Asking Price: €4,800,000
This medieval hamlet for sale in Umbria, Italy, dates back to the 12th century, as witnessed by the Todi’s Liber Focolarium, that is the book of the local families. It was then inhabited by 32 families, more or less 150 people.
Placed on a hilltop overlooking the Tiber River valley, Izzalini is surrounded by a large proprietary 16,000 sqm forest. You can find there ancient trees, witnessing the history of the place, olive groves, whose fruits’ nectar is the renowned exquisite Umbrian Extra Virgin Oil, pasture for herds, whose milk is used to make the delicious Umbrian cheeses on site and woodland, suitable for different purposes: activities, garden, cultivation (e.g.: vineyard, olives, truffles), etc.
Castello Izzalini is one of the most evocative villages around Todi. Todi is the Umbrian town best known for having been elected as the “most liveable town in Italy” by the University of Kentucky in the early 1990’s. The astonished guests find themself plunged into a fairy tale atmosphere and the exciting scents of nature.
It comes with a medieval church, built in 1576, where the Benedectine cloister of Sant’Angelo de Plebis was transfered, after the original premises were destroyed. The thick defensive walls and the secret passages have been faithfully restored. The décor of the castle is a modern interpretation of the style of ancient furniture used in the Middle Ages, tastefully combined with conveniences of today.
Izzalini was fortified during the Middle Ages by Ezzelino III Da Romano (1194 – 1259) a feudal lord in Treviso, who ruled Verona, Vicenza and Padua for almost two decades. He became infamous as a cruel tyrant though much of his sinister reputation may be due to the propaganda of his many enemies. Much of what we know about Ezzelino comes from a literary tradition that was embroidered over the course of centuries. Despite the brevity of his reign, Ezzelino’s reputed cruelty became symbolic of tyranny. Poets and chroniclers living in recent memory of his tactics used his name to evoke the sense of arbitrary power and the moral transgressions it enabled. Fourteenth century authors raised the level of accusation, insisting that Ezzelino’s parentage was demonic.
In Dante Aligheri’s Divine Comedy, his soul is consigned to Hell, where Dante encounters him in the Seventh Circle, First Ring: the Violent against their Neighbors (Inferno, XII, 109).
At this time, Emperor Frederick II was frequently at war with the Papacy, hemmed in between Frederick’s lands in northern Italy and his Kingdom of Sicily (the Regno) to the south. He then formed an alliance with several Ghibellines families, historical enemies of the Papacy, in order to subdue the whole Italy to the Germanic Empire. Of those Ghibellines families, Ezzelino’s was the most powerful. Ezzelino III, to strengthen the alliance with the Emperor, married one of his daughters, Selvaggia di Hohenstaufen.
According to the legend, he took possession of the castle and transformed it into a fortified castle completed with turrets and canon port holes, while travelling towards Rome to join the Emperor’s army in his fight with the Papacy over the control of Italy. The castle is said to be named from him, even if official documents show that it was already called De Gezalinis before Ezzelino’s domination. All the area finally fell under the control of the Papacy, as did the city of Todi, becoming part of the Papal States.
There were several Roman settlements in the area, as witnessed by findings and artifacts discovered. The history of the local area dates back to Etruscan and Roman times, so back to the 6th century B.C.
The central area of the hamlet is still surrounded by the walls and the old houses and towers are still visible. A belfry was built in the ancient tower, commissioned by Parson Bigaroni. It was formerly called Landone as belonging to a rich noble of the area, Landone Landi. It was then named Sant’Angelo from the name of the Benedictine cloister.
The belfry, together with the secret passages, gives to the Castle that medieval flavour of dodgy darkness, where you would not be surprised in a windy full moon night, to see a ghost wandering around.
Castello Izzalini’s medieval construction saw significant restoration over the last few years. It has been refurbished to high standards and equipped with all comforts. The restoration works were carried out in close co-operation with the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali (The Italian equivalent of English Heritage), using traditional materials and with great attention towards the architectural importance of the buildings.
The ancient fortress is “home” to 15 elegant apartments. Fine and elegant furniture, hard wood flooring, warm colours, fine Italian ceramics and mosaics of Bisazza contribute to create an enchanting atmosphere. All the apartments are equipped with kitchen facilities and modern technologies as LCD Plasmas, Satellite TV and WìFì high speed internet connection.
CASTELLO IZZALINI will soon have a new and elegant 200sqm CLUB HOUSE with:
- a wine cellar to supply with DOC fine wines and the possibility to organise wine tastings,
- an elegant 70 sqm bar with social and hobby rooms
- an organised and functional Business Centre
- a small shop to offer specially selected local food & wine products
- a state of the art SPA equipped with Jacuzzi, Turkish bath and massages and beauty treatments rooms and a small Gym.
Not only is the position panoramic, reserved and quiet, but it’s also just 10 km from Todi’s historical centre and the E45 motorway. From here you will be able to experience Todi, Orvieto, Perugia, Assisi, Terni, Spoleto, Spello, Lake Trasimeno, Castiglione del Lago, Deruta and many more splendid “pearls where history can be lived again”!