Past meets Present
REVERANCE AND RENOVATION
A tumultuous past…
AND WE ARE MAKING HISTORY NOW.
The green and peaceful surroundings of today’s Sismano belie its history. Built in the 11th century as part of the defenses of the town of Todi, Castello di Sismano was partially destroyed and rebuilt several times during six centuries of war and shifting alliances among Italian city states and powerful families. In 1324, it was part of a bloody battle between Todi and Perugia and then endured centuries of a violent vendetta between two local noble families, the Atti and the Chiaravalle, which resulted in turmoil and tragedy.
During a more peaceful interlude in the late 13th century, Castello di Sismano was also the residence of Cardinal Benedetto Caetani, the future Pope Boniface VIII. Today the fourteenth-century arch— located inside the borgo—still displays the two coats of arms of the Caetani. In 1607, the castle was bought and rebuilt by a member of the powerful Corsini family of Florence and remained in the Corsini family for more than four centuries. Pope Urban VIII appointed the Corsinis princes of Sismano—a title passed down in the family to this day.
And we are making history now… From the moment Meg Roberts saw the borgo and Castello di Sismano, she envisioned a place where Umbrians, Italians from other regions, and international guests could stay, dine and celebrate special events.
Meg’s vision became a plan while she managed two major hotel renovations in the region. Then in 2018, Le Terre Del Papa—one of Umbria’s leading olive oil producers—purchased the castle and the surrounding 2,000 acres of land. They are in the process of planting 500,000 olive trees which will be the largest organic olive grove in Italy. Le Terre Del Papa is committed to producing organic extra-virgin olive oil of the highest quality in total respect for nature. Their plan also includes a stunning all-glass olive oil production plant, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano.
The Del Papa family agreed to lease some of the borgo buildings to Meg for renovation as a restaurant and guest suites. Meg shared her idea with her daughter, Jenny Burr, who has extensive experience in project design, construction and event management. To Meg’s delight, Jenny said she wanted to join the project and Il Borgo di Olive was born.
HISTORY MEETS INNOVATION
Il Borgo di Olive celebrates the history of Umbria and the castle in new and artistic ways — from Meg’s hand-painted hunting scenes in the restaurant to her portraits of medieval women on the suites’ walls.
Meg’s design talent transforms ancient artifacts throughout the borgo. Bedwarmers become hanging light fixtures. Old wine presses form the base of a bar. Ancient terra cotta tiles find new life as flooring and sconces. A piece of Roman travertine becomes a wine tasting table. And there’s more…just ask us.
What People are Saying
Sergio September 2020
“5 out of 5”
“Bravissimi tutti, ottima l’ idea, tanta passione nel lavoro, location suggestiva, Molto bene!”
Mr. Rossi Aug 25, 2020