MAGNIFICENT CASTLE FOR SALE NEAR FLORENCE
Located approximately 25 km from Florence, this magnificent castle occupies an incredibly dominant position and is without a doubt, one of the most spectacular castles found anywhere in Tuscany.
The exact origins of the castle are unknown however documents dating back to the 14th century note the castle within local records. It is believed to have been built around a watchtower, first with a signaling function and then as a garrison, hosting a small group of soldiers for the control of the major roads that linked Florence to Arezzo and Rome.
Throughout the centuries the castle increased its strategic importance as it was located on the southern borders of the Republic of Florence, in an area where the power of noble feudal families was still strong, and where they often took refuge during wars and disputes of the time.
The castle eventually lost its military function and was subsequently transformed into a manor house. As with many other former military buildings located in the countryside it was later converted into a farm and at that time cellars and an oil mill were established in the basement. After a long period of dilapidation, in the first half of the 20th century the castle was restored by the current owners.
The castle consists of approximately 1,700 square meters of floor area including the living space of 1,277 square meters (13,745 square feet), and the basement of 434 square meters (4,672 square feet). An enclosed courtyard is approximately 237 square meters (2,651 square feet). The main tower at a height of approximately 30 meters (98 feet), offers absolutely breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside.
Historically significant, the property has all the characteristics to be transformed into a luxury boutique hotel or alternatively it is effortlessly a stunning private estate.
This is a unique opportunity to purchase one of the most impressive castles currently on the market not just in Italy but throughout Europe.
Towns / Cities
Florence 25 km (15 Miles)
Arezzo 50 km (31 Miles)
Siena 70 km (43 Miles)
Florence 40 km (24 Miles)
Pisa 110 km (68 Miles)
Price: Private Negotiation
Interior: Living Space: Approximately 1,277 sqm
Cellar/Cantina: Approximately 434 sqm
Land: Approximately 9 ha/22+ Acres
Chapel/Capella: Separate and included in this offering
TORRE DEL CASTELLANO Estate
A - Torre del Castellano: the medieval castle, built up and modified in different moments from XI to XV century, is constituted by two towers connected by a thick wall that is the external curtain of the habitable spaces, which circumscribe a rectangular courtyard. Most of the building is on two floors, while the towers have one 3 and the other 6 floors. The total number of rooms is 26, out of which 6 are large lounges, plus several small ancillary rooms, corridors and 7 toilets. Under the castle lays a cellar devoted to wine making until 2005, composed by 4 sections. The building is in good conditions because it has been restored throughout about 80 years ago. You can find some more information on the Torre del Castellano at www.torredelcastellano.it.
The total surface of the castle is about 1.300 square meters, plus 2 porches of 150 sqm, a courtyard of 230 sqm and the basement (cellars) of about 400 sqm.
The castle is surrounded on three sides by bastions with lawn (540 sqm) while access side has external gravel squares of about 550 sqm. On the southern side there is a 2.000 sqm garden.
The castle is furnished with valuable antique furniture, which is not included in the sale, though leaving part of it in the castle can be negotiated.
B – Chapel: it is a few centuries old and still consecrated; it is about 30 sqm and has a crypt that has been built around 1970.
NOTE: Please consider all measures as indicative, since we don’t have exact measurements, though these would be promptly available in case of a solid negotiation.
The castle and the surrounding area belonging to the estate
“Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed to be correct. Buyers should rely upon their own professional advisors and experts such as, but not limited to: Attorneys, Notaio’s, Engineers and Construction specialists to determine the condition and size of the property, the historic limitations and the potential for the use intended.”
Torre del Castellano, a solid square building considered one of the most beautiful castles in the area, is located in a position on the top of the Arno valley, north-east of Incisa and about twenty kilometres from Florence, overlooking the valley and the village (of Incisa) from a strategic and ideal position.
The history of the Torre del Castellano is uncertain in its origins, even if there is evidence of the control function in a strategic point for the intersection of the most important communication routes that united Fiesole before and Florence then to Arezzo and Rome. In the Middle Ages it was part of the possessions of the Conti Guidi and their vassals and witnessed the war facts that affected the southern borders of the Florentine Republic.
It is believed to have been built around a Langobardic watchtower (guardingus), first with a signaling function and then as garrison, hosting a small group of soldiers for the control of major roads that linked Florence to Arezzo and Rome, through the Upper Arno Valley (Valdarno).
