AUTHENTIC OLD ITALY
Accessible to 21st Century Vacationers
Benano was built over 1,000 years ago by people who felt the need to protect themselves. They built their village on top of a hill and around a church. For added measure, they built a wall around themselves.
That was then and this is now.
Today, because Benano’s wall keeps it small and peaceful, Rocca di Benano’s guests get to experience Italy as few tourists do. They live in a villa that sits on a tiny piazza and abuts that small church built so many centuries ago. After a day of exploring the best of Central Italy, they return to a village that retains the feel of a simpler time and a slower pace.
Benano’s walkways are too small for cars, so the final 100 feet to Rocca di Benano’s front door take our guests under the arched gate in the wall and through the village — a short walk that is like a step back in time. Our guests meet the neighbors who gather around a table in the piazza on summer evenings, sharing homemade wine and shelling peas. Watch our neighbors work the meticulously maintained olive grove on the facing hillside. And join the ladies of the village at the vendors who pull their trucks up to the village gate to sell fresh bread, fish, and produce.
The apparent sleepiness of the village belies a rich cultural calendar, the highlight of which is the annual festival honoring its patron saint, held the weekend closest to August 5. In addition, every Christmas, Benano’s version of the Chamber of Commerce puts up an ornate nativity scene. Also not to be missed are the annual chestnut roast (the 3rd Sunday in November) and a celebration of Saints Peter and Paul (the Sunday after June 29).
The annual festival is celebrated the first weekend of August
Some of the houses in Benano are weekend getaways for people who spend most of their time in Rome. One such neighbor, Alberto Spalletta, is a photographer who shot this video of the pageantry, tradition, and celebration of Benano’s annual festival:
WHAT OUR GUESTS SAY
About the village
Benano is a quiet and peaceful town. When you enter the walls, you immediately feel as though you’ve stepped back through time. The neighbors were so wonderful and welcoming, we immediately felt like part of the community.
Ann D., – Rockville, MD
We arrived at the villa and were immediately greeted by members of the small group of neighbors from the village of Benano. Each day provided new vignettes of daily life in Benano: the sunrise from my bedroom located on the top floor of the villa, the farmer making daily progress cultivating the hillside outside my bathroom window, the vibrant colors of flowers in pots displayed by each of the villas as well as the individual flower and vegetable gardens. My morning walk started with a significant incline that led to a beautiful meadow full of red poppies and views of a nearby castle.
Donna H., – Detroit, MI
It was a joy to exchange morning “buon giorno” with the friendly local residents and to mingle with those neighbors while buying wares from the merchants who come in trucks to sell their home grown products.
Roger H., – Anderson Township, OH
The old stone town is perched on a wooded hill with colorful residents, beautiful views, and cool evening breezes.
Judy T., – Peoria, AZ
The tiny walled village is beautiful and extremely tranquil. At night there is the quiet of the country side and the sky is clear and full of stars. Gorgeous vistas of olive groves, vineyards and other walled towns.
Bob S., – Cincinnati, OH
The view of the valley and Orvieto is breath taking. I loved walking the alley ways and seeing the other homes and gardens and finding the paths that lined the hillside where you could sit on the bench under the flowering trees and just contemplate the valley below.
Pat G., – Reston, VA