- 1 Overview of CastelBrando
- 2 How to Get to CastelBrando
- 3 History of CastelBrando
- 4 CastelBrando Accommodations
- 5 Things to do at CastelBrando
- 6 Eating at CastelBrando
- 7 My Honest CastelBrando Review
- 8 CastelBrando Review: FAQs
- 9 CastelBrando Review: Wrap-Up
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Imagine waking up in a castle that has been standing for over 1,000 years.
You open your eyes and look out your window to admire a breathtaking view of the Venetian hills, hear the rustle of the wind, and the sound of birds chirping outside your window.
This is not a fairy tale.
This is the reality of staying at CastelBrando, one of the most stunning hotels in Italy.
CastelBrando is not just a hotel; it’s a journey through time.
Don’t have time to read my whole review? I absolutely recommend you book a stay at CastelBrando. Whether you want a romantic trip for two, a beautiful retreat with friends, or solo getaway, you’re sure to enjoy your stay!
Nestled in the heart of the Prosecco Hills in the Veneto region, this castle has been meticulously restored to offer guests a unique and unforgettable experience.
From the moment you step through its imposing walls, you’re transported to a different era, one of knights, lords, and ladies.
I had an incredible opportunity to visit CastelBrando for a night, and my stay in this magnificent castle was excellent.
If you’re looking for a CastelBrando review, I’m here to tell you all about its fascinating history and my experience enjoying its luxurious accommodations, outstanding facilities, and stunning surroundings.
By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to pack your bags and head to Italy to experience this remarkable historic stay for yourself!
Overview of CastelBrando
Address: Via Brandolini, 29, 31030 – Cison di Valmarino (TV), Italy
Although CastelBrando’s history dates back to its origins as a defensive fortress built by the Romans, the hotel started undergoing extensive restoration work in 1997 to create the 4-star hotel property it is today.
How to Get to CastelBrando
To reach CastelBrando from Venice, you have to take a regional train to Conegliano from Venice Mestre.
The train ride is less than an hour, and it flies by since you’re spending the time admiring the Italian countryside.
Once you arrive, you must take a taxi from the train station to the castle.
That car ride takes about 30 minutes and costs between €50 to €60.
If you don’t want to deal with the stress of calling a car taxi if there’s not one waiting there, you can book a private transfer.
Insider Tip: If you call the hotel in advance, they can arrange a private transfer service for you.
When I went, I took a public taxi on the way to the castle and returned to the train station in a private car after leaving the castle.
As you can imagine, a private car ride was a white glove-refined experience for a little less than a public taxi.
You’ll ride through the UNESCO World Heritage Site Prosecco Hills on the drive. Rows and rows of grapevines roll by in the lush hillside as you climb higher and higher into the basin of the dolomite.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a creation or landmark chosen for conservation by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) due to its cultural, historical, scientific or natural significance. It must meet a minimum of one of ten selection criteria to be considered for the World Heritage List, and once chosen, it becomes protected for preservation by various international treaties.
History of CastelBrando
CastleBrando is found just north of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, the major towns within Italy’s UNESCO-protected Prosecco Hills region.
What started as a fortress built only for protection grew into a sprawling estate–it’s truly an experience unlike any other.
How often do you have the chance to say you not only visited but slept in one of the oldest castles in Europe?
The earliest sections of this non-touristy Italian destination date back to a Roman Fortress, but its layout changed many times over the years.
In the 13th century, the Da Camino family took over the fortress and started transforming it into an extravagant fortified palace.
Less than 100 years later, ownership of the castle passed to the Brandolini family–from whom the castle takes its name.
The Brandolini family governed this area for hundreds of years, but in 1959, it was sold to the Salesian fathers to become a monastery and place of spiritual studies, with original furniture and stonework hidden away.
Then in 1997, Quaternary Investments SpA purchased the castle and completely revitalized the space.
Under their direction, walls were restored to their original state, terraces were recreated, pathways through woodlands were restructured, and modern facilities were built for cultural events in restored theater rooms and galleries.
Found right in the heart of the castle, the hotel’s 80+ rooms offer a unique blend of historical charm and modern luxury.
