Rastrello Boutique Hotel: a Hidden Gem in the Heart of Italy
In the green heart of Italy, uncover the wonders of Rastrello Boutique Hotel, a renovated Palazzo rich in history on the border between Umbria and Tuscany. Read our interview with architect David Morini of Pellizzari Studio to discover a restoration project infusing a 500-year-old palazzo with contemporary design. Meet the Architect in a conversation with David Morini from Pelizzari Studio.
Time stands still at Rastrello Boutique Hotel, located in the fascinating Borgo of Panicale near Lake Trasimeno. Home to a medieval panorama, this Umbrian hamlet is nestled at the border with Tuscany, whose flourishing cypress vegetation contribute to the region's famed "green heart" denomination.
Embark on a treasure finder quest around the magical 'borgo' of Panicale and get lost in its numerous alleys, each leading to a different historic wonder. Look for the path to the Church of St. Sebastian, rising around a cobbled little piazza, and admire the famous dance of the archers portrayed in the fresco of the Martyrdom of San Sebastiano by the so-called 'divine painter' Pietro Perugino.
The surrounding area has more to offer than what meets the eye, such as the Glass Museum, a faithful reconstruction of an ancient glassmaking workshop, and the Tulle Museum, showcasing embroidered tulle artifacts from the 1500s.
The original arches framing sturdy wooden gates, decorated curled fences, and ever-reaching ivy spiraling up its walls are essential elements of the medieval Palazzo Grossi, completely renovated by Pelizzari Studio and home to Rastrello Boutique Hotel. The building captures the historical essence of the surrounding borgo and retains its splendor as a noble palace while playing with the surrounding palette of natural greens, browns and ocher.
Meet the Architect
Meet the architect David Morini, partner of Pelizzari Studio, in an exclusive conversation about the renovations on the historic Palazzo for the Rastrello Boutique Hotel.
At Pellizzari Studio, all projects are approached by integrating architecture with interior design, a formula made possible by its team of collaborators. What specifically attracted you to the Rastrello Boutique Hotel project?
The project “Il Rastrello” at Palazzo Grossi in Panicale has been a creative journey and learning experience for all of us - we took on the challenge with energy and curiosity. The building had been abandoned since the middle of the last century, so we had to intervene with a conservative restoration approach, improving the seismic features and inserting contemporary technology systems, always respecting the soul of the place without ever distorting its character.
The medieval Borgo di Panicale is one of the most fascinating and historically relevant places in Umbria. How did you approach the study of the area and the preservation of the surrounding architectural landscape? How did you select the materials and paid homage to Perugian craftsmanship?
Besides the recovery of the pre-existing architectural elements, our restoration intervention was free of any formal rigidity which would have stripped the structure of its distinct personality. We used a wide range of materials from the area, such as travertine and pietra serena, and combined them with eclectic, yet never impersonal, influences that have conferred an exclusive feel to the building as a whole.
Suspended on the Trasimeno plain and surrounded by the natural landscape distinctive of the area, a garden welcomes guests for breakfast in an atmosphere evoking a painting by Perugino. A restaurant with high tech features was also created to satisfy the most demanding palates with a selection of traditional dishes revisited by young and innovative chefs.
The interiors are decorated with what seems to be an intersection between the contemporary and the past. How did you convey this vision?
The approach to interior design was a direct outcome of the restoration plan, in which local artisanal materials were matched with contemporary design elements. There are seven rooms, each different from the other, and a suite: all are decorated with limited-edition furnishings and textures, expressly designed and chosen for their sensorial peculiarities.
The palazzo features a total of seven uniquely designed rooms, named after a series of elements relevant to the Panicale area: Leccino, Rosciolo, Pendolino, Vera, San Felice, Dolce Agogia, Frantoio, Moraiolo. Each space presents a completely different layout, ranging from exposed stone walls and wooden floors to vaulted ceiling beams and stunning lake views.
The interior design channels an unmistakable taste for the contemporary, using clean lines, essential wall art and neutral tones, while maintaining the untouched beauty of rustic doors and paint-brushed walls to recall the alcoves that once characterized the medieval palazzo. Complementing the seven rooms is the Guardiano Apartment, an intimate space specifically designed to accommodate guests enjoying the location for a week or longer stay.
Rastrello Boutique Hotel
Via Antonio Grossi, 10, 06064 Panicale PG