Somewhere in Umbria. We meet the off location represented by Eremito. «A place for the mind, body and spirit where to spend a totalizing experience»
Umbria, The Green Heart of Italy
I ask myself how it all originated. I then discover that in the eighties Marcello Murzilli, creator of the brand El Charro, decided to travel the world with the Cheone, an historic sailing boat of 1937. Having landed on the isolated coast of the Mexican Pacific, he built and managed for fourteen years, the Hotelito Desconocido. An eco-resort named in London one of the top five in the world. Again back in Italy, in 2013, he inaugurated Eremito, importing the new format of luxury tourism for solo travellers.
L’Eremito represents one of the first digital detox hotels in Italy. In the heart of Umbria – the region which, out of all Italian ones – to me speaks the most of the true Italian spirit which is looked up to from the whole world. Umbria is actually the only region in Italy that we can call the land of spirituality. In the fifteenth century, in fact, at forty kilometers from the location, San Benedetto da Norcia was born. He was known as the first western monk who built the first Benedict monastery.
Umbria is also The Green Heart of Italy. This is due to the true spirit of natural, fresh, and homemade dishes, truffles, wine culture and cultivation of vegetable gardens. Its medieval towns on top of hills and thick woods also characterize it. Three thousand hectares of woods, part of UNESCO heritage, surround Eremito itself.
I try to go through all the little memories I have of this region while Marcello underlines again how Umbria is a magic region because of its history and mystical land full of spirituality. It still is the reason why many people choose to come here from many parts of the world. It is the epitome of the new luxury of the third millennium. Here, ecology, technology and spirituality meet.
Lampoon review: Eremito contemporary monastery
I wonder about the transmission of the idea of interior peace to every person’s stay. They tell me how the contemporary monastery amazes people because of its way to be unique. The gregorian chants get into every soul, by living a simple life with only the essential in the simple celluzzi rooms (cells). Hermits used them in the past to find the time to pray and to meditate.
The empathy of the people, the majesty of nature as well as the slow living makes you feel that way. People start to feel something inside and go with their own rhythm. Everyone feels it in her/his own way. Some guests like to unwind in the relax area or steam room. Others like to do yoga, exercising by looking out the window and seeing the lovely hills which surround Eremito. Some others like to get rid of thoughts by taking long designated walks through the forest, looking at the river or simply meditating into the cave located inside Eremito.
Silence and simplicity at Eremito
Something quite unique is that there is always a silent dinner – something very particular. The aim is to let the guests really taste the food, going deeper in their souls, finding harmony within themselves in quietness. How can customers take this feeling back home after their stay? The staff explains me how they love to know how the guests feel at the end of their stay. Many times, in fact, they arrive there as guests and leave as friends, having experienced the genuine place they have been staying at, the empathy and availability of people who surrounded them, the emotions transmitted by nature itself.
That is where the true miracle happens. It is the simplicity of the day at Eremito which leaves a seed inside when you are back home. «It gives a real feeling of peace and it is completely up to you when you are back home to either feed it by pouring water and cultivate it or deciding to let it dry», Marcello explains to me. A loyal staff member also points out «actually, I think I’m the best example. I came here at the end of January 2020 as a guest. After three days of staying here, I decided to leave everything back home to live a simple life. Now I am staying here till the end of October».
Eremito’s interior structure
Walls and floors are mostly made of original stones. The furniture is antique and comes from many places, mostly artisanal made. The culinary experience develops in the simplest style, shown by the vegetarian fixed menu and the use of only high quality and fresh ingredients. Combining a healthy and moderate diet that selects only the best recipes of the Mediterranean monastic tradition directly from the production garde. Flavours and smells recall the Umbrian culinary traditions. Villages born around the monasteries are also intrinsic aspects of everything served on the table.
During winter, meals are served in the Refectory. It has a large stone fireplace where guests can watch the flames while eating. During summer, the feast happens by eating outside, with an outstanding view of the hills, surroundings and next to the botanical garden. I would like to ask the team to leave me with a thought I can take back home with me, even if I didn’t come to the place yet. The answer I receive is not only to come as soon as possible to feel the place personally, but to let the place flow to me. With a stay at Eremito, in the middle of nowhere, we may find something we always looked for.
Localita’ Tarina 2, 05010 Parrano TR
Eremito is a contemporary monastery located in Umbria.