The stylish rooms, suites, and apartments are all provided with period furniture and offer a glimpse into the castle’s rich history.
Check-in begins at 2 p.m., and check-out ends at 11 a.m. If you need additional time, you’ll be subjected to a fee of €50 per couple.
Rooms at CastelBrando
If you’re looking for a room with a view, the Classic Rooms offer a glimpse into the castle’s ancient life, with a view of the inner courtyard.
These rooms have been restored to respect the space’s original dimensions and are fitted with high windows with original leaded glass to give back the authentic charm of historic lodgings.
If you’re looking for even more space and comfort, the detached Dépendance cottage offers 16 additional spacious rooms located in the charming village of Cison di Valmarino below the castle.
Connected to the castle by a panoramic funicular, these rooms are located in the 18th-century part of the castle and offer a unique blend of historical and modern touches.
Suites at CastelBrando
Ready to live like royalty in one of the hotel suites?
CastelBrando offers three different suites–the Junior Suite, the Royal Suite, and the Alcova del Conte.
The Junior Suite is decorated in a classic Venetian style, complete with original stuccos, Murano glass chandeliers, and gorgeous floors.
However, the Royal Suite makes for an grander experience, as it’s spread across two levels, connected by a charming spiral staircase, and overlooks the stunning valley.
But the crown jewel of the castle is the Alcova del Conte, which used to be the private suite of the Brandolini lords. The fairytale room offers exquisite furnishing, including a precious 16th-century Venetian chandelier and a bathtub carved from a single block of marble.
Tower Apartments at CastelBrando
Experience the enchantment of a real medieval tower with a stay in Gaia’s Tower apartment at CastelBrando.
Named in honor of Gaia, the favorite daughter of the medieval lord of the castle, Gherardo da Camino, who is mentioned in Dante’s “Divina Commedia”, this unique apartment provides a romantic and charming atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else.
Or the Emperor’s house is another excellent choice, found in the main tower made from 2,000-year-old stone.
Things to do at CastelBrando
Visit the museums
Inside the castle, you can find two small museums filled with artifacts from the Brandolini family that were uncovered after restoration.
Everything from full chainmail suits of armor, helmets, swords, and torture devices used in the castle’s prison.
You can also view the family’s historic carriages and learn more about their uses outside on the grounds.
The castle’s museums are just one of the many activities they have on site.
Insider Tip: Every Sunday, the museum offers guided tours of the castle in both Italian and English! You can find more information about the different tour routes here.
Spend a few hours enjoying their luxe spa
In addition to its displays of historical artifacts, the castle has outfitted the oldest area of its property as its Princess Gaia Spa.
Outside, you’ll find a Jacuzzi and lounge area, while you can enjoy a swimming pool, a Turkish bath, a dry sauna, and other therapies inside.
If you decide to add a spa experience to your stay, you’ll have full access to their facilities for 2 1/2 hours from your entry time.
They also have a fully equipped gym.
Explore the rest of the castle
Not only do you get the experience of seeing this historic castle, but you have almost free rein to explore.
While staying at the castle, you can walk around the entire complex.
Visit the small theater to the beautiful small chapel accessed through an interior courtyard.
There are also so many small, beautifully decorated, and restored rooms that it feels like the castle never ends.
Go for a walk on the palace grounds
Situated on a private hill CastelBrando has several defined paths for a walk in the woods.
Even if you’re not a big hiker, they have trails for all levels.
Starting from a relatively flat 45-minute walking route to more advanced 4-hour hikes.
They’re a great adventure to spend some time in the great outdoors while admiring the incredible Prosecco Hills views.
Ride the funicular up to the castle
If you decided to rent your own car and drive to CastelBrando, you’ll notice right away that there isn’t anywhere to park close to the hotel.
However, this challenge was easily overcome with the addition of a 200-meter-long, 45-degree angle funicular, which connects the castle to a parking lot in a valley underneath.
What a clever way to solve a major roadblock!
It costs €1 per ride on the funicular.
Enjoy a Prosecco vineyard tour
Speaking of Prosecco, CastelBrando is located in the heart of the UNESCO-protected Prosecco Hills region.
