Torre di Moravola

Montone, Umbria & Le Marche, Italy
Book from GBP Book from £319 per night

Torre di Moravola

Montone, Umbria & Le Marche, Italy

A remote and magical medieval watchtower with 360º views over ancient hills, restored with super-sleek 21st-century design

A remote and magical medieval watchtower with 360º views over ancient hills, restored with super-sleek 21st-century design

The project of architect Christopher Chong and his designer wife Seonaid Mackenzie, Moravola is the result of years of hard slog and an extraordinary shared vision. The bones of this 10th-century Umbrian watchtower – built to protect the hill town of Montone and once inhabited by knights – have been carefully restored to their former glory, while inside the space has been transformed.

Concrete, glass and travertine stone dominate in seven bedrooms, their monastic simplicity and sleek, architectural details complementing the medieval vibe. Overlooking the Carpini valley where St Francis of Assisi roamed, it’s hard not to slip into hyperbole about the views. Wizened olive trees grow on vertiginous hillsides, thick forests that once hid bandits now thrum with birds and wild boar... indeed the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a shepherdess here. Moravola is a perfect retreat for starry-eyed couples or large groups of friends who can make as much noise as they like. Christopher and Seonaid produce delicious local food and have a relaxed, house-party approach to hosting guests.


  • Peace, beauty and history steeped in every inch of wild, green, mountainous Umbria, still untouched by the Chiantishire tribes
  • Moravola is its owners: Seonaid and Christopher are energetic hosts for whom nothing is too much trouble; I got married here, and it all went beautifully
  • A seamless blend of ancient and modern: a cantilevered glass Juliet balcony, landscaped terraces, sleek pavilions, a stone fire pool
  • The Main Tower sSuite with its mezzanine walkway and private terrace
  • The spectacular views and sunsets; a sense of being removed from reality


  • If you’re not a fan of fuss-free design or minimalism, this isn’t for you
  • Service is friendly to a fault but slightly haphazard – there are no swarms of staff or room service
  • Moravola is isolated (a plus in itself but you’ll need a car), and hard to find. The hilltop road leading there is either exhilarating or hair-raising depending on your disposition!
  • We have yet to see the latest additions in person but they look amazing

Best time to go

We visited in December, May and August. All seasons have their charms: winter at Moravola means snowy hikes and roaring fires, but spring and summer are best - sunny but not too hot, though avoid August if you want to sightsee. Montone hosts several festivals. Visit in May for the Festa della Forgiatura, or blacksmith’s festival, in July for the film festival, founded by ex-Monty Python Terry Gilliam, and in August for the Donazione della Santa Spina, Montone’s medieval festival. October is a good time for mushrooms, truffles and wild boar hunting. If you're here for Christmas, head to Città di Castello on Christmas Eve where a group of canoeists, each dressed as Father Christmas, paddle down the river, under a bridge decoarted with a crib, and then get out and distribute small presents to the children.

Our top tips

A week here is ideal. Moravola is tricky to find and its charms should be savoured slowly.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 7 rooms + suites
  • Restaurant (open daily)
  • Under 2s and over 14s welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym


The 7 rooms and suites are each unique but share features - grey Pietra Serena stone floors, concealed lighting, kingsize beds elevated on wooden platforms, a smattering of antiques, white armchairs and neutral soft furnishings. Thick stone walls ensure rooms are cool without the need for noisy air conditioning.

Bathrooms are ultra-modern with sunken stone bathtubs, marmorino plaster walls, glass screened power showers and fluffy robes; decadent stuff.

Designed as mini towers, the West, East, North and South Tower Suites have downstairs bathrooms and bedrooms reached via steel floating staircases. We loved the West Tower Suite with its blue cushions and brown silk eiderdown, small writing desk and flower-framed balcony. The South Tower Suite is very big, with a downstairs seating area and space enough for families upstairs. The one-level room is the West Suite, on the first floor; L-Shaped with a terracotta plastered bathroom.

The Main Tower Suite is at the very top of Moravola’s central glass staircase and occupies the whole upper tower. Entered via low wood doors, a modular sofa and fluffy white rug sit in front of an original fireplace, while several feet above your head, a metal balustrade runs around the tower. Vertigo sufferers should avoid the climb to look through the archers’ windows. A small bedroom leads off the main living area, and through a skylight above the bed we watched shooting stars at night, and in the morning, swifts scuttling across the glass. There's a vast dressing room under the eaves with its own terrace, and the bathroom has a huge stone tub, rain shower and medieval-style trapdoor-covered loo!

