After about five years of gestation, Castello di Reschio opened its doors this spring. (An opening in 2020 was delayed by COVID; a deflating measure much needed at the time, but one that turned out to be a blessing – lavender and rosemary plantations had time to grow, and the entire project had time to breathe.) With just 36 rooms, the imposing structure has somehow cultivated an intimate atmosphere. We did indeed see Antonio later that evening, strolling among the guests who had gathered in the courtyard to sip a Campari aperitif or a house gin. The main entrance to the castle itself is through a mud flower arrangement station, perhaps the most elegant residence ever built for Wellington boots, the floor littered with Queen Anne’s lace and rose petals. sunflower.
But there is also a surprising grandeur in the architecture, most notably a wrought-iron greenhouse structure that surrounds part of the castle courtyard and is filled with mossy palm trees. While not an explicit feature, each piece has a story, Benedikt told me, a subtle inspiration. We stayed in the “aviator” room, decorated with photos of his Polish grandfather, a WWI pilot. In what was once the wine cellar and is now “The Bathhouse” – the Castello’s spa – you can bathe in a tub full of picked flowers, relax like a Roman in an underground tepidarium (a version warmer than a sauna) or, as I did later in the day, submit to a soft, dry brush with a copper-bristled paddle against the background of what sounds like distant vespers. Imposing Andalusian horses are gathered in the stables, ready for a ride, while well-maintained tennis courts perch above the elegant oval swimming pool.
The whole place feels like something brought about by the relentless pursuit of a particular vision: to integrate history harmoniously, without sacrificing comfort, and to accomplish everything with a rigorous commitment to sustainability. The pasta you eat for dinner is made from eggs harvested from on-site chickens and wheat flour harvested on the property and ground in a nearby water mill. When Reschio’s team couldn’t locate a coffee machine that disposed of all plastic, they went back to the people who had set up the machine for the main bar and asked them to invent one. Now an elegant chrome number buzzes in every room (now, at all times, the right temperature for a perfect doppio), compostable sachets of ground espresso are ready. Just before we left on our last morning, we put the machine to the test and sipped our espressos on the turret balcony right next to our room – lord and lady of the landscape, if only for a few moments of more.