While I was in Borgotaro for the Mushroom Festival, I was able to get my Porcini filled body into the car for a quick 15 minute drive to Compiano on the recommendation from a few locals. “You have to go … there is a castle, with a pool party.” I mean, you had me at castle, but castle pool party sounds like if Fellini was going to throw the next Fyre festival. I was in.
My friends and I climbed up the mountain through the Taro valley, and before we knew it we were presented with the most darling medieval town on the ridge of a mountain. Actually, the castle dates back to the 800’s so technically it would be Roman. In any case it was beautiful, and strangely, all ours.
Not another human in sight we walked the two ridge-crest streets marveling at how manicured and well kept the city was. Stopping here or there to take in the views before heading up to the pinnacle to see this massive stone castle/hotel that hovered above us.
“I’m so sorry,” the young girl behind the desk lamented, “the pool parties are done for the season. You are too late.” It was a shame, but she did let us look around and check out one of the rooms which was stunning. Each named after a different noble family, they are appointed in complete regal style, but with modern conveniences. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too here at Compiano. We also popped into the grand dining hall affectionately named the grotto di ceramice, for all the beautiful hard fired porcelain plates that dress the dark oak walls. This place was amazing.
Besides dope-ass pool parties with DJ’s they have a ton of cultural events, like a stone mason tour, culinary tour, and garden tours that they offer throughout the season. There are three separate museums, and some of the best eating you can do in the valley here in Compiano. How I had never heard of this cornucopia of good times I will never know.
Compiano is one of those hidden gems that isn’t trying to hide, but happens to be in a region less tread by Instagram influencers and tourists alike. It’s the gold a traveller well tread is looking for, where locals are excited to see you and share their treasure that they’ve kept safe for your eventual arrival. I will definitely be back next year, hopefully it will not be found by the Kardashians, and rooms will still start at around 150 USD a night, which anyone will say is a fair price to sleep in a beautiful piece of history.