Abruzzo is one of Italy’s hidden regions and contains some fascinating hill villages, many of which seem frozen in time, others simply deserted after World War 2 after being devastated by the Nazis. One of these deserted villages Santo Stefano is brought back to life in a huge restoration project with the ancient crafts included.

One part of the project is this amazing hotel where guests can see and experience the ancient styles of living. The building has been meticulously restored even to the extent of using the ancient tools of the master builders. No modern technology is used. The hand bed quilts use home spun wool on the old looms and weaved in the old Abruzzi tradition.

This hotel is one of Passion For Italy’s favourites and it is with great pleasure that we feature this hotel. The mighty bulk of the Gran Sasso massif oversees this area – two parallel mountain chains flanking a vast plateau littered with strange rock formations and shepherd’s huts. The Apennine’s very highest peaks are here, in all their awesome majesty, attracting large numbers of skiers and increasing numbers of skiers and increasing numbers of summer hikers.

Around Santo Stefano We Recommend…

Those interested in preserving old traditions, ancient restorative techniques and eating slow food will love staying in this amazing village perched high on a hill. The underlying ‘philosophy’ of the project can also be discovered in the cuisine, breakfasts served with country jams and marmalades, the fresh bread and home-made cakes, typical products and recipes of the surrounding mountainous areas.

The project for the restoration of this mediaeval village and the conservation of local craftwork traditions aims at preserving a precious cultural heritage and, thanks to various related commercial activities, supports sustainable economic growth throughout the entire territory.

Go treking in the countryside around Santo Stefano to Gran Sasso and in November you can go truffle hunting with the locals.

Go for a drive up to Grand Sasso Italy’s third highest mountain after the Dolomites. You can go skiing here in winter and in summer it is a beautiful drive with a view as far as the eye can see.