Imaginary landscape

Memories of a simple life.

Santo Stefano di Sessanio is a fortified medieval village. It is located in the mountains of Abruzzo at 1250 meters above sea level, inside the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga national park. The village is a classic example of an Italian medieval hill town, with perimeter walls encircling houses and squares. During the last century the “modernisation” of rural Italy compromised the architectural heritage of many of its countryside villages and towns.
But Santo Stefano, like many more remote Mediterranean mountain villages, was deserted when its impoverished inhabitants left in search of work. Paradoxically, the abandonment saved the town from architectural abuse."Historic hill towns are an essential part of the landscape of Abruzzo."-Daniele Kihlgren
Traces of peasant life

Traces of peasant life

Traditional handcrafts

Traditional handcrafts

Handmade Bedspreads

Handmade Bedspreads

Traces of peasant life preserved in the walls of the building.

Traditional handcrafts are reflected in the detail: natural colours, woolen mattresses; cribs and handmade bedspreads woven on traditional looms. The restoration involves the retention of the original use of the domestic buildings.

The project to conserve and revive Santo Stefano as an “albergo diffuso” involved a detailed plan to preserve the integrity of the village and its surrounding landscape. Working alongside local organizations such as the town mayor and the national park, we proposed special laws to prohibit any new construction. Our aim was to bring the village back to life and to welcome tourists,but without sacrificing Santo Stefano’s identity.

To retain Santo Stefano’s local character all modern technology is hidden.
We searched out original architectural materials, and our furniture and textiles are authentic items from the Abruzzo mountains.

We have preserved traces of bygone countryside life in the fabric of the buildings - symbols of hardship which evoke the spirit of ancient rural life.

Guest rooms & suites


Classic Room: Muro Torto

Superior room: La bianca

Superior room: bathroom

Modern Accommodation

29 unique and elegantly furnished rooms, ideal for business and leisure travellers.

The interior design of our rooms is inspired by pictures that Paul Scheuermeier, Swiss linguist, took in Abruzzo in the 20s of twentieth century.

To preserve the unity of the interior aesthetic-affective and avoid the over-use of contemporary elements, we used native objects, often stored in museums, and ancient and traditional local materials.

If you want to discover the deeper sense of a place, you have to sleep in a house of that place, not in an international hotel. Herman Hesse - On voyage

Tales from one of the most beautiful towns in Italy

This section is about all the beauties and the distinctive elements that can turn a stay at Sextantio into a special experience! We want to give you the opportunity to "foretaste" your holiday: a precious chance to go back in time and experience the traditional lifestyle of ancient times!

When the Medici family ruled in …

When the Medici family ruled in …

a village among the most beautiful in Italy Our beautiful village, among the most beautiful in Italy, which today is immersed in the serenity and silence of nature, was once a…