Tuscan castle with 10th century origins and 16th century additions. Positioned on the saddle of a hill in a tiny hamlet 12 miles from Cortona and surrounded by rolling wooded hills.
Poggioni, 12 miles from Cortona, Tuscany
Access to this fairytale property is by means of an impressive gateway with stone pillars. The gates open onto a large courtyard which is bordered along the whole length by a low level stable block in need of complete renovation. With three double doorways, this building would be perfect as a two or three car garage. On the other side of the courtyard there is a 125 square metre, two floor cottage which is separate from the castle but attached to another property. Currently the upper floor consists of a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom and a living room all of which are habitable but in reality the whole building requires renovation including the ground floor where there are two workrooms; one of which once housed the olive mill.A broad, stone paved ramp with an elegant iron hand rail leads to the arched double door to the castle. To the left of this ramp is a terrace which overlooks the garden and the surrounding hills. The double doors open onto an inner courtyard/passage which stretches the length of the property until it reaches the arched opening of the old bread oven. The walls of this inner courtyard are dotted with old filled-in windows and doorways; a feast for an architectural historian, as is the whole building, but it is this passageway that demonstrates the layers of history most clearly. It was in fact part of the old Roman road which crossed the hills from Tuscany to Umbria, the Tiber Valley and beyond. In addition there are a multitude of other spaces; a small, stone flagged room next to the bread oven, a storage room, a wine cellar, a lemonaia', a tobacco drying tower, a chicken house and a pig-sty coop, and, a short distance from castle there is a very pretty 16th century chapel.The north wing of the castle is on the right of the inner courtyard and in here there are 3 large cellar rooms both of which are dry and in good conditon. The first two are barrel vaulted with floors of old terracotta Tiles, the metre thick walls are of stone and brick. The inner front door of the castle is on the left and goes into the newer south wing which is probably 16th century late Renaissance. Modifications were made, probably in the early 20th century, including the stairs, the gothic revival style windows, the delicate iron balustrades, the terraces and the kitchen balcony. These additions give a romantic air to the south side of the building. The entrance hall has a barrel vaulted ceiling and on this floor there is the former kitchen with gothic style French Windows, one of which leads out to an adorable wisteria clad Juliet balcony. This room has 19th century floor tiles and a fireplace with a wood burning stove. The second room is a library which has access to the main terrace by means of gothic styled french windows.The dining room has high ceilings, a gothic window, a terrace with stone plinths and delicate balustrade. The main feature of this room however is an enormous, stone fireplace dating back to 1570 and proudly bearing the distinctive 6 globe coat of arms of the Medici family. There are also additional rooms to the rear. An elegant stone staircase sweeps up to the top of the house from the entrance hall. The staircase links the south and north wings of the property and was constructed in 1916. On the first floor landing there is an apartment comprising a master bedroom with access to a modern bathroom, a second bedroom, a living room and a kitchen all of which are double glazed and have central heating. The ceilings have been sandblasted exposing the original chestnut beams and the floors are paved wiht terracotta tiles. Also accessed from the first floor is a drawing room behind which there are a further four rooms two of which have en-suite shower rooms. The stairs proceed upwards to the top floor where there the attic space stretches the full length and width of the building. A fascinating property; partially restored with plenty of scope for futher development.
Cortona is the Tuscan hill town made famous by Francis Mayes in her book Under the Tuscan Sun. Surrounded by 3,000 year old Etruscan walls, much of this history of the town is maintained through the varied architecture. With beautiful views over the Val di Chiana and towards lake Trasimeno, Cortona is an attractive place to spend some time. Worth visiting are the Church of the Madonna del Calcinaio painted by Francesco di Giorgio Martini, (1485-1513), the Palazzo Comunale and Palazzo Casali which house the Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca, and the Museo Diocesano with works by Signorelli, Beato Angelico, Sassetta, Lorenzetti, etc.
Directions: Cortona 17 kms Castiglion Fiorentino 24 kms Citta di Castello 33 kms Perugia airport 66kms Florence 118 kms
*Currency rates are updated daily at approximately 01:00 GMT | Property Reference Number: GBLAIXLAI151258
33 Margaret Street
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