Interior Design Helps Revive a Medieval Village: Monteverdi, Tuscany

Rejuvenation is the focus of this post today as I feel that one of the main driving forces behind the majority of interior design is rejuvenation in some capacity.

Let me explain further. The costs of renovating a hotel are such that it is not a project undertaken every year or even 5 years. I would refer to this kind of renovation as updating, or adapting to new trends as they emerge. However so many hotels may make do with the same design for decades meaning that when they do decide it is time to renovate I see this process as having moved past the point of updating and to the process of rejuvenation. One of the main issues with rejuvenation however is sensitivity. In a hotel which has had the same design ethos for 10 years or even 40 there are certain aspects which will have now become part of that hotel’s identity, be it a chain or an independent. Designers are in a constant battle, trying to bring in the new without ousting the good bits of the old.

This brings me on to the point of this post. Castiglioncello del Trinoro was once a medieval town close to ruin in a quiet area of Tuscany. American lawyer and law professor Michael Cioffi spent 4 years buying up and restoring buildings in this small hilltop village. The result of his efforts is  Monteverdi, which currently boasts three beautiful villas and a 7-room boutique hotel.

The sensitivity from the designer effortlessly integrating the ancient wooden beams and character of the building with the contemporary fixtures and fittings is truly breathtaking demonstrating a great deal of skill and understanding.

Personally I love this bathroom. The oversized square rain shower fitted to the beams almost seems to blend in, the perfect mix of old and new combining to create something quite extraordinary. The simplicity of the rest of the features in the bathroom only serves to draw the eye to this dramatic shower fitting.

You can probably begin to notice a theme here. The rejuvenation of this hotel is centred in the merging of so called modern fixtures with rustic elements of the original architecture. This can be seen again in this view of one of the bedrooms with the Italian canopy bed in white perfectly complementing the bare wood of the beams.

I felt like this project was worthy of comment due the the remarkable nature. You can see from these pictures that obviously no expense has been spared, however the rooms do not look overdone. In the pursuit of design excellence the attention to old details has not been forgotten. Beautiful old beams have not been covered with paint, modern fixtures do not look out of place. Yet you can tell that a great deal of work has gone into the design, every piece of furniture painstakingly chosen not just for its modern merits, but its ability to complement this old beautiful building.

Now you may ask that is this worthy of comment at all? Surely this sensitivity to the old is something that one would see anywhere in a Tuscan, or even Italian village and you may be right in saying so. However I feel that in many other examples of this one rarely gets the near perfect combination of old and new, something that I feel has really been achieved here.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published