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The Silent Dinner

Eremito, Parrano, Umbria, Italy

Somewhere in Umbria, surrounded by 3,000 rolling hectares of forested Italian countryside, you lean your head against cool earthen stone and savor the slowness, the silence. Candlelight and hearth fire flicker across a monastic vaulted ceiling as the table is set before you: fresh bread and butter, herbs and vegetables harvested from the garden at dawn, oak-aged Umbrian wine. It’s a silence like you’ve never experienced: a silence of calm, of intention. You begin to eat as a heightened awareness dawns inside you that will remain for months, even years. Only by disconnecting could you become truly awake. What you found in this valley is not a destination but a state of mind.

"In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in an clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness." Mahatma Gandhi

THE HOTEL — Eremito Hotelito del Alma, Italian for “little hotel of the soul,” was hewn out of a historic stone structure on the edge of a vast forest preserve in the Umbrian hills and faithfully restored to its earlier incarnation as a 14th-century monastery. With its monastic design, farm-to-table vegetarian cuisine, and emphasis on silence, Eremito functions today as an eco-luxury hermitage, where visitors disconnect from the digital and material distractions of contemporary life in order to reconnect with a deeper, perhaps more meaningful reality.

The first time I laid eyes on this valley I felt that I was in a special place: the colors, the flickering lights of the river, the woods of the nature reserve… and there, on top of a hill, a natural belvedere, stood a ruin. Marcello Murzilli – Owner of Eremito

Eremito is the brainchild of Marcello Murzilli, an Italian designer who founded the fashion label El Charro in the 1980s. Despite El Charro’s success, Murzilli left the business shortly after his 40th birthday to spend two years sailing the world in a refurbished 1937 wooden Scottish cutter. His travels inspired him to create his first hotel on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, Hotelito Desconocido, one of Latin America’s first eco-lodges. In 2013 Murzilli returned to his native Italy and opened Eremito Hotelito del Alma. As with Desconocido, the unconventional hotel sprung from his desire “to create a hotel that doesn’t exist.”

Eremito, Parrano, Umbria, Italy

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