One of the many (so many) highlights of a stay here is breakfast in the atmospheric kitchen, where, in front of a 17th-century walk-in fireplace, a handsome array of cakes, breads, fruits and cereals awaits. This vast and magnificent building sits on a hill between the mountains and the sea, one of a hamlet of houses beneath the castle with breathtaking views over Abruzzo. The owner continues her late husband’s dream, to create great wines for the region, aided by Valentina the manager, almost a member of the family herself. There’s a surprise around every corner, from the entrance courtyard with its ancient wavy brick floors to the elongated wine cellar with its hanging prosciuttos to the antique- and fresco-studded salons up on the first floor. Bedrooms vary in shape, size and flavour, the pièce de résistance hogging the top floor, its central bed (and bath tub to the side) once enjoyed by Gérard Depardieu. Every bathroom is state-of-the-art, every room is amazing. There are mountain bikes to borrow, hiking trails in the Majella, and wine tastings in the enoteca. We loved it.