The castle rose up in an ancient village named Cetina which included also the beautiful parish church of Cascia and was named Castelnuovo (Newcastle) in opposition to the existing castle on the opposite side of the Arno river. In the XII-XVI centuries the strategic importance of the Tower increased, as it was located on the southern borders of the Republic of Florence, in an area where the power of noble feudal families such as the Counts Guidi and the Pazzi, their vassals, was still strong, and where often took refuge Florentine exiles from both sides, during the struggle between Guelphs and Ghibellines. In the second half of the XIII century the owners, still belonging to the Guidi family, enlarged the building, giving it the actual structure. Among the most important interventions were the construction of internal walls, arcades and courtyard; this project has been attributed to the architect Arnolfo di Cambio who lefts many proofs of his talent in the Upper Valdarno, designing many buildings in the area on behalf of Florence Republic and who also enjoyed the trust of the Guidi Counts.
From the XIV century, the Tower lost its military function and was turned into a manor house by the Counts Castellani, that had major properties in the area, and from which later took the name. The first owner must have been Vanni di Lotto from whom it took its’ name (Vanni’s Castle). In this period the opening of wider and more comfortable internal doors and large windows to the outside took place; this was the period of greatest splendor, thanks in particular to Vanni’s son, Michele (di Vanni di Lotto), who
was a prominent figure in the life of the Florentine Republic during the second half of the century. Later on, the Castellani’s period was recalled in the name the Castle took after them: Torre del Castellano, the Castellani’s Tower.
Several owners followed in the following decades and from XVIII century the building faced a progressive decline. In fact, like many fortified structures in the area, lost its strategic function it experienced a slow decline and a progressive transformation into an agricultural structure so that, at the end of the nineteenth century, it poured into conditions of abandonment and degradation such as to require an important restoration operation.
Despite this, in 1913, after the promulgation of a specific law (n. 364/1909), the Torre del Castellano was included in the National list of protected goods of historical and artistic value.
The castle has a wine production cellar that has been used until about 20 years ago, it can be set up for a more modern processing with some work and equipment. If the goal is to produce a small amount of wine for own use or friends, the land around the castle can host 2-3 hectares of vineyard that would allow to produce more than 10,000 liters of wine that would be about 15,000 bottles.
In 1938 the actual owners entrusted the restoration to the Superintendence of Monuments of the Province of Florence after a project drawn up by the architect Guido Morozzi, director of the special section for the execution of interventions on monumental buildings and future superintendent. The works, directed by the architect Ferrero Garbati Pegna and funded by the owner Raffaello Pegna, were interrupted by the World War II and concluded after it’s end, in 1952.
The Torre del Castellano was also one of the safe houses chosen by Florence Museums Superintendent Giovanni Poggi, who was particularly fond of this building, to host the most important works of art from Florence and surroundings. So, as early as December 1943, when the war front was still far away, south of Rome, along the Gustav line, various masterpieces were transferred in two of the castle’s halls and the doors walled up. To further protect these treasures, the German Field Marshall general Albert Kesserling, ordered all troops not to access the castle. Unlike for other similar sanctuaries, that were damaged and looted, in this case the order was respected and the castle and its’ content were spared from the plunder of the retreating troops and remained secluded until the British Eighth Army's XIII Corps installed there a temporary command.
After the restoration the castle was used as seat for the surrounding large farm that, until 1945, was called Sant'Antonio and included more than 20 homesteads with vines, olive trees, arable land and woodland, together with rearing of sheep and cows, in the area surrounding the castle, and once again, the owners' home from 1943 up to 2002. In the basement a cellar and an olive mill were installed, while the higher tower was used for drying grapes to raisins and the storage of the vinsanto wine. The agricultural crisis, starting from the ’60s of the XX century, caused a progressive reduction of the farm, until in 2002 a hereditary division separated the castle from most of the surrounding land.
Today the majesty of the structure together with its’ good conditions make Torre del Castellano a remarkable landscape reference point at the entrance to the Upper Arno Valley well recognizable both from the highway and from the railway line south of Florence.
Assets and flaws
The castle is located in a strategical place, about half an hour drive from Firenze, Siena and Arezzo and on the predominant Italian north-south line, almost in the center of the country. It is easily accessible from Firenze airport and from the main Italian motorway and by railway, it also has annexed private spaces suitable for landing of helicopters. The north eastern side faces mountains and forests of great naturalistic interest, while on the south-west lays the Arno river and, on the other side, a few kilometres far, the renowned Chianti hills. The MALL, the world-famous International fashion hub (more than 2M visitors per year) is only 2 km far.
