The medieval castle near Rome that’s now a hostel

An affordable stay in a magnificent setting just 40 minutes from Rome is perfect for mixing sightseeing with days on the beach

Gauzy curtains blow in the breeze, framing a perfect view of the sparkling Mediterranean. The sun’s rays fall across our big white bed as we stand at the tall window, gazing down at a rocky shore, and right to a wide curve of beach. We could be in a five-star hotel. The setting, a 14th-century castle of pinkish stone overlooking golden sands 50km up the coast from Rome, is gorgeous enough to catch the beady eye of some property developer, but we’re actually staying in a new hostel, opened last summer in Castello di Santa Severa by the Lazio regional government.

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