Located atop a hill in Umbria, impressive fortified castle from the 11th century with panoramic view, built by the Normans over a pre-existing Byzantine fortress.
With a history to be envied by most of the castles in the world, this property is a real gem deep in the Umbrian countryside.
A short distance from a small town (1km) with all the necessary services, the castle is easily accessed and allows quickly reaching several locations (Umbrian and not) in a short time frame: the beautiful Orvieto with its cathedral (28km; 40’), the Etruscan Perugia (76km; 1h 10’), the unrivaled Rome (110km; 1h 40’) and the Tuscan cities of Montepulciano (85km; 1h 25’) and Siena (142km; 1h 45’). The Autostrada del Sole is close too, with the two interchanges of Orvieto (21km) and Attigliano (19km).
The most useful airports to reach the property are Perugia Sant’Egidio (76km; 1h 10’), Roma Ciampino (120km; 1h 35’), Roma Fiumicino (137km; 1h 45’), Firenze Peretola (194km; 2h 15’) and Pisa Galilei (261km; 3h).
DESCRIPTION OF THE BUILDINGS
The castle (approx. 1,500 sqm – 16,140 sqft) is laid out onto four floors around a quadrangular courtyard.
- Ground floor: here we find the “Hall of the 100 knights”, currently being used as a conference room or exhibition hall. Right next to it there is a tavern with fireplace, used for events and cultural activities too. On the opposite side of the building there is a second tavern (to be refined) with a potential access to the outside (currently walled-up). A further room is located right next to the rear entrance (walled-up too). Finally, there are two bathrooms with shower and an internal courtyard with 16th century travertine cistern.
- Mezzanine floor: apartment with two ample rooms and secondary room with cisterns for water supply.
- Fist floor: apartment made up of five ample rooms with original fireplaces, plus a second apartment on the opposite side of the building made up of two rooms.
- Second floor: apartment with kitchen, living room, 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. In the opposite wing there is a second apartment used for meetings and conferences.
- Third floor: the external portion has been restored but should be raised further (9 m) to bring it back to its original size.
Right in front of the castle there is a citadel laid out onto three floors with possibility of realizing up to 4 apartments. The building just needs a few finishing works.
Inside the walls one can find the residence N°1 on three floors:
- Basement: entrance hall, bedroom, bathroom and cellar;
- Ground floor: entrance hall, bathroom, living room, dining room, kitchen and closet;
- First floor: 3 bedrooms, studio, 2 bathrooms and 3 closets.
Still inside the wall there are three more residences (N°2, N°3 and N°4):
- Basement: 2 cellars;
- First floor: apartment with bedroom, bathroom, living (dining) room and kitchen;
- Second floor: apartment with bedroom, bathroom and living (dining) room, kitchen and small terrace;
- Third floor: apartment on three floors (with tower and independent access) with connection to the walkway on the crenellated walls.
Right at the entrance of the hamlet, in the courtyard, there is residence N°5, made up of a room with gallery. On the lower floor, with independent access, there is a small studio suitable for a workshop.
Finally a small studio apartment overlooks the main square with bathroom and garden.
HISTORY, STATE AND FINISHES
A Byzantine fortress was already present at the top of the hill (dating back to the 7th century) but the modern castle was only built in the 11th century by the Normans led by Tancred of Hauteville’s sons. The actual shape is the result of a long process of reworking carried out following a project forwarded by Giuliano da Sangallo il Giovane during the 16th century.
In centuries, the castle has gone through several major events of the Italian history. It was first besieged and conquered by Frederick I Barbarossa during his first descent in Italy (1154 – 1155). During the 16th century was conquered by Cesare Borgia (Pope Alexander VI’s son), who gifted it to his sister Lucrezia. The last military event the castle underwent was the siege by the emperor Charles V who had the tower demolished so to eradicate whatever menace the castle could be to his army. In 1654 the princess Olimpia Maidalchini Panfili (Pope Innocent X’s sister-in-law) bought the castle.
All the restorations have been carried out with extreme care and respect, without altering the building’s original shape, using original (or coherent) materials under the supervision of the Soprintendenza ai Beni Culturali.
Internal areas have been recovered with reclaimed materials (stones and roof-tiles) and locally produced materials (handmade terracotta, travertine, rough stone and wrought iron). The tower, partially rebuilt, should be raised (9 m) to bring it back to the original height and here one could have up to 3 bedrooms (16 sqm each).
The castle, in general, is in excellent shape and just a few finishing works are needed in some areas.
The building is embellished by a peculiar garden inside the courtyard made up of the castle walls, plus several courtyards, squares and roads of the hamlet.
Outside the walls there are two hectares of owned land. The terrace of the property, together with the hilly position, allows enjoying a beautiful panorama and the unrivaled sunsets offered by the Umbrian countryside.
USE AND POTENTIAL USES
The building is extremely spacious and is thus possible to use it in several different ways. The option for a private residence is always possible, but the presence of numerous bedrooms (10 as of now but several others can be obtained by reworking the buildings) and rooms allows starting a hosting business without problems, using the formula of a Relais-Château. The castle can easily be organized to obtain 5 different apartments fitted with all the comforts. It is also possible to use the building as an international study and conference center.
Given the status of national monument, it is possible to get a non-payable state funding by the Ministero dei Beni Culturali for the last restorations needed.