In 2003, Michael A. Cioffi Jr. and his father were driving around the Val d'Orcia region of Tuscany on a vacation to Italy when they spotted an abandoned hilltop village called Castiglioncello del Trinoro. The following year, Cioffi's father, an American lawyer and law professional from Cincinnati, bought a building and decided to renovate it. That first renovation project sparked the revitalization of the entire village, which the Cioffi family has turned into a world-class destination consisting of rentable vacation villas, a restored 12th-century chapel, a farm-to-table restaurant, and a newly opened boutique hotel.
The Hotel Monteverdi opened Aug. 1 and went through an extensive renovation process to bring the fragile historic buildings up to modern-day standards.
"It would be an understatement to say the buildings were in ruins," Cioffi says. "The hotel was abandoned for almost a decade. Rooftops and walls were crumbling."
Under the guidance of architecture firm DA.studio and designer Ilaria Miani, the original hotel building was expanded to include a nearby property, which allowed the project to create seven large guestrooms. Each room is unique, with one-of-a-kind furnishings created by Miani and amenities such as king-size beds, flat-screen televisions, fireplaces, and garden suites.
"It was difficult to renovate the buildings because of the very strict Italian code requirements," Cioffi says. "But this is what makes Monteverdi different. We respected the requirements and created a place that reflects the original style of the buildings while providing modern amenities to our guests."
The property brought together local stonemasons and regional artisans to create an authentic Italian retreat. Local reclaimed wood, Tuscan flagstone, granite, and Carrara marble were some of the materials used to give each room a distinct appearance and bring the hotel to life.
The hotel is in addition to three villas at the Monteverdi site, which are available to rent on a weekly basis. These restored villas cater to family travelers and feature fully equipped kitchens, multiple bedrooms, wine cellars, and oversized marble bathrooms.
The Hotel Monteverdi is already experiencing positive feedback from guests and has plans to introduce an on-site restaurant in May of 2013. Further expansion plans for the hotel will also get underway in the next few years.
"We already have many 'sold-out' weeks," Cioffi says. "The location, equidistant between Rome and Florence, is perfect. Demand is strong."