THE SENTINEL'S KEEP - Medieval garrison for sale, 3 buildings, land and history, 25 mins far from Cortona
|Bedrooms:||Up to 9|
|Bathrooms:||Up to 6|
|City or Zone:||Cortona|
There is always an exception to the rule.
This suggestive, but secluded property stands strategically on the summit of a Tuscan hillside.
It is a partially restored ex-military garrison dating back to the Middle Ages.
It is some 30 minutes from all life as most people know it and yet, this stunning property with superlative views which extend as far as the eye can see, is something so unique it can only be described as priceless.
It is a peninsular in the midst of an ocean.
It is a sea of views that astound, awe, humble.
It is a monument to history and timelessness.
It is a micro-world in harmony with itself.
It is a reminder of what once was.
It is a reminder of what we once were.
It is an inspiration as to what we still could be.
It is quite simply, amazing.
And perhaps not so strangely, the nearby hillsides are alive with small farming communities whose lifestyle has changed little over the last few centuries.
They are a traditional people who are still able to fix things that break and make things which work. They live in a world away from today’s frenetic life-style; life in the fast lane is an anathema to them, as are the machinations of global politics and multi-nationals.
This is a genuine sanctuary in a simple, rural location where traditional values are upheld and pride in what one can produce is more esteemed than what one can buy. It is a way of life to admire, to be re-educated by and by which to be stimulated.
The property itself, a work of art crafted by stone masons from another era, stands on 8 acres of private land and enjoys complete privacy.
Although one might consider the property remote, it has the advantage of a restaurant, church, doctor’s surgery and various guest houses a 5 minute drive away; a bar and restaurant with grocery essentials at 15 minutes; a daily bread delivery upon request and a perfectly maintained shared access road which is looked after by a local farmer under contract.
The famous town of Cortona with its innumerous fine restaurants and fine wines is just 30 minutes away (17 kms). Within a radius of 90 minutes one could be drinking cappuccino in most of Tuscany and Umbria’s most beloved towns; Montepulciano, Pienza, Siena – Perugia, Assisi, Gubbio.
The property was originally built as a garrison or customs house in the late middle ages. In the 1400’s it was fortified to serve as a military outpost for the Florentine Republic in order to protect its southern border from the Papal States in Umbria.
The property (568 sq mts livable space in all) contains three homes, a pentagonal structure once thought to be the original fortress entrance, and a traditional bread oven all of which is surrounded by a meter-wide defensive wall, complete with “feritoie” or lookout posts. Period details from the 1400’s can be seen in the internal and external architecture.
Structural restoration of the property began in the late 1990’s, and a more recent detailed restoration of one home began in 2010. All detail work on the property has been custom-done by local artisans: doors and windows are in chestnut, the floors are terra cotta, the beams chestnut, the metal work (outdoor lighting, railings etc) is wrought iron.
The grounds contain 2 acres of olives trees; and fig, plum, apricot and walnut trees. There are rosemary, hibiscus and laurel hedges.
Inside the restored house, on the main floor, is a large living room with fireplace and French doors to the terrace, a granite-counter kitchen, and master bedroom with bathroom. Below, three rooms and a bathroom. Heating can be by natural gas or by a top-of-the line Ungaro wood pellet stove that heats the entire house. There is a satellite dish for television reception, and internet reception via wi-fi and repeaters. The water supply is well-water at a depth of 90 meters.
The other two homes require a complete restoration, but they are structurally sound: one of the two homes has been inspected and certified by a structural engineer. A geologist has been on the property to certify that a pool could be installed within the walls of the Borgo. There is no through-traffic, as the road ends at the property. There are two entry roads: one is unused and needs work, but it provides complete privacy and passes by no other homes. The current access road passes-by three homes.
Should one wish to run an activity – such as a retreat for world weary souls - there is a certified cook nearby who would cater to guests. There is also a gardener/handyman and cleaning person, who already look after the grounds and keep an eye on the property in the owner’s absence.
The owner has all plans and estimates for the completion of works on the property, but realistically one is probably looking at a further investment of between 500-700,000 euro inclusive of a pool, landscaping, permissions and taxes. A lot of money….but to own this incredible pinnacle on top of the world with its seascape of running valleys and mountains of crested waves, could be money well spent if it provides the safe haven one is looking for to re-generate mind, body and soul.