The Estate of Antognolla and the serene and unspoiled countryside that surrounds it, allows one to live in the silence and beauty of nature while still enjoying close proximity to a wealth of medieval and renaissance art and architecture, lovely hilltop towns and villages, lively festivals, pageants, celebrations and an impressive variety of cultural events.
One of the many delights of Antognolla is watching the land transform with the changing seasons. From early spring through late summer the estate blooms with wild roses, orchids and berries, brilliant yellow broom and vibrant red poppies. Hundreds of hectares of oak and chestnut woods are home to wild asparagus in spring and porcini mushrooms and truffles in fall. Ancient olive groves can be found throughout the estate. Olives are harvested in late October and processed at the local molino, or olive mill, using a cold-press process and producing a fine extra-virgin olive oil which is available for purchase at the Estate’s restaurant, Il Caldaro.
Antognolla’s nature reserve, rich in both flora and fauna, comprises hundreds of hectares of meadows, hills, plains, ponds and streams. It is home to wild boar, porcupine, hare, partridge, pheasant and quail. The land offers a network of trails, making it a perfect setting for a leisurely stroll, challenging hike or as a venue for biking or horse-back riding!
Venture outside the estate and wherever you go, you are close to a wealth of medieval and renaissance architecture, art, culture and dazzling countryside in the gentle land where Saint Francis lived.
Il Caldaro Restaurant and Bar
The Estate’s full-service restaurant, Il Caldaro, is only 3 kms from Villa Piantoni. The restaurant offers both traditional Umbrian dishes and creative interpretations of Umbrian cuisine made with fresh local produce. Hand-made pizza is baked in a centuries old wood-burning oven. A variety of exceptional wines are available.
During the summer months, the outdoor dining terrace provides superb views of the golf course and castle. In cooler periods the interior of the restaurant with its open hearth and traditional design provides a comfortable and welcoming space for dining. Meals can be ordered for delivery or take-out
Il Caldaro is open every day for lunch and on Wednesdays through Sundays for dinner. For reservations, please call +39.075. 58.42.231 or +39.3184.108.40.2060
The clubhouse bar and café are open daily from 8 am to 7:30 pm.
According to legend, Lucius Antonius (brother of Marcus Antonius, famous for his association with Cleopatra) retreated with his soldiers to this area when defeated by Augustus in the siege of Perugia in 40 B.C. and hence the name Antognolla.
Based on the architectural structures of the Castle compound as well as the frescoes of the Saint Agatha Church and the Saint Ercolano crypt, the earliest traces of Antognolla date from about the 6th to the 11th centuries. Historical documents indicate that Antognolla was the site of a Benedictine monastery in 1174.
What led to Antognolla's transformation into a military complex is still unknown, but documents in Perugia dating from the thirteenth century describe the political and military accomplishments of the Antognolla family. Each additional construction reflects the Castle's involvement in the historical and political events of the era.
In 1380, the first registered census of towns and castles in the Perugian territory indicate that Antognolla was already a fortified complex of substantial size. It was during this period that defensive outposts were engineered to resist attacks, employing the most modern of artillery weapons, among them catapults and battering rams. In 1399, Pope Bonifacio IX declared Antognolla a feudal county and divorced it from Perugia. At this time it was placed under the direct jurisdiction of the Catholic Church, with Ruggeri of Antognolla assuming the title of Count.
Despite unsteady fortunes, the Antognolla family remained residents of the Castle until 1628 when the Castle was purchased for 22,000 escudos by Count Corneglio, of the noble "degli Oddi" family. The family proceeded to enlarge the Castle complex and rebuild the church, at which time the hidden crypt of Saint Ercolano was discovered.
Two hundred years passed before Antognolla changed hands again. In 1836, it became the property of the noble Roman Guglielmi family. Giovanni Battista Guglielmi set about improving the estate's agricultural techniques and as a direct result, the well-being of the farmers. By restoring and adding crenellations to the outside walls, adding a welcoming courtyard and planting gardens, Giovanni transformed the Castle of Antognolla into a peaceful country residence. Today you can still see frescoes undertaken by the Gugliemi family and the family coat-of-arms on many of the Castle walls.
Antognolla Castle Today
The Castel of Antognolla has been classified as a national monument by the Italian Ministry of the Environment. It is presently undergoing restoration and will begin a new chapter as a 5-star luxury hotel under the management of Four Seasons Hotel and Spa. The resort will include a championship golf course, spa, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, bars and restaurants.