The Castle has gone through important restoration works in the first half of the XX century and minor but important conservation interventions more recently, so it is in good general conditions. Two of the 4 main
roofs and the roof of the tower have been redone in 2010 and the electric system in the ground floor has been recently designed and sized in conformity with actual laws.
The castle is partially furnished, with valuable antique pieces, part of which, upon request, can be left in place.
The castle is provided with a 2.000 sqm private garden and surrounded by about 7 hectares with ancient olive trees of land, suitable for cultivation or for the creation of a park. There is also a large private parking area of about 900 sqm. There are also 2 wells and 3 cisterns.
The estate is surrounded by a large farm, with country houses, belonging to a different ownership, that could be acquired for the making of a larger possession. In the area there are nice restaurants that provide good quality local cuisine.
On the other hand, some building Interventions are needed:
The main access private road to the castle is collapsed for about 25 meters, due to a larger landslide, and needs to be rebuilt. This work was quoted about 120,000 euro in 2010.
Two of the 4 main roofs need to be restored and there are some cracks in the walls to be fixed, but none of these works are urgent or particularly onerous.
About 40 window frames out of 50 need to be redone, but also in this case the intervention is not extremely urgent.
The electric system of the upper floors needs to be redone and also the plumbing, though hot and cold water is available in the four upper bedrooms.
The heating system is obsolete and needs to be redone.
The stone wall sustaining the garden is collapsed in some parts.
The building would benefit from the installation of a lightning rod (quoted 15,000 euro in 2010).
An overall renovation of the structure should include the remaking of the last part of the sewage system (septic tanks).
Being the castle included in the National list of buildings of relevant cultural interest it is protected from abuses by the Italian law. Actually, the main reference is the Decreto Legislativo 22 gennaio 2004, n. 42; the main prescriptions are:
Art. 20.1 – Cultural heritage cannot be destroyed, deteriorated, damaged or used for uses that are not compatible with their historical or artistic character or that are likely to prejudice their conservation;
Art. 21.4 - …the execution of works and works of any kind on cultural heritage is subject to authorization by the superintendent;
Art. 21.5 - …. the authorization is given on a project or, if sufficient, on a technical description of the intervention, presented by the applicant;
Art. 27.1 - In the event of absolute urgency, the necessary temporary interventions can be carried out to avoid damage to the protected property, provided that immediate notification is given to the superintendency;
Art. 30.3- Private owners, owners or holders of cultural goods are required to guarantee their conservation;
Art. 32.1 - The Ministry can impose on the owner, owner or holder in any capacity the necessary interventions to ensure the conservation of cultural heritage, or directly provide for it;
Art. 34.1- The charges for interventions on cultural assets, imposed or carried out directly by the Ministry pursuant to article 32, are borne by the owner or holder. However, if the interventions are of particular relevance or are carried out on goods in use or public enjoyment, the Ministry may contribute in whole or in part to the relative expenditure. In this case, it determines the amount of the charge that it intends to incur and notifies the interested party;
Art. 35.1 - The Ministry has the right to contribute to the expenditure incurred by the owner, owner or holder of the cultural property for the execution of the interventions provided for in Article 31, paragraph 1, for an amount not exceeding half of the same. If the interventions are of particular relevance or concern goods in use or public enjoyment, the Ministry can contribute to the expenditure up to its entire amount.
Art. 38.1 - Cultural heritage restored or subjected to other conservative interventions with the total or partial contribution of the State in spending, or for which interest subsidies have been granted, are made accessible to the public according to methods established, case by case, by special agreements or agreements to be stipulated between the Ministry and the individual owners when the burden of expenditure pursuant to article 34 or the granting of the contribution pursuant to articles 35 and 37 is assumed.
Owner of cultural heritage cannot transfer ownership or possession of the property through sale or donation, without first informing the Ministry, which has the right of first refusal.
Reddito tassabile per privati ….. società ……. IMU riduzione del 50% della rendita catastale al fine del calcolo della base imponibile IMU e TASI Vendita imposta di registro con aliquota del 9%. Per chi acquista ……………
per chi vende ………………
A tax deduction of 19% is envisaged for maintenance, protection or restoration of historical and artistic assets. The tax deduction for tied assets can be combined with that of 50% (actual percentage in 2019) envisaged for the recovery of existing housing stock.
In this case, however, the tax discount for tied properties is reduced by 50%. Therefore 9.5% plus 50% can be deducted. The reduction relates only to that part of the expenditure for which the deduction for the recovery of the building stock is also used at the same time.
Other tax breaks to support the owners of tied assets concern:
registration, mortgage and cadastral taxes
inheritance and donation tax