A truly unique property which combines a highly sought-after location with a completely and carefully renovated villa, its wonderful frescos of the twelfth to nineteenth centuries, recent complementary frescos, its fascinating history with connections to the Vatican, other buildings of great interest, beautiful gardens, a park including a productive olive grove and much more besides. Ask for a copy of our walk-through video.
This remarkable property offers what may be a unique opportunity to own a magnificent historic estate in the beautiful Southern Marche. The region of Le Marche, long regarded as “an unknown gem”, is now considered the most sought-after region in all Europe. In fact, the highly regarded travel publisher ‘Lonely Planet’ ranked Le Marche number two in the world of The Best Regions to visit in 2020 and the only European region in its top six.
Of the four buildings enclosing the delightful courtyard of 540 m² (5812 sq. ft.), the most important is the beautiful villa dating from the twelfth century. This has an impressive floor area of about 1200 m² (12,917 sq. ft.). It was expertly and extensively renovated over a period of about five years, from 1989 to 1993. That work included replacing the services with state-of-the-art plumbing, electrical and heating systems and rebuilding the floors of all rooms using pre-existing elements and tiled with the region's typical travertine marble. In addition, all kitchens were modernised, re-fitted and well equipped.
Undoubtedly, the most notable and important element of the renovations concerned the extraordinary original frescoes. Many of these dating from the early 1600s had been painted over by earlier generations and were painstakingly revealed and restored. They now form part of the villa’s unique collection of wonderful frescoes that first appeared over hundreds of years, from the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries.
The villa’s ground floor includes a bright and spacious living area featuring a series of en-suite living rooms, some with large fireplaces, a dining room, a large eat-in kitchen, a study, two bathrooms and a hallway. There is also an elevator for access to the two upper floors.
The massive renovation programme of 1989 to 1993 included a decision by the owners to complement the villa’s original frescos above by commissioning a well-known Florentine artist to elegantly decorate the ground floor’s fine cross-vaulted ceilings with evocative, spiritual images, reflecting the unique history of the estate in general and the villa in particular.
The first floor, the so-called ‘piano nobile’ (noble floor), can be accessed by the elevator or an elegant internal staircase. It provides a spacious central hall with a large majestic fireplace and another eight rooms, some of which have smaller fireplaces.
The piano nobile is completely frescoed with decorations dating back to different periods, some of which only came to light during the massive renovation works of 1989 to 1993. Centuries ago, frescos were often covered with other decorations and some of those recently revealed have a religious theme. They would have been covered when the ownership of the villa went from the Vatican to private families.
The room displaying the oldest fresco decorations adjoins the music room and features a late 1500s banner-like decoration that runs close to the ceiling along its perimeter. The music room itself features decorations all over the four walls, as was usual in the late 1700s. Apart from the other three rooms featuring sacred decorations dating from the late 1500s, the rest of the piano nobile also features frescos from the late 1700s.
On the second floor, there is a spacious hall used as a general wardrobe, and four large suites, each one including a bedroom, a walkway with closet and a large marble bathroom with Jacuzzi bath tub and shower cubicle. The whole floor features wooden floors of large durmast oak sections.
Adjacent to the villa is the guest house, which was opened in 1851. This has an area of approximately 700 m² (7535 sq. ft.) and provides accommodation on two principal floors plus a smaller third level. On the ground floor, there is an enchanting, spacious hall with a charming open kitchen and a fireplace. On the upper floor are four bedrooms, including two with a mezzanine, and three big bathrooms. On the third level is a large terrace overlooking the courtyard and the valley below. The guest house is connected to the villa by a small private chapel, which is still adorned with its original furnishings.
The other two buildings are situated at the other end of the inner courtyard opposite the villa and have a combined floor area of about 800 m² (8611 square feet). One of them originally served as the estate keeper's lodge, whilst the other has rooms used for the swimming pool and includes a wonderful big hall with truss ceilings. There is also a professional standard kitchen overlooking the pool, perfect for parties and social events.
The four buildings enclose the delightful, artistically designed courtyard on three sides. This includes an oval shaped grassed area, neat dwarf hedges, lighting to each side and a palm tree at each end. Along the one side opposite the guest house is a raised area finished in complementary stonework and including a shaped water feature. From this side, steps lead down to the second and similarly finished courtyard style garden area below.
The buildings are surrounded by beautiful gardens divided into terraced areas, designed for remarkable bio-diversity with palms, cycas, Medicean lemon trees, orange and tangerine trees, as well as a romantic rose garden arbour.
Besides the gardens close to the buildings, the remaining part of this beautiful property's grounds feature a park with secular trees and a big, spectacular olive grove with over 1,400 productive olive trees of the area's typical varieties, combined with enchanting strokes of cypresses.
The swimming pool is in a very intimate area adjoining the buildings and their courtyard and is surrounded by a colourful and very well-tended garden. It is framed by travertine marble, tiled with mosaics and has a wonderful English style lawn surrounding it. The pool was installed as part of the major renovation works of 1989 to 1993.
The total area of this unique and most impressive estate is some 85,000 m², equating to 8.5 hectares or a little over 21 acres.
Ask for a copy of our walk-through video.
THE HISTORIC CONCLUSION
As mentioned above, it is known that, at one time, the estate was in the ownership of the Vatican, although no details of dates are available. However, it is known that, when Pope Urbana VIII was resident, two episodes of alleged sorcery occurred between 1633 and 1635 in a secret underground chamber beneath the villa, which proved to be to the detriment of the pope.
Evidence of this is provided by the secret underground escape passages, believed to be created to rescue those who took part in the sorcery. One leads straight to the nearby village of Spinetoli, the other one to the middle of the park, within the property.
These details are provided and intended as a general guide only and do not form a contract or any part of a contract. Intending buyers must make their own investigations and are advised to take appropriate independent legal advice. The final sale price may vary due to currency exchange fluctuations.
Investabroad Properties Ltd
Tel: 0044 121 616 5108