On the hills north of Florence, with an incredible view of the historic city center, luxury apartments in a 15th-century historic villa. The two units (540 sqm and 150 sqm respectively) are totally independent: the larger one is entirely renovated, with elegant original finishes perfectly preserved, while the smaller one needs complete restoration. The Italian garden (3,500 sqm) is exclusive property with independent access and offers an incomparable view of the city of Florence, dominated by Brunelleschi’s dome.
Basic services are located at the base of the hill (2km) and can be reached by car in just over five minutes. The historic center of Florence is a little further away (about 5 km to the Viali di Circonvallazione) and can be reached in about fifteen minutes. Particularly convenient is the well-connected Florence airport, which is about 10 minutes’ drive away.
DESCRIPTION OF THE BUILDINGS
The property consists of two adjoining but totally independent apartments, located on the ground floor of the villa and overlooking the Italian garden.
The manorial apartment (500 sqm – 5,380 sqft, 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms) has been entirely renovated. The double reception hall with parquet floor overlooks the garden and consists of a living area with 18th-century fireplace, library and cinema corner. Passing through an elegant marble-floored gallery, one arrives at the large eat-in kitchen, dining room and office space, all of which overlook the garden. The sleeping area at the far end of the floor consists of five large double bedrooms, all with private bathrooms tiled and furnished with design pieces by the Florentine Riccardo Barthel. The outdoor loggia overlooking the garden (70 sqm – 753 sqft) is perfect for relaxing in the open air or for having dinners with friends.
At the rear of the flat is also a comfortable caretaker’s apartment (40 sqm – 430 sqft) made up of a living area with kitchenette, bedroom, small walk-in wardrobe and bathroom. The unit (equipped, among other things, with independent heating) can be accessed from a secondary door at the rear of the villa or directly from the main apartment via an internal door, which also makes it very convenient for service personnel.
The guest apartment (150 sqm – 1,614 sqft) is located on the opposite side of the condominium foyer and consists of four large rooms with finely frescoed 4 m ceilings. The unit is in need of complete renovation and can therefore be customized according to the owners’ taste. The apartment can also be entered from the garden, through a door in the main façade of the villa.
In the basement the property also has an exclusive cellar (60 sqm – 646 sqft) consisting of a large room with storage. The larger room of the cellar is in any case windowed and equipped with a fireplace, which means it could be easily used as a tavern or game room.
HISTORY OF THE VILLA
The villa dates back in its original layout to the 15th century and passing from hand to hand came to the Pasquali family in 1713 who then commissioned Alfonso Parigi with the renovation (the same architect had already overseen the extension of Boboli).
In the 19th century, the villa was purchased by Jérôme Bonaparte (King of Westphalia and last brother of the better known Napoléon I of France) who then bequeathed it to his daughter Mathilde and her husband Anatoly Demidov: thanks to them, the villa took on its final and current appearance. In 1908, the building was purchased by the Barons Ritter de Zahony, who invested considerable sums in the complete restoration of the villa. Illustrious guests who stayed at and/or visited the villa include the French statesman and historian Adolphe Thiers and the American writer Mark Twain.
The Italian garden (2,400 sqm – 0.6 ac) stands on a terrace that elevates it above the English-style park that then surrounds the villa. The balustrade that encircles the garden is decorated with statues in exquisite 18th-century taste and recalls in its lines the terrace on the main floor of the villa.
The garden’s boxwood hedges, geometrically shaped but sinuous and intricate, reflect the French taste for elegance and frame a marble basin in the center.
Below the garden lies the romantic park that forms the backdrop to the building: here are stone paths with 18th-century statues, a pond and a multitude of plants and shrubs (buckeye, strawberry trees, Arizona cypresses, Tuscan cypresses, gingko biloba, laurels, pines, planes, holly oaks, English oaks, red oaks, redwoods, elms, laurestine…).
To the side of the garden is a gravel courtyard with hedges and ornamental plants (1,100 sqm – 0.3 ac): this portion is accessed through a private entrance located on the side of the garden and closed by a gate. This makes the ground floor of the villa extremely convenient by providing a separate entrance from that used by the other tenants (it is still possible, however, to reach the rear of the villa and enter the two apartments from the condominium foyer.