December 15th, 2014 - Category: Miscellaneous


Throughout Italy, from north to south, dozens of private castles are up for sale
The cheapest in Piedmont, the most popular in Tuscany
From €1,200 to €8,500 per square metre

Florence (Italy) – Two of the great historical figures from Dante’s Divine Comedy: the unforgettable Farinata degli Uberti (c. 1212-1264), one of the damned souls in Hell, and the Sienese noblewoman Sapia Salvani (c. 1210 -1278), one of the envious souls in Purgatory. Different characters but both linked to the story of two castles in Tuscany: Castello di Tavolese near Florence and Castello di Sapia near Siena. Today, the dream of owning one of these castles and becoming part of an ancient and glorious history can become a reality. Throughout Italy, from north to south, dozens of private castles are up for sale. Prices range from €1,200 to €8,500 per square metre for properties of great charm and value, in perfect condition, some of which are already used as tourist accommodation, as well as being farms.
“On our website alone” ( ), confirms the CEO of Lionard Luxury Real Estate, Dimitri Corti, “we have 37 castles for sale, but there are over 70 throughout Italy in our portfolio”. The high maintenance costs and the increasing tax burden on properties have convinced many owners, whose properties have often been in the family for generations, to evaluate sales opportunities aimed at the foreign market, which at this important time is the only one interested in purchasing objects of this type, which to define as luxury would be an understatement. For foreign clients, the prices are affordable, especially when compared to the cost of other cities in the world: for an apartment measuring 150 square metres in London’s Mayfair district, you would need €6 million, the same figure in New York will get you 130 square metres in Central Park. “On the other hand,” says Dimitri Corti, “in our experience, purchasing a property of great value like a castle or a historic villa always translates into an opportunity because it gives an economic boost to the local area, also as regards employment.”
The best value properties to purchase are in Piedmont: for one of the most eye-catching castles in the Monferrato area (, surrounded by a park with age-old trees, 5,962 square metres of perfectly-restored indoor space, a sixteenth century guesthouse, you would need about €7 million, just over €1,000 per square metre. Opportunities in the same price range can also be found in other Italian regions: from Umbria to Emilia Romagna, from Lazio to Liguria, through to Tuscany, one of the most popular areas for this type of property. That is the case for the nineteenth-century Castello di Acquabella (, in the beautiful setting of the Vallombrosa Nature Reserve, near the Abbey of the same name, restored to perfection, with a total of about 5,000 square metres of indoor space. On the coast, between Livorno and Castiglioncello, an early 20th-century castle with breathtaking sea views is for sale (, 700 square metres of indoor space over four floors and two crenellated towers. Outside, a lush park with palm trees, oaks, age-old pines and exotic plants. Another property for sale is Castello di Sapia – from the name of the Sienese noblewoman Sapia Salvati, a main character in an episode of Canto XIII of Dante’s Purgatory – near Monteriggioni, just seven kilometres from Siena ( Nestled in timeless countryside, the castle needs complete restoration and is on sale for €2.5 million.

In a higher price range, between €10 and €20 million or more, we find the fairytale castles in the Siena and Florence Chianti region, such as the impressive Castello di Tavolese ( which belonged to the illustrious Farinata degli Uberti and Canigiani families, Petrarch’s mother belonging to the dynasty of the latter. 7,676 square metres of indoor space and 62 hectares of parkland, in addition to other buildings including a church and several farmhouses.
In Lombardy, in the same price range, there are several manor houses for sale: one of these is an impressive castle near Milan ( Surrounded by a circle of medieval walls, protected by a typical moat, with six crenellated towers, the castle has 8,800 square metres of indoor space with adjoining stables, chapel and private cemetery. Outside, an Italian-style garden and a large swimming pool set in a nineteenth-century bath.

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