By John O’Ceallaigh
I recently wrote about Reschio, a newly opened hotel in Umbria formed from a 1,000-year-old castle. Developments like that don’t – can’t – come around often, and yet here we are: on the same week that Reschio opened, specialist business property adviser Christie & Co announced it was marketing for sale a portfolio of assets centred around the medieval Umbrian village of Parrano. The 2,700-acre estate has the ancient Castle of Parrano as its centrepiece and there is already much in place to make this site another of Italy’s most distinctive luxury hotels.
Located between Rome and Florence, the estate will be offered for sale at auction in October with a reserve price of €15m. In return, the buyer will receive:
- The fully refurbished Castle of Parrano with 26 master suites and spa centre
- Four additional buildings located in the medieval village of Parrano
- 23 casali/ farmhouses dotted around the village with potential for conversion into villas and fractional ownership; ranging in size between 1,600 and 150 sqm – potential for 75 additional accommodation units
- 741 acres of hunting reserve
- 12 small lakes
- Various stables
- Around 2,500 acres of agricultural land available for redevelopment
- An outdoor shooting range spanning 25,000 sqm which requires redevelopment
- Opportunity to develop a 130-key hotel with golf and spa facilities on 5,300 sqm of land
Given I’ve spent the last week looking at London properties for sale, that looks like quite a bargain. I mean, all of this comes in for about the same price as a Mayfair mansion.
Currently home to about 500 people, the municipality of Parrano straddles a UNESCO biosphere reserve and is coated in dense woodlands, vineyards and tracts of olive trees. Nearby attractions include Tane del Diavolo, a complex system of caves thought to have been inhabited for since prehistoric times, and Bagno del Diavolo, a thermal park which sits at the foot of the village.
More generally, of course, the site’s peaceful location – while remaining an easy drive from either Rome or Florence – should make it an even more attractive proposition in this ‘new normal’. As Carine Bonnejean, Managing Director of Hotels at Christe & Co comments, the “abundance of outdoor space and offerings” should do much to entice buyers. The option to develop a new 130-bedroom hotel and 75 extra private accommodation units in the existing casali and buildings surrounding the village will no doubt be a big lure too.
For more information on the auction, visit christie.com.