Medieval Fortress in Italian Countryside is No Second Shelter, But a Life Differently Lived

Sienna - Exterior Glamor 1

Often we feature homes and apartments intended as getaways, but what about a destination that challenges how we live our lives?  Sure, some fabulously wealthy person could purchase a property like this and simply add it to their portfolio, but the real tug for the rest of us comes from utilizing a property like this as a springboard to alter your life.  You’d still need some serious money or a willing bank, but this property offers a vastly different lifestyle.

Let me explain.  This 12th century fortress compound encompasses 154,139 square feet of interior living space that includes 110 bedrooms, 100 bathrooms, four swimming pools, a chapel, and two fishing lakes (feel free to re-read that). Along with the castle, there are 1,594 acres of rolling farmland of which only a speck is being used for wine grapes and olives.

See what I mean?  This property could change your life in many ways.

A luxury hotel 50 miles south of Florence in the Tuscan countryside? An over-the-top destination wedding venue to milk the “her day” market? A working farm-slash-vineyard and the eco-farming-wine tourism it would generate? A destination fishing estate for sportsmen? One? Two? All?

Sienna - Living 1

Luckily, the home is in fine shape from various additions and updates through the centuries (there weren’t 100 bathrooms in the 12th century).  But as you can see above, the home is also fully Italian. From the restored “pure Italian” ceiling to the large, almost walk-in, fireplace and original stone floors, there’s not much to do here.  Which is lucky.  This home is listed with John Jonk of Sotheby’s Italy for €28 million (or $29.9 million).

Sienna - Living 3

This property has all the “Italian” you could want with impressive ceilings throughout, reflecting the centuries through which renovation and additions were completed.  Think of it as an Italian time capsule of architecture.  The last major additions were stylistically in the 18th century. Other alterations have occurred since then (like electricity, plumbing, etc.) but they’ve not sought to alter the historic nature of the property. In this room, you can even see the family crests of prior owners in the center ceiling corbels.

Sienna - Interior Courtyard 1

Stepping out on one of the many covered walkways (one could hardly call them patios) and you’re transported.  Perhaps those chairs are reference to the owner’s lordship over all they survey, but as you can easily see, they’re facing the wrong way. I said it was medieval, and so you must get your own tower (clock added later, perhaps replacing a sun dial).

Sienna - View Window 1

And with a tower comes a tower view.  Here we see manicured garden pathways with outdoor living space.  The large round hole covered by a fence?  That’s the old water well.  You see, back in the day … the 12th century … a fortress needed a fresh water supply inside the walls to survive a lengthy attack.

Sienna - Chapel 1

Perhaps you’re feeling guilty at what you had to do in order to afford such a property.  Well this would be where you could pray for forgiveness. Of course the argument could be made that a private chapel, supposedly a direct line to God, might be more a part of the problem than the solution. But hey, a swank wedding venue in the Tuscan countryside with its own period chapel has check a lot of boxes.

Sienna - Wine 1

Seen here are some of your grapes.  The estate grows Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Viognier varieties. Certainly enough for wedding and guest needs.  And as I said, what’s currently only 44 acres of production could quadrupled to 160 acres of production. Depending on grape yields (which vary hugely), let’s say that currently the vineyard produces between 65,000 and 300,000 bottles of wine. At full production, and assuming reasonable quality wines, guests would not only be drinking, but taking some home. Not that 300,000 bottles is a drop, but over 1 million bottles would be a definite business.

See what I mean about properties like this?  They fire the imagination.  While “potential” is an oft used cliché describing anything from fresh paint to a new bathroom, here, potential has found its true meaning — the potential to change how you live your life.

Remember: When I’m not stirring up trouble in Dallas, Texas or Honolulu, Hawaii for Candysdirt.com and SecondShelters.com, I’m off scouting interesting locations for a second home.  In 2016, my writing was recognized with Bronze and Silver awards from the National Association of Real Estate Editors. If you’re a Realtor with second home clients who’d like me to feature their journey, shoot me an email sharewithjon@candysdirt.com