Umbria, Italy

Aethos Saragano

Price per night from$97.11

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR83.53), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Scattered suites

Setting

Pastoral Perugia

Trade la vida loca for la dolce vita at Aethos Saragano in Umbria, a reimagined mediaeval village with suites set around a traditional square, cobblestoned streets, a bucolic backdrop and, the best bit, feudal Italian families for neighbours. The grassy green valley is on show at every turn, especially out on the terrace or from your balcony if you’ve booked sensibly, and there’s a pool on the hillside to keep the views coming while you swim. Each room has a dining area and kitchen, but with sequestered hilltop restaurants, creative cocktail bars and wood-fired-oven fare all a short drive away, feel free to use your stove for extra storage space instead.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A cocktail each on arrival

Facilities

Photos Aethos Saragano facilities

Need to know

Rooms

10, including four suites.

Check–Out

Noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £77.68 (€92), including tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates usually include breakfast.

Also

On the off chance you haven’t carb-loaded enough, book in for a cookery course and you’ll be able to keep making Ceci’s signature strangozzi, pici and pizza at home.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, gym with a personal trainer, yoga and meditation classes, library, archery, courtyard, herb garden. In rooms: air-conditioning, kitchen.

Our favourite rooms

It’s not complicated: for the most uplifting views of the sweeping valley, go for one of the Panoramic Balcony Suites, which do panoramas and balconies excellently. If there’s a few of you, book one of the two-bedroom suites.

Poolside

The olive-tree-edged pool is 100 metres down the hill, in the shadow of the village walls. It’s open for dips from 8am to 10pm (10.30am and 5pm for children under 14).

Spa

There’s no spa, but massages can take place in your room or outside if you’re feeling exhibitionistic.

Packing tips

Foraging-friendly footwear, wild mushroom identification guides and a taste for truffles.

Also

The Middle Ages architecture isn’t ideal for wheelchair users, and there are lots of steps around the property.

Children

Cots, highchairs and babysitting are all available on request. There are two-bed suites that are ideal for families, and a playground near the village, too.

Food and Drink

Photos Aethos Saragano food and drink

Top Table

It won’t come as a surprise: out on the terrace for ongoing pastoral-panorama ogling.

Dress Code

Fifty shades of green to match the leafy landscape.

Hotel restaurant

Ceci is a traditional Umbrian restaurant, with stone walls, wooden beams and, of course, a terrace for showcasing the spectacular surroundings. It’s intimate and romantic, and that’s before you’ve set foot outside. The chef uses produce from her own kitchen garden, as well as ingredients sourced from sustainability-focused local farmers, in recipes that include handed-down famiglia favourites. Expect ricotta-stuffed courgette flowers with pancetta and lemon, hazelnut pappardelle, veal tartare and pork squared: slow-cooked loin with guanciale.

Hotel bar

The bar has a selection of local wines, including those made in neighbouring Montefalco. And forget IPA – around here, it’s all about IGA (that’s Italian grape ale).

Last orders

Breakfast hours are 8am to 10.30am. Ceci is open for dinner every day except Monday, between 7pm and 11pm. From Friday to Sunday, lunch service is available at midday until 2.30pm. The bar is open from 9am to 11pm, except on Sundays.

Room service

Dishes from Ceci’s menu can be ordered to your room.

Location

Photos Aethos Saragano location
Address
Aethos Saragano
Frazione Saragano
Gualdo Cattaneo
06035
Italy

The hotel is in a mediaeval Umbrian village, on the edge of a valley and a short drive south of Perugia.

Planes

It’s an hour and a half by car to Rome. The hotel can arrange airport transfers on request. Perugia’s airport is a 30-minute drive north, but there are fewer direct and daily connections to this hub.

Trains

The nearest train station is Folignano, just over 20 minutes away by car – a hotel transfer can be arranged for a fee if you’d like one.

Automobiles

A car will come in handy for exploring this remote, rolling landscape and its many hilltop villages and restaurants. Free parking is available at the entrance of the village.

Worth getting out of bed for

You’ll only have to stand on the terrace to realise why Umbria gets called ‘Italy’s green heart’. And, at this mediaeval-village hotel, guests can live like a local of this verdant valley: play dairy farmer with a visit to an old cheese factory and learn how to make ricotta, mozzarella, scamorza or pecorino; head out with the chef in search of truffles; or forage in the forest for mushrooms and wild herbs. Staff can sort hot-air-balloon rides, hiking routes, Vespa rentals and guided horseback rides. The hotel team can also arrange pottery and painting classes, archery and fletching lessons, cookery courses and trips to local wineries that double up as art installations, such as Tenuta Castelbuono. For a slightly more surreal experience, don’t miss La Scarzuola, an abandoned monastery turned crazed architectural compound, an hour away by car.

Local restaurants

For more mediaeval mealtimes, head to Il Grottino in hilltop Gualdo Cattaneo, to enjoy classic Umbrian cuisine and preserved ramparts and castles. Choose from a table inside by the crumbling stone walls of the Teatro Romana in Bevagna at Redibis, or sit out under the flower-threaded arch in the garden. In Montefalco, Alchimista has food that’s as elaborate as its wine collection; and in Todi, all Italian cookery tropes are present and correct at Osteria Basico, namely: a wood-fired oven and house-made pasta, along with an open fire for flame-grilling the meat.

Local bars

If you thought rural places don’t do cocktail bars, you clearly haven’t met Spagirico Lab at Borgo Antichi Orti in Assisi – the ‘lab’ in its name should give a good indication of the alchemy at work. In Bevagna, Le Barbatelle is a cosy wine bar with aperitivo-hour snacks that mean business.

Reviews

Photos Aethos Saragano reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in Umbria and unpacked their truffles and tagliolini, a full account of their bucolic break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Aethos Saragano

Were it not for an overly enamoured airline boss, the tiny Umbrian village of Saragano may have stayed hidden away in the hills of central Italy. He stumbled upon it and was so taken that he gradually started buying properties as they came up for sale (priest houses, apartments) and over time created Aethos Saragano. The village is still home to a dozen or so families and they’ll treat you like one of their own: visitors are embraced for chats in the village square, where the elderly locals sell their vegetables and go about their daily lives, happy to see foreigners discovering their remote dwelling.

It’s now part of an albergo diffuso: a series of suites and apartments, spread around the village and its several-centuries-old square. The take-your-breath-away terrace provides regular pastoral panoramas, and each room has its own kitchen, living area (many with a fireplace) and dining space, so you can basically move in (spoiler: you’ll want to).

Sustainability points are scored for repurposing a Middle Ages hamlet, which may have otherwise soon fallen into disrepair. The main feature of most stays, as in most trips to Italy, will be enjoying the amazing local produce, whether that’s foraged truffles and mushrooms from the surrounding forests, or literally just-set cheese from a local ricotta source. And if the terrace isn’t enough for admiring Umbria’s endless green (unlikely), just head up in a hot-air balloon. We’re glad the aviation chief made his serendipitous discovery – and you will be, too.

Price per night from $97.11

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