Vocabolo Moscatelli | Design Hotel in Calzolaro, Umbria, Italy | The Aficionados

Design Native

Vocabolo Moscatelli | Design Hotel in Calzolaro, Umbria, Italy | The Aficionados
The modern eye of Jacopo Venerosi Pesciolini of studio Archiloop in Florence has woven the gravitas of the stone-clad monastery patina with a multifaceted design manifesto

Intro

A land of rich Umbrian history and rural tradition whispered through ancient oak forests, gnarled vineyards and Mediterranean landscaping is the backdrop to 12th century monastery-turned design hotel Vocabolo Moscatelli. A sensory solace, the evocative surrounds resonate with sun-warmed lavender, pine and rosemary, colliding with the grace and sacral beauty of the chunky, 800-year-old monastery walls. The flagship bell tower still stands, whose peal once rang out to announce prayer across Calzolaro. 

The modern eye of Jacopo Venerosi Pesciolini of studio Archiloop in Florence has woven the gravitas of the stone-clad monastery patina with a multifaceted design manifesto, which keeps original floors wooden, terracotta brick work exposed, ceilings beamed and natural materials in their element: brass, iron and stone. On top of this is a steadfast respect for local craft and the part they play in Umbrian design - Vocabolo Moscatelli brings together the stone mason, blacksmith and wood worker with the artisan makers: ceramicists, tile makers and painters creating a boutique style canvas that plays homage to the past while bringing in the design references of the now.

A travertine swimming pool colour matched with the surrounding forests, a vegetable-forward restaurant where meat is the side dish and the centrally located brass and terracotta bar serving mixologist-made cocktails are all part of Vocabolo Moscatelli’s soulful tapestry. Threaded smoothly together, the effect is a template of rustic simplicity with heart. It feels very liveable, surrounded by the markers of the Umbrian good life – food, wine and nature – pockmarked with design credentials including glazed terracotta tiles by Cotto Etrusco, outdoor furniture by Paola Lenti, the Mediterranean garden landscaped by Fabiano Crociani and lighting by Flos and Davide Groppi.

Notably, Vocabolo Moscatelli only has a mere 12 bedrooms, each a sizeable space, dusted with a unique colour palette and one-of-a-kind objects like the black egg-shaped bathtub for two and handmade canopy beds, meaning Vocabolo Moscatelli creates a remarkable sense of exclusivity for the lucky few – an access all areas to that covetable dolce vita.

Rooms

Vocabolo Moscatelli | Design Hotel in Calzolaro, Umbria, Italy | The Aficionados

Although Vocabolo Moscatelli is a capacious property, one of its joys is the limit of just 12 suites. For a property this size, this conscious scaling back of the footfall tells you everything about the kind of hotel it is. The focus is very much on the quality of experience, and this can be seen in every detail. Eight of the bedrooms are in the main villa, and four in the grounds, and all of them with their own distinct presence, based on a combining fusion of Italian heritage, mid-century furnishings, commissioned artwork and unique details such as the glazed handmade glazed tiles in the bathrooms, by local Umbrian company Cotto Etrusco.

Special mention has to go to the Bridal Suite which has a vast bathing tub for two, round canopy bed and private garden, all set to a manifesto of monastic chic, found in the beamed ceiling and peek-a-boo windows, set in the thick, sacred walls. The Spa Suite also stands out for its addition of sauna and jacuzzi secreted in the private garden.

Foodie

Vocabolo Moscatelli | Design Hotel in Calzolaro, Umbria, Italy | The Aficionados

Umbria is a foodie’s paradise, with its abundance of naturally sourced produce from truffles to lentils, olives and honey amongst many others. Chef de cuisine Luca, celebrates this wealth with a menu influenced by Umbria’s rustic gastronomy sourced from the land. With gentle handling, fruit and vegetables come to life, worked into traditional Umbrian dishes, where smaller portions of meat and fish become the sideshow including the region’s favourite: porchetta. 

Before dinner (or at any time) enjoy an expertly crafted cocktail at Matite made from locally sourced spirits, sitting at the bespoke terracotta-and-brass bar that is centrally located to invite social conversation. Enjoy dinner al fresco, in the conservatory or in the cosy dining room. 

Location

Peaceful, unspoiled Umbria, the lesser-known sister to Tuscany, sits right into the heart of central Italy, equidistant from Florence and Rome. A land of verdant undulations, farmland and neat rows of vineyards, Umbria is dotted with hilltop medieval towns. Gubbio is cradled into the slopes of Mount Ingino, Assisi’s draw is Basilica di San Francesco, where famed Saint Francis of Assisi was born an died and Umbria’s capital is Perugia, a thriving university town with an annual jazz festival. There is also Lake Trasimeno for a dose of nature and wild swims.

Vocabolo Moscatelli is found near the hamlet of Calzolaro, which is just nine kilometres from the border with Tuscany. Explore the area on foot or by bike, hunt for truffles or take a pottery class in the chapel – no doubt inspired by the hand-crafted ceramics dotted around the hotel. 

Owners

Frederik Kubierschky | Catharina Lütjens | Owners of Vocabolo Moscatelli | Design Hotel in Calzolaro, Umbria, Italy | The Aficionados

With the weight of experience that comes with ten years as chief concierge in the five-star hotels of Switzerland, Frederik Kubierschky knows a thing or two about hotels and what makes a great guest stay. The answer? Giving guests freedom and choice, for example breakfast at Vocabolo Moscatelli can be taken at any time of day, to the monastery’s cosy-luxe ambience where guests feel at home but also able to make their own mark.

Hailing from Germany with an upbringing in Italy and a career in Switzerland, Frederik Kubierschky together with his partner Catharina Lütjens were looking for a plot of their own, to funnel their life experience into a heartfelt project. They found it at the greenery enclosed monastery, next to a rural and unspoilt corner of Umbria. The rest as they say…is history. 

editors PICK


Brücke 49 Herberge Vals - a small design guesthouse with luxury nordic style, Switzerland Brücke 49 Herberge Vals - a small design guesthouse with luxury nordic style, Switzerland
Guesthouse - Vals, Switzerland

Brücke 49


A fabulously humble basecamp of good design for kindreds of style, Brücke 49 is a collection of rooms, suites, studios and apartments in the high-in-the-mountains creative enclave, Vals.

read more
Durgerdam - Coastal Retreat close to Amsterdam  Sailing Boats| De Durgerdam | Luxury Boutique Hotel The Netherlands | The Aficionados Durgerdam - Coastal Retreat close to Amsterdam  Sailing Boats| De Durgerdam | Luxury Boutique Hotel The Netherlands | The Aficionados
Hotel - Durgerdam, Netherlands

De Durgerdam


Creativity, nature, heart, design, deep comfort and food fuse at this house hotel and restaurant on the other side of Amsterdam, along the wild shores of Durgerdam, 20 minutes from downtown.

read more
JOURNAL

Artfully Tamed: the garden designs of Fabiano Crociani


Mediterranean landscaping by Italy's top garden designers Fabiano Crociani, found throughout Tuscany and Umbria, including hotel Vocabolo Moscatelli.

read more
The Brecon | Luxury Design Hotel in Adelboden, Switzerland | New hotels 2024 The Brecon | Luxury Design Hotel in Adelboden, Switzerland | New hotels 2024
Hotel - Adelboden, Switzerland

The Brecon


An adults-only newly opened hotel-chalet chameleon married to a curatorial melange of mid-century nostalgia and a dialogue of soft luxury perched in altitudinous Adelboden.

read more

RELATED


view more