Sometimes we need to slow down and breathe, take a moment to commune with ourselves in the quietest place possible. Especially when it comes to relieving ourselves of stress, a nice respite away from the city helps. The Monastero Arx Vivendi in Italy provides just that, a place to soothe our body and soul. 

Italian studio Network of Architecture (NOA) turned this 17th-century monastery into a place of refuge and comfort, for guests looking for some downtime. Situated on the northern tip of Lake Garda, it is now a 40-bedroom hotel with a series of glazed spa rooms and gardens.

But most of the historical interiors of the Monastero Arx Vivendi remain intact. This includes the seven-meter-high wall that surrounds the entire complex. It also retained the long corridors and the vaulted ceilings that provide the place its majestic draw. The modern additions, on the other hand, include a wellness area that incorporates 500 square meters of relaxation and treatments rooms, saunas, and steam baths. There is also a swimming pool and lush gardens.

Divided into three levels, the ground floor comprises the bar and kitchen, the breakfast room, the reception, and the common areas. Meanwhile, on the first floor are the bedrooms and bathrooms. Lastly, on the second floor is a large loft area and some of the other guestrooms. Architect Francesco Padovan says the Monastero Arx Vivendi is a “refuge that takes you back in time.” It is “closely centered around the history and the particular features” of the monastery. It is a timeless inner sanctum where guests can find blissful refuge. 

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Images courtesy of Monastero Arx Vivendo