Albergo Diffuso Santo Stefano di Sessanio
On Monday, April 6, 2009, an earthquake reported at magnitude 6.3 occurred with an epicenter near L'Aquila, Abruzzo. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people and aid workers throughout Italy. Travelers planning to visit Abruzzo are advised to contact their hotels before departure for any news of closures or delays.
The town of Santo Stefano di Sessanio (population 116), in the mountainous central Italian region of Abruzzi, may seem an unlikely place to find a boutique hotel. But as part of a $6.5 million overhaul, Italian-Swedish philosopher and preservationist Daniele Elow Kihlgren recently turned a handful of 15th-century buildings into a rustic-chic 44-room inn, complete with a weaver’s atelier and an herbalist. In a nod to the area’s traditions, the emphasis throughout the Albergo is on local craftsmanship, from the olive-oil soaps in the bathrooms to the hand-woven bedcovers colored with native plant dyes. In creating the inn’s restaurant, “town elders” and an anthropologist were consulted for historical—and gastronomical—accuracy.