Decorated with artworks and custom-designed tiles, this is a stylish three-bedroom apartment with wonderful sea views in the heart of medieval Gaeta, a quintessential Italian small town.
How would you describe Corte della Maestà in a nutshell?
Atop a tuft of volcanic rock sits Cortella della Maestà, a luxury boutique hotel with only five suites. It is a very intimate accomodation, in spectacular surroundings, overlooking Calanchi valley. The village was founded about 2,500 years ago, can only be reached by a pedestrian bridge and in recent history has risen from almost being forgotten. It is such an inspiring and resourceful hotel, perfect to work in silence or as a quiet base for excursions out into its surrounding of italian art and glamour.
Please tell us a bit about Corte della Maestà.
The archbishop of the area used to live here up to 1684, which was the year of a tremendous earthquake. That was the end of the Civita as a place of strategic power of the church of St. Peters. From then on and for the next two centuries, it was a place dedicated to becoming a priest. Corte della Maestà is a part of my house. It has got its own garden and everything is totally divided, but originally it was the same building. When guests are in the hotel, they are part of my home, and my life.
What was your inspiration to open a small boutique hotel?
What I was looking for was a beautiful place to write in silence. I write in the chapel of the archbishop’s old place which was built in exactly 1500. A very close friend of mine, Giuseppe Tornatore, is a film director. He won the Oscar for Cinema Paradiso. He asked us if we had finished restoring the place because he wanted to have a meeting there for his new movie. So we opened Corte della Maestà to friends first and moved on from there until it became a small luxury hotel.
How would you describe the atmosphere of Corte della Maestà?
We’re in a natural place surrounded by art and glamour. The idea is to take a little trip to a hidden Italy in terms of its culture, past and history, and our real roots, which are beauty, music, good food & wine, as well as the pleasure to share a table together.
What made you fall in love with the village of Civita?
The first time I was here was because of a patient of mine. During the therapy, she asked me to come up to see her. I’m from Venice originally and went to Rome 30 years ago, so at that time especially I didn’t really know the region here. I went during the winter when it was raining, and when I was coming up on the bridge, I thought it was incredible. I was looking for a place where my father could come see me and where my daughter could grow up happy. That place was Civita.
How long would you recommend guests stay?
One night is not enough, of course, so I would recommend a few nights. Also, if people want to work two or three days in total silence with no distractions and total privacy, this is the place.
What's been the biggest reward to you personally renting out Corte della Maestà to guests?
It’s interesting to hear that everybody who has visited Corte della Maestà, even if only for one night, always states that they will be back. That’s been the greatest, warmest reward for me.