From ghost village due to the abandonment of land and housing, a model village restored and transformed through careful and accurate architectural recovery. We are in Castel del Giudice, in the province of Isernia on the border between Abruzzo and Molise, where thanks to three projects supported by local residents, administrators and entrepreneurs, Borgotufi has risen, the rural core of the village with barns and stone houses that fell in pieces.
The second life of Castel del Giudice
Here the old stables have been recovered with anti-seismic criteria, furnished in a simple and comfortable way and transformed into elegant little houses for the guests of the widespread hotel, gathered around the square overlooking the valley.
But the rebirth of the village that looks like a small crib perched on the hill, an extraordinary example of spontaneous architecture, is only the first of three recovery projects in this area of unspoiled beauty that deserves to be discovered.
The countryside all around, thirty-five hectares of disused agricultural land, has been recovered and transformed into an organic apple orchard. And the producer company, the Melise, is a shared participation by citizens, private investors and administration.
The third project concerns the former school which, abandoned for thirty years, has become a health care residence, the only one in the region, which also hosts elderly people from other parts of Italy.
Returning to the hotel, where we were guests in one of the houses covered in local stone, was inaugurated in 2016 and is a destination for those who want to enjoy peace and relaxation, as well as outdoor activities such as rafting on the river Sangro and trekking on naturalistic circuits between the national parks of Maiella and Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise.
The peculiarity of Borgotufi is that of combining the past with the present and the second life of Castel del Giudice also contributing to the restaurant and the spa available to the one hundred guests that the hotel can accommodate.
The chef’s special of Alessandra Di Paolo, a young chef trained at Niko Romito Formazione, are based on local products and vegetables such as organic apples or white truffles, cheeses and typical local game.
We, in the restaurant room furnished in an essential and elegant and at our complete disposal, we tasted the cream of organic potatoes and apples, with porcini mushrooms and crispy bacon, the artichoke scented with mint oil on pecorino cheese fondue, the ricotta cheese tortelli sheep, cream of walnuts and truffles and the capocollo of pork with Avezzano mashed potatoes. On the menu zero meter we wanted to taste the Tintilia, a full-bodied wine with a ruby red color and fruity scents, of the winery Di Majo Norante that honors this ancient native Molise grape, vinifying it in purity. The closure, sweet, we wanted to entrust it to a greedy millefeuille with berries.
Disposing of dinner is not a problem here. There are many itineraries on foot and by bike in the Maiella Park or in Abruzzo to travel with our four-legged friends and then there is the spa with gym, swimming pool, turkish bath, massage room. Regarding the excursions to the nearby villages rich in churches and castles, are generous of advice the kind boys who work in reception under the guidance of the hotel manager Giusy Trapasso who from the school of Castel di Sangro di Niko Romito left to work on the Amalfi Coast in Praiano, are generous of advice. and then return to the Molise mountains to offer a less obvious and more conscious tourism.
You sleep well in this village surrounded by nature and silence. And, in the morning, a rich and abundant breakfast with apple juices and jams, breads, cakes, biscuits and croissants prepared on site every day from the kitchen brigade and then Giusy’s last cuddles to Otto who loves hairy and has well two!