Although the castle does not offer organized vineyard tours, you can hire a car to drive you around the nearby wineries for the day (since, obviously, one of Italy’s drinking laws is that you can’t drink and drive.)
Would you rather not leave the hotel?
Instead, you can opt for their Prosecco tasting package. You’ll have the chance to taste glasses of the best Prosecco.
Or, if you’re staying in Venice, look at my top recommendations for Prosecco tours from Venice.
Eating at CastelBrando
The castle has three restaurants—a breakfast room for its complimentary continental breakfast, a casual bar, and a casual sit-down restaurant.
Lounge & Cocktail Bars
CastelBrando’s Lounge Bar Donatello is a great space to meet friends for aperitivo.
Found in a series of vaults underneath the castle, we enjoyed glasses of local Prosecco with snacks while watching the sunset cast brilliant colors into the sky.
In the summer, the Garden Bar Orangerie is open for you to enjoy a drink outside, and Artisanmade Ice Cream is on-hand for gelato.
Ristorante Pizzeria La Fucina
Ristorante Pizzeria La Fucina is CastelBrando’s casual sit-down restaurant. Especially if you don’t want to leave the grounds for a meal, this is a perfect option.
If you’re walking through the castle to get here, you’ll wander the dark hallways of the torture museum before popping out at the restaurant.
Since we didn’t have a car, we enjoyed a great dinner before retiring for the night.
You can find hours of operation and their current menu here.
If you’re interested in booking CastelBrando for an event like a banquet or wedding, Sansovino is the castle’s catering restaurant.
However, when it’s not in use, the space is where you’ll go for your excellent complimentary breakfast each morning.
My Honest CastelBrando Review
Would I stay at CastelBrando again?
Yes, I would absolutely stay at Castel Brando again! Thankfully, CastelBrando is easy to reach by train if you’re taking a detour from Venice or Treviso.
With its perfect location among the Prosecco Hills, incredible views, and excellent on-site spa and dining, CastelBrando is much more than just a place to stay; it’s an experience.
And, how often do you get to say that you lived like royalty in one of Europe’s oldest castles?
Who will most enjoy this experience?
On the same weekend, we saw couples, mother-daughter duos, and groups of girlfriends on a trip together.
If you’re looking for a romantic or restorative getaway where you’ll be surrounded by nature, history, and panoramic views, you’re sure to enjoy a stay at CastelBrando.
I will note that while the hotel itself is accessible with elevators to access the room floors, there were other areas of the hotel that did not have ramps or seemed to be wheelchair-accessible.
However, call ahead to check with the hotel regarding any specifics.
CastelBrando Review: FAQs
Do you need to rent a car to visit CastelBrando?
Although you don’t need to rent a car to visit CastelBrando, having access to your own vehicle makes traveling to the hotel and exploring the surrounding countryside very easy.
If you want to avoid renting a car in Italy, you can hire a car to transport you from the Conegliano train station to CastelBrando and back and bring you on Prosecco vineyard tours.
When is the best time of year to visit CastelBrando?
CastelBrando is a great destination year-round, but the best time of year to visit this Italian destination is in late spring or early fall.
This is when the weather is mild, and you can enjoy all of the activities offered both onsite and in the surrounding countryside without having to worry about extreme temperatures.
In late spring, you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful blooms in the garden and take a leisurely walk through the grounds. In the fall, you can enjoy the beautiful colors of autumn.
However, if you’re interested in a winter getaway, the historic castle is also beautifully decorated during the holiday season.
CastelBrando Review: Wrap-Up
From the castle’s rich history to the luxurious accommodations and outstanding facilities, every aspect of CastelBrando is designed to transport you hundreds of years into the past.
But beyond the opulence and grandeur of the castle, CastelBrando offers something else – a reminder of the enduring power of history and tradition.
It reminds us that even as we embrace modernity and progress, there is something valuable in preserving our heritage and connecting with the past.
Maybe this is what makes CastelBrando such a special place.
It’s not just a hotel.
As you wander its ancient corridors and admire its stunning frescoes, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe and reverence for the history and beauty surrounding you.
Whether you’re a history buff, a lover of luxury, or simply searching for a unique travel experience, CastelBrando is a destination that will leave a lasting impression.
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