27 February, 2012

A unique stay in a rustic Italian castle

I recently stumbled across a really rustic retreat, and if you like reading....today's location will be like heaven for you! Castello di Galeazza is forty minutes north of Bologna which is the closest airport if you're visiting from outside Italy. The oldest part of the Castle is the tower, which was built in the late 14th century, and new buildings have been added throughout the centuries. It is set up as a reading retreat; a place to relax, and concerts and art exhibitions are also held here.

Photos courtesy of Castello di Galeazza
The Castle is open all year round; has a large garden and is set in acres of private woodland. You will never feel that this place is overrun with people, as it can accommodate just ten guests - it's more like staying in your own personal castle! Guests comment on the 'rustic' nature of the castle, so don't assume you'll find fluffy bathrobes and televisions, but you can expect frescoed ceilings, and rooms with antique furniture. Oh....and teddy bears on your bed!

Photos courtesy of Castello di Galeazza
Meals at the castle are a communal affair, and your drinks and meals are included in the price. Everyone prepares meals and eats together, usually traditional Italian food and local wine. Guests who want cocktails or after dinner drinks are more than welcome to bring their own!

Photos courtesy of Castello di Galeazza
The facilities include the outstanding library, which has thousands of excellent books. There is also a CD collection, a piano, and a small fleet of old bicycles to use for exploring the local area. There are a few towns nearby if you fancy getting out to enjoy an ice cream, or just want a change of scenery.

Photos courtesy of Castello di Galeazza
While the location is peaceful and a superb place in which to relax, you can also easily do day trips to Florence; Venice and Verona by train making it a great base for exploring this part of Italy. While this is certainly not luxury castle living, neither do they charge 'luxury' prices. Perhaps this is the sort of retreat that we should all experience - why not get out of the rat-race, and travel back in time in a very unique and special way. If you'd like more information go to the Castello di Galeazza website here.

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