Lakefront Real Estate – a large (1,185 sqm – 12,751 sqft) 16th-century manor villa on the shores of Lake Iseo. Needs work but an excellent opportunity to make a luxury home and/or upmarket accommodation business.
16th-century Lakefront Villa
A 16th-century manor villa with a botanic park for sale on the shores of Lake Iseo, at the foot of the Alpes and directly in front of Monte Isola. The structure, which spans over 1,500 square metres, is a classic noble villa, complete with frescoed halls, large windows, and a direct view of the lake. The home is perfectly suited both as a private residence and as an accommodation business, with a total of 9 bedrooms (and the ability to create additional). The botanic garden, designed by botanist and agronomist Luigi Fenaroli, spans 2.1 hectares and houses unusual and exotic plants from throughout the world.
The villa’s location is ideal (the town can be accessed on foot in just a few minutes) and provides for easy travel throughout Northern Italy. Bergamo Airport (43km; 40′) is the closest, however, the terminals in Milan, Verona, Venice, and Bologna are also convenient.
The manor villa has a surface area of 1,185 sqm – 12,751 sqft with at the moment, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and is a three-story property that dates back to the mid-16th century and is located along the road overlooking Lake Iseo. The current appearance of the structure is the result of a series of 18th-century renovations that significantly changed the house. Three gorgeous reception rooms with a beautiful outdoor veranda, a kitchen with a pantry, and a bathroom are located on the ground level (ceilings vary between 2.8 and 3.6 m). Other secondary rooms with independent access, such as cellars and storage, are positioned in a corner of the lower floor.
A living room, two studios, a library with reading room, five bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a lovely veranda with a balcony facing the lake on one side and the garden on the other are on the first floor (ceilings vary between 2.7 and 3.6 m), reached through a spectacular stone staircase.
Finally, the second floor has a number of underused rooms (ceiling heights range from 1.5 to 3.0 m) that might be simply repaired and transformed into additional bedrooms and baths.
The villa is in good condition; nevertheless, work is needed to repair and maintain some of its most appealing characteristics, as well as a complete replacement and updating of the systems that are outdated and no longer fit for current purposes. The apartments, which are all extremely large, have manorial elements like frescoed high ceilings, stone fireplaces, and large windows that make the room’s light and inviting while providing a wonderful view of Lake Iseo. There is currently no heating system in the villa (it can be installed when updating the systems).
The villa’s three stories also have three distinct apartments with separate entrances that may be used to house staff or guests (no matter the use of the villa, either private or as an accommodation business).
– Apartment N°1 (82 sqm/882 sqft, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom): This ground-floor unit consists of an entry hall, a living room with kitchen, a bedroom with an outside terrace, and a bathroom. With terracotta floors, oak fixtures, and an independent heating system, the flat is in superb condition. A cellar and a storage room are also attached to the unit.
– Apartment N°2 (84 sqm – 904 sqft, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom): on the first floor, this unit consists of a large living area with a kitchen and a bedroom with a balcony and bathroom. The flat, like the last one, is in good shape, with terracotta floors, oak furnishings, and independent heating.
– Apartment N°3 (94 sqm – 983 sqft, 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom): This apartment is located on the second floor and is accessed through an independent staircase from the ground floor. It consists of a large living area with a kitchen, two bedrooms, and a bathroom. The finishes are similar to those found in the preceding two units.
A Cascina (135 sqm – 1,453 sqft) on two levels is located at the back of the property, at the garden’s edge. The structure, which is formed of stone and has a wooden ceiling covered with terracotta tiles, is currently utilised as a storage chamber and may be approached by a narrow passageway (suitable for small vehicles). The structure is in good shape but might use a comprehensive makeover. A historic water tank, fed by the property’s natural spring, is located just beneath the Cascina.
The villa is surrounded on the front by a wall that surrounds a paved and gravelled apron that runs around the lake. However, the true surprise is on the other side of the structure. A gorgeous 2.1-hectare botanic garden with a natural spring feeding a web of streams can be found in the back. Luigi Fenaroli (1899 – 1980), a botanist and agronomic, designed the park, which is a unique testament to his research: he put here unusual plants that grow nowhere else in Lombardy, such as bamboo, camphor, gigantic redwood, and ginkgo biloba.
The presence of kiwi trees (Actinidia) is particularly noteworthy: Fenaroli was the first to attempt to establish this species in Italy, bringing ten sprigs from New Zealand. The experiment, which took place in 1960 in partnership with the Sorbonne Botanique Garden, was a big success, as evidenced by the fact that Italy is currently the world’s second-largest producer of kiwis, behind China, where the tree originated.
- TYPE: Lakefront villa with a botanic garden
- CONDITION: Habitable
- LOCATION: Residential area, lakefront
- MUNICIPALITY: Lake Iseo
- PROVINCE: Bergamo
- REGION: Lombardy
- INTERIORS: 1,580 square metres (17,001 square feet)
- TOTAL ROOMS: 30
- BEDROOMS: 9+
- BATHROOMS: 6+
- MAIN FEATURES: Lake view, panoramic terrace, stone walls, loggia, large windows, wooden-and-metal fixtures, original terracotta floors, wooden beams, frescoed vaulted ceilings, original stone fireplaces, a botanic garden with rare and exotic plants, natural spring, gravelled apron
- LAND: 2.1 hectares (5.2 acres)
- GARDEN: Yes, mature and well-maintained
- ANNEXES: Cascina
- ACCESS: Excellent
- SWIMMING POOL: No
- ELECTRICITY: Already connected
- WATER SUPPLY: Mains water + private natural spring
- TELEPHONE: Already connected
- ADSL: Yes
- GAS: Municipal network
- HEATING SYSTEM: To be connected (villa) + already connected (apartments)
- CLOSEST CITIES AND TOWNS Town with services (350m; 2’), Sarnico (10km; 10’), Iseo (21km; 25’), Bergamo (43km; 45’), Brescia (48km; 50’), Crema (70km; 1h 10’), Desenzano del Garda (74km; 1h), Milan (96km; 1h 30’), Verona (112km; 1h 20’), Como (127km; 1h 40’), Piacenza (131km; 1h 40’), Trento (176km; 2h), Venice (222km; 2h 30’)
- CLOSEST AIRPORTS Bergamo Caravaggio (43km; 40’), Milano Linate (86km; 1h 10’), Verona Catullo (104km; 1h 20’), Milano Malpensa (127km; 1h 30’), Venezia Marco Polo (227km; 1h 25’), Bologna Marconi (231km; 2h 30’)
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