Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bob at Castello di Monterado

This was our splurge of the trip and totally worth it! This castle bed and breakfast is run by a young couple, Orlando and Kira. It's been in Orlando's family for a few hundred years, and he just opened it as a B & B last year. It's on a hill at the top of the small town of Monterado. When we arrived, Orlando greeted us and showed us around the vast grounds, which includes a woods specially planted many years ago by the family with nature paths, as well as many manicured gardens. Orlando also showed us around the inside of the castle, and introduced us to his grandmother, who was visiting him from Rome, where she currently lives. The outside, as amazing as it is, was nothing compared to the inside, which was filled with priceless antiques, artifacts, and art everywhere, and frescoed ceilings (restored withing the last 20 years) were in most rooms. The frescoes are by nineteenth century artist Corrado Corradi, one of the most reknown artists of Marche.

The castle's history begins in the middle ages, and was once owned by the Duke of Urbino. It was where Prince Maximillian de Beauharnais, nephew of Napoleon the 1st, chose to spend his honeymoon after the celebration of his marriage to the daughter of Czar Alexander of Russia. We stayed in the suite that was decorated by his commission!


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