Spartan is the new Italian luxe, apparently, but thou shall not be indulged. It is pricey for a shell — or a hermit’s cell, which is the inspiration behind the pared-down aesthetic of the 14 rooms at Eremito, Umbria’s new Design Hotels initiate. Built using 13th-century techniques of stone masonry, this ‘hermitage’ is actually a 21st-century construction — and construct. Certainly the life of a monk is enjoined upon guests, with hemp sheets rather than Egyptian cotton, no digital entertainment (that checks off TV, phone, Internet, and don’t even ask about business centres), no minibar, and rooms that are strictly single occupancy. Yes, that’s right — they are quite rigid about having you stay solo. Your desk is a stone slab and most of the lighting is by way of candles; but the view outside is pretty, there is underfloor heating in winter, for a surprise, and you are even allowed a hot shower in your ‘celluzze’. No talking at dinner though: silence is enjoined at mealtimes at the Refectory, the fare is vegetarian and organic, and fasting and colonic irrigation are encouraged. Entertainment options include yoga and meditation, working in the vegetable gardens, practising Gregorian chants or painting icons, maybe fishing (good for boys’ souls, it seems) in high summer. And for €1,064 a night, you can undertake a se’nnight’s digital detox here, with your mobile strictly on silent, but with three square meals, hot and cold drinks, hydrotherapy, walks in the woods and a chance to sweat in the steamroom while you mortify your wallet of excess cash. For full chapter-and-verse, visit www.eremito.com.