking while sipping Umbrian wine. Our suite had such a luxurious atmosphere and was toasty warm. I always expected castles to be drafty, though I suspect modern heating and electricity have something to do with it.
Wandering the tiny cobbled “street” to the two courtyards inside the castle’s defensive walls, we were met with stunning views over the Chiascio valley. A late fall and so far mild winter had even left some of the trees with their fall colors still clinging to the branches.
Castello di Petroia’s tower, the oldest part of the castle built in the year 1000, stands majestically in the central courtyard. It was fully restored in 1986 and now is a very special room. Or rather, three rooms each on their own level leading up a balcony with sweeping views over the area. The tower was occupied by another guest during our stay, so we couldn’t take a peek.
Following a path outside of the defensive walls, we wandered through the olive groves on the castle grounds. Emma enjoyed running about and we had to distract her from the very inviting pool with a game of fetch. Had it been summer, Emma would have had the right idea because it would be a beautiful spot to lounge poolside! As the early winter sun began to set, the Umbrian countryside burst into a sea of colors.
We enjoyed a candlelit dinner in Castello di Petroia’s ancient Accumandugi Hall in front of the roaring fireplace. We asked for a local Umbrian wine wine dinner and at the suggestion of the maître d’, we shared a bottle of Divina Villa Trasimeno Gemay 2009. It paired perfectly with a delicious meal. The menu changes depending on ingredients available and the season, but in the winter you can expect the highly prized truffles of the area to make an appearance.
I had the pappardelle pasta with black truffles and wild boar sausages and Tim had Umbrian sausages with grapes as our first course. A filet of Chianina (a type of white cow in the region) beef with mushrooms and pork filet with cognac and pink peppercorns followed. A flaming crème brûlée was a sweet finish to an absolutely spectacular meal!
Know Before You Go
- In winter, room rates start at €110 per night. In high season, room rates start at €140 per night. Breakfast is included.
- Castello di Petroia’s restuarant is open nighly from 8pm – 10pm.
- Castello di Petroia is located just 25 kilometers from Perugia airport, but is only reachable by car. The GPS coordinates are N 43°13.987′ – E 12°33.954′
Thank you to Castello di Petroia for hosting us during our stay. As always, all opinions are entirely our own.