We have yet to see recent addition, the Forest Spa Suite which has more of an Asian aesthetic, and is set apart from the original buildings surrounded by woods with long views over the valley. The suite has a decked courtyard and small oval pool, a hammam and a sauna.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • In-room treatments available
  • WiFi


Moravola follows the Slow Food principle and ingredients are sourced locally; food is simple but delicious. Breakfast is included and lunch and dinner is by request. If you’re taking over the tower, meals can be worked out in advance.

Breakfast (included) consists of breads, cakes and pastries, prosciutto and cheese, fresh fruit, muesli and homemade jams, as well as a number of cooked options; it's taken on the East Terrace. Lunch, eaten beneath the viewing pavilion by the herb garden, is light antipasti or a bowl of pasta - we enjoyed a traditional pasta with wild boar sauce the day before our wedding (supposedly providing the groom with ‘strength’!)

Dinner could be roasted suckling pork (porchetta) seasoned with herbs from the garden or delicious lasagne. There's no charge for bottled water, either at poolside or tower grounds, or for teas and coffees throughout the day, which is handy.

If you want to eat out, the delicious and reasonably priced Erba Luna restaurant in neighbouring Montone is a picturesque spot; its terrace hugs the town walls. If you don't have a car, the owners will ferry you to and from if they're free.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Vegetarian options


  • Swim in the dark-tiled, 25m infinity pool or lie in the sun and read
  • Take a yoga session under the stone pavilion at the end of the pool or have a holistic massage in the spa, treatments are inspired by Roman techniques
  • Have a sundowner in the sunken seating area by the fire pool - swallows score the twilight, flames dance across the surface of the dark pool and the valley falls away beneath you
  • The medieval cathedral of Assisi (which holds the remains of St Francis), and the hill towns of Perugia, Citta de Castello and Gubbio are easy day trips
  • Explore Montone. The local walled hilltop town with winding, vertiginous cobbled streets has existed since 800AD
  • A nature reserve surrounds the tower - keep an eye out for wild boar and deer, hoopoe, golden oriole and falcons, and listen for owls and nightingales
  • Take a bird’s eye view of the area with a microlight flights, or hike, bicycle and horse ride through the surrounding woods and valleys; all can be arranged by Seonaid and Christopher
  • Moravola can also arrange for guests to go foraging for wild mushroom and porcini, with picnics in the woods and followed by cooking lessons in the evening. Or guests can collect olives from the groves to take to the stone ground mills followed by olive-oil tasting in the evening
  • Accompany Seonaid to the small Madonna del Confini church near Moravola and see the clearing above the church where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a shepherdess
  • Your visit could coincide with one of the many cultural festivals in the area: Medieval Music, Opera Orvieto, Umbria International Jazz Festival (July/August), Umbria Film Festival (first week of July in Montone itself when the tiny medieval square is transformed into an open-air cinema)
  • Art courses can be arranged on demand with visiting artists who lead the classes; groups can be taken to medieval villages in the mornings, or can paint on the terraces at Moravola if they prefer

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Art classes
  • Birdwatching
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Wildlife
  • Yoga


To preserve the peace for other guests, kids between 2 and 14 years are not accepted unless the whole property is booked. Extra beds, baby cots and baby monitors are all available for babies and older children, however.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available


Babysitting available by arrangement

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:


Torre di Moravola is 10 minutes' drive from the medieval village of Montone in Umbria, central Italy.

By Air:
The nearest airport is Perugia (50km). Rome and Florence airports are approx 2.5 hours away; Bologna Forli airport is a 3-hour drive. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.

From the Airport
Torre di Moravola offers transfers from Perugia, and can arrange pick-ups from Bologna, Rome and Florence - see Rates.

By Train:
If you'd prefer to travel overland from the UK, you can reach Umbria quite easily from London. The nearest station is at Umbertide, 6km from Montone. Trains run from Perugia to Umbertide. Visit the excellent Seat 61 for information about train travel from the UK.

By Car:
Most guests hire a car for their visit - see our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through

More on getting to Italy and getting around


  • Perugia 40.0 km PEG
  • Rome - Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino 245.0 km FCO


  • Beach 150.0 km
  • Shops 10.0 km
  • Restaurant 10.0 km

Rates for Torre di Moravola

Arriving on: