Italy's #1 castles and historic houses collection


The Seal of Excellence

The Seal of Excellence is the most important recognition for castles and historic residences that work in the field of tourism and events.

The Marchio di Eccellenza is the second level of the Official Certification issued by the Italian Registry of the Historc Houses of Excellence (the first level is the Quality Seal).

The Seal of Excellence (whose symbol is a Golden Crown) is the higher level of certification issued by the Italian Registry of the Historic Houses of Excellence, which for 20 years has been promoting and giving value to the historic heritage through the certification of quality of the various Italian historic castles and historic houses for tourism and events. Only the historic houses that have reached the first level of certification, the Quality Seal (whose symbol is a Tricoloured Crown) can present themselves as candidates to get the Seal of Excellence.

To get the prestigious Golden Crown implies being part of the small group of the best Italian historic residences. In order to get this recognition, in fact, it is important to pass more than 100 rigorous Quality Controls, scrupulously supervised by the Certification Technical Committee of the Italian Registry of the Historc Houses of Excellence.

The strict Certification Protocol that subjects the historic houses to controls is based on 10 different evaluation phases and lasts about 12 weeks (3 months).

For this reason, to date, only 1% of the candidates has been able to pass it successfully and get the prestigious Seal of Excellence.


Evaluation phases


Quality Controls


Candidates approved


Certification of Excellence


  • Technical sheet and qualifying preliminary evaluation

    approximately 1 week

  • Compilling the "technical sheet" (personal data, technical information, addresses and references)

    Prerequisite check

    Quality Inspectors’ preliminary evaluation

    Customized certification procedures definition

    Issue of the formal role to the Certification Technical Committee and commissioner assignment


Certification of Excellence


  • Technical in-depth analysis

    Duration: 30 minutes

  • Philosophy and values

    Experiences and competences

    Management and staff

    Focus and fields of specialization

    Goals, projects and development plans

    Financial, intellectual and human resources

    Clientele profile, target

    The 4 pillars of Value: uniqueness, charm, prestige, exclusivity


Certification of Excellence


  • Telephone consultation with the Certification Technical Committee

    Duration: 30 minutes

  • Profiling and deepening interview

    - Philosophy and values

    - Experiences and competences

    - Management and staff

    - Focus and fields of specialization

    - Goals, projects and development plans

    - Financial, intellectual and human resources

    - Clientele profile, target

    Price politics and strategies


Certification of Excellence


  • Area n°1 evaluation "The historic house"

    Duration: approximately 3 weeks

  • Year of construction

    Restoration and preservation quality

    Architectural style

    Definition of customized certification procedures

    Historical and cultural value

    Artistic and monumental value

    Uniqueness elements

    Atmosphere and charm

    Identity and character

    Emotional impact

    Valuable elements or artistic and cultural relevance

    Cosiness and exclusivity of the rooms

    Furniture and finishing quality

    Care and maintenance

    Combination of elements from different historical periods or different styles

    Parks and gardens

    Historical or important events

    Eminent characters

    Local integration

    Promotion projects

    Interiors and exteriors

    Equipment and decorations

    Shared areas

    Geographic position


Certification of Excellence


  • Area n° 2 evaluation "People and values"

    Duration: approximately 3 weeks

  • Philosophy and values

    Presence of the owners

    Management responsibility

    Reception ability

    Hospitality culture

    Years of activity

    Experience in this sector


    Focus and specialisation

    Management and economic stability

    Staff and personnel expertise

    Accredited references and partners

    Development plan and long/medium-term perspective

    Projects, workplace, improvements

    Preservation, restoration and protection programs

    Clientele analysis reference target


Certification of Excellence


  • Area n° 3 evaluation "Imagine and reputation"

    Duration: approximately 3 weeks

  • Brand strength, visibility and development

    Reputation and reliability

    Certifications, prizes and recognitions

    Articles and reports transmitted by eminent media

    Feedbacks provided by the 150.585 Members of the Club of Residenze d'Epoca

    On-line reputation (reviews, forums, social networks)

    Care of the image


    Catalogues, brochures and advertising

    On-line and off-line promotions

    Participation in events, fairs and shows

    Photo records and photo gallery

    Video and multimedia contents


    Communication and language

    Affiliation to specialised, luxury, niche or limited-enrolment networks

    Presence management on mass or general platforms

    Presence on social networks (quality content, publication frequency, interaction level, response time)

    Price-related management

    Discount and promotions parameters

    Evidence quality and quantity

    Loyalty marketing customers

    Marketing and communication campaigns


Certification of Excellence


  • Area n° 4 evaluation “Quantitative level of services”

    Duration: approximately 3 weeks

  • Level of personalisation of services

    Hosting and accommodation capacity (furniture, cleanliness, accommodation, timings, sleep quality, shared areas)

    Customer service

    Food service (multiplicity of food, quality of raw material, wine menu, rooms, furniture and atmosphere)

    Management and direction

    Food & Beverage staff (chef, head waiter, waiters, etc.)

    Greeting and hospitality staff (front desk, reception, director, floor staff, etc.)

    Problem solving

    Point scored during the preliminary evaluation phase

    Result of anonymous Quality Control inspections

    Website (style, graphic, usability, loading speed, etc.)

    Comparative analysis with other historic residences (architectural style, services, geographic position etc.)


Certification of Excellence


  • Final score

    Duration: 48 hours

  • Data and score examination from 4 to 7 phases

    Directive Council’s summing-up and marks

    Calculation of final score

    Assignation of merit range

    (ADDITIONAL INSPECTION: if the final score is below the minimum threshold, an additional formal inspection will be planned on-site and it will negatively affect the final score)


Certification of Excellence


  • Signing of the "Document of Excellence"

    Duration: approximately 30 minutes

  • Signing of the “Document of Excellence" of the italian historic houses

    Audit planning and adequacy test in order to verify the relevance of the "Document of Excellence"

    Definition of the 3 excellence standards:

    - Hospitality culture: reception, care, dedication

    - Respect: people, values, place

    - Valorisation: historical/artistic/cultural heritage, uniqueness, charm

    Definition of the terms of issue, use and revocation of the title "Historic House of Excellence" and the Seal of Excellence.


Certification of Excellence

STEP #10

  • Certification issue, title and Seal of Excellence

    Duration: 48 hours

  • Issue of the Seal of Excellence

    Assignation of the Unique Number of Certification

    Assignation of the title "Historic House of Excellence"

    Issue of the official certificate "Historic House of Excellence"

    Publication on the website

    Communication campaign to announce the issue of Seal of Ecxcellence


Only 1 out 100 gets this Seal of Excellence

A higher-level certification reserved to higher-level historic residences: 100 Quality Controls, 10 verification phases, 3 months of evaluation. Only 1% of candidates has got the title of "Historic House of Excellence" and has entered by right the collection of the best Italian historic houses.

Find out all the historic houses of Excellence


I numeri del Marchio di Eccellenza

  • 20 years

    of experience in high-level castle, villa and historic houses promotion

  • 7886 historic houses

    periodically evaluated by the Certification Committee

  • 102 Seals of Excellence

    issued all over Italy

  • 1.3% accepted candidates

    out 7.886 evaluated structures

  • 209.875 Quality Controls

    carried out during the last 12 months through a rigorous Certification Protocol

  • 12 weeks

    average duration of each evaluation carried out through the Excellence Certification Protocol