The Vibe: Travel through time, into another world and let yourself be enchanted.
The Area: Sitting at 1,250 meters above sea level in the Apennine Mountains, Santo Stefano di Sessanio is best explored by getting lost in the labyrinth of cobblestone alleys that creep around the village, catching glimpses of mountains and belltowers around every corner, and ducking under dozens of centuries-old archways. The hamlet’s many delightful small shops, art galleries, and cafés are tucked into ancient stone structures.
The DNA: The Sextantio is an “albergo diffuso”: rooms are dispersed along the narrow, cobblestone streets of the stunning hilltop village with most buildings dating back to the 13th-to 16th centuries. Everything has been done to preserve their character. Low ceilings, small windows, uneven walls blackened by age and smoke, dim lighting, and stiff, heavy wooden doors with large skeleton keys give guests a taste of humble living, along with old wobbly chairs, woodworm-scarred tables, and a few old jugs. Contemporary amenities have been hidden or elegantly integrated. The heating system, for instance, has been installed under the floors by removing and later replacing each stone in its initial location. In the rustic restaurant “Locanda Sotto gli Archi”, local ingredients are prepared into traditional dishes according to original recipes and, of course, is eaten from handmade ceramic plates and pottery.
Suite-Me-Up: Under picturesque archways and behind handsomely carved stone doorways, guests will enter incredible but simple quarters. Light seeps in through small protrusions in the stone walls, while working wood fireplaces provide extra heat in the winter. Designer baths and WCs, luxury handwoven bed covers and crisp white bed linens provide a stark contrast. On the second floor of the suite Loggette there is a small library with a fireplace where you can linger to enjoy a glass of homemade liqueur while you browse a good book on the sofa. Upstairs there is a large double bedroom with fireplace in front of the bed, with a hand-woven woolen blanket in antique Abruzzo design, and a separate bathroom with bathtub. A balcony overlooks the alleys of the village, while from the opposite window you can enjoy the view of the pine forest.
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 28 rooms, including 7 suites (25-50m2) (269-538 sq ft) • hotel opened: 2005 • architecture: Oriano Associati Architetti • bathroom amenities: custom ✅ free public parking • pets allowed • 24-hour front desk