By George Upton
For a grand London townhouse
This six-bedroom Grade II-listed townhouse in south-west London is notable for its 42ft-long first-floor drawing room. The high frescoed ceiling, which was painted in 1865 by an Italian artist, is framed by a golden plasterwork cornice. Victorian-era details, such as the scagliola columns, ornate mirrors and carved marble fireplaces, have been retained while the parquet flooring was installed as part of a recent renovation of the property. The drawing room is lit with natural light from both ends, with a view over Clapham Common from a veranda at the front of the house, accessed via French doors, and sash windows at the rear that look out over landscaped gardens. The property is on the market for £7.9mn.
For a family home in a Mediterranean village
This 140-year-old five-bedroom townhouse in Lija, a small village in central Malta, has been carefully maintained by three generations of the same family. Period details have been preserved, such as the original wood-burning fireplaces and cornicing, and the trompe l’óeil ceiling fresco above the large stone staircase was recently restored. Outside the property, which is on the market for €3.5mn, there is a walled garden with a koi fish pond, and views across the island from the roof.
For a grand palazzo
Designed by Renaissance-era architect Andrea da Valle, the 10-bedroom Villa Roberti near Padua, in northern Italy, features frescoes by some of the leading painters of the period. The large main hall (also main image, above) has windows on either end that illuminate paintings by Paolo Veronese, Giambattista Zelotti and Antonio Fasolo, as well as the 18th-century stuccowork and original painted ceiling beams. The property, which is on the market for €4.3mn, was built on the ruins of a 14th-century castle. It includes a surviving, and habitable, medieval tower, a 15th-century barchessa (a porticoed farm building) and five acres of grounds along with a gardener’s house, English flower garden and forest.
For a view of the sea
The historic Portuguese village of Sintra became a popular summer resort for both artists and aristocrats in the 19th century and is considered the first centre of European Romantic architecture. This 11-bedroom manor house, which is on the market for €6.5mn, is part of a property commissioned in Sintra in 1830 by the Marquis of Saldanha. Intended for the Marquis’s mother, the house was designed by a celebrated Italian architect, and was decorated with frescoes by Italian artists, earning it the name Casa Italiana. The property’s elevated position on a cliffside terrace means there are expansive views from all three floors across the hilly landscape — including the nearby Sintra National Palace, the summer residence of the monarchs of Portugal during the 19th century — to the sea beyond.
For a typical Barcelona apartment
The Eixample district in central Barcelona is known for its grid system and modernist architecture. This 10-bedroom flat occupies the entire floor of an early 1930s apartment building that is typical of the area. For sale at €1.79mn, the property has original wooden doors, Nolla mosaic floors and leaded windows. The ceilings, which are more than four metres high, feature well-maintained coffered mouldings and frescoes.
Photography: Italy Sotheby’s International Realty; Savills; Alex Zaetta Photo/Christie’s International Real Estate