Sarah Phillips breaks her Wi-Fi habit at the Eremito, an Italian eco-hotel that mixes an aesthetic design with an ascetic lifestyle
It is my birthday and I am in a candlelit, monastic-feeling dining room with 11 strangers, eating in silence. For 45 minutes, over a four-course meal and, thankfully, plenty of red wine, we wordlessly appreciate the excellent food, to a background of Ennio Morricone’s increasingly manic soundtrack to 1986 film The Mission. I have to stifle giggles as everyone resorts to exaggerated gestures and cartoonish facial expressions to show gratitude for the passing of a bread basket or water jug, and eventually I fail to suppress a sneeze which breaks the peace.
I’ve chosen this somewhat humourless way of celebrating to road-test the latest travel fad: the digital detox. In this age of information overload, holidaymakers increasingly perfer a break from the treadmill of technological lives filled with 24/7 notifications and spam. Got it bad like me? Time to check in to eco-hotel Eremito – the name comes from eremita, meaning hermit – in rolling Umbrian hills south-west of Perugia.