Silvano Ceirri, Castiglione del Lago’s one-time Minister of Culture, and his wife Giovanna bought this house inside the castle-fortness walls of Castiglione del Lago in 2006, in hopes of giving their daughter and her fiancée a home. In 2009, when they realized their daughter had other plans, they started to restore the building that today is ANTICA GABELLA B&B.
With low ceilings that are not necessarily Castiglione del Lago typical, the Ceirri’s have carved the house up into several apartments. It’s a comfortable space that has hosted everyone from the support staff for a Hindu wedding, to movie stars, and a large Argentinian family whose patriarch had been born in Castiglione del Lago and who had brought his family to see the town on what would now be called a heritage tour.
Giving visitors a sense of history was front of mind for Giovanna when she was on the fun hunt for décor to complement the many furnishings she inherited from her Siennese parents when they passed. The coat of arms prominently displayed on the wall will likely grab your attention. Giovanna explains that its symbolism captures the history of two families joined into a clan—Colonia della Corga. The corga is referencing the name of a tree ,and the column being the same main family that ran the palace (castle-fortress) that is at the center of Castiglione del Lago.
In and around these historic antique touches is a very comfortable and practical living room and kitchen space.
Bright and cheerful Giovanna comes up in the morning to further add to the spread with fresh baked goodies, cheese, meats and eggs. If you are lucky you will also get Brioche and Biscotti –not the food but rather two tiny yelping dogs of said names who cling to Giovanna’s arms like canine bouquets, albeit yelping ones.
Antica Gabella B&B is a Better Way to Meet the Locals
The Ceirris expect to be getting some of the overflow crowd from a 5-star hotel slated to open in Castiglione del Lago soon. Our tip is to skip any big corporate chain and instead stay with the locals.