When you visit this house for sale in Tuscany you need to put your special pair of glasses on. The ones that let you see latent potential. For this property has lots.
It's not that the house isn't liveable in. It is. And is. And it is a homely home at that.
But that Podere Peroporcino is like an unruly teenager. Full of incredible potential. Already showing some, but hiding it. Wearing a "moda" (fashion) that doesn't fit. She knows it, but struggles on nevertheless. Yet on some days, quirks aside, oh on some days, when the going is easy, she blooms. And is a sight for sore eyes.
Podere Peroporcino sits snuggled into the side of a lush green hill. With its spacious garden behind and alongside. And a view. Which you don't need those glasses for! An expansive, breathtaking, view of a valley. A long valley. Called nothing less than the, "Val del Conca d'Oro". The Valley of the Golden Vase.
To reach it you will need to drive down the hill along a single-track lane. A beautiful route to take any day in this neck of the woods in Maremma, for a drive or a stroll. But something rather special when it is to reach your house.
The top of the hill is home to ancient chestnut trees, that give way as you descend to the silver blue of olive groves underlain by a carpet of thick green grass. Rich grass munched on by small flocks of sheep and goats grazing on the steep slopes. You'll pass a tiny cluster of ancient, really ancient, small stone houses. One room deep, with thick stone walls. That would once have been home to families who worked this land centuries and centuries ago. And all the while there is that view of the valley, with the sun sweeping down its length, laid out for you. Expansive and stunning.
The daughter of the owner of Podere Peroporcino walked that lane everyday. Up to school in the morning to the town above. And down again in the afternoon. What a fantastic simple thing for a child in this day and age to be able to experience. To witness the shooting-up of minature wild cyclamen along the banks, ringing in the beginning of one season. And a cover of crisp, sparking, white frost heralding another. On the foothills of Maremma's stunning volcanic Monte Amiata mountain. All the while, I have no doubt, listening to her MP3 player and texting on her smart phone!
Take a right as the lane begins to level out, and a single track takes you past the house to its gateway. And these views.
It is now that you need to see past first impressions.
For when you have parked your car in the garden you it will be the outbuildings that will catch your eye. And the barn. Buildings that all need some attention.
Peroporcino can be lived in like it is, without doing a thing. Collect the keys upon completion of the sale and move in.
But, if you have the time and some funds. Then there are two things that would transform it into an altogether different house. Still a typical Tuscan one. Of stone and arches. But one that sings with the joy of having been seen for what she really is. And been given the attention she needed to fulfil her potential.
Spacious. Flooded with light. A gem overlooking a valley of gold. Ready for generation after generation of a family to fill it with new memories. Of muddy boots from treks hunting for wild asparagus in the spring and mushrooms in the fall. Of wet towels and laughs in the summer from trips down the hill for a dip in the waterfall. And skiis in the winter from long days spent on the snow-covered peak above, on Monte Amiata.
The first would be to re-configure its internal layout.
Its current configuration comprises two dwellings. Totalling 180 sqm. An apartment with an independent entrance (from the garden) that occupies the ground floor of the house and its annexe (painted white). And the main house on the first and second floors. With it's entrance, again, from the garden to the rear.
Connecting the two through the house's kitchen into the annexe apartment would open-up the house and allow for a re-designation of existing rooms. Resulting in a substantial and spacious family home. With a family-sized bathroom that it needs.
The second is the barn. And the outbuildings in the garden. Which together total approximately another 150 sqm to "play with". With the appropriate planning permission, the barn could be turned into an independent second home, a massive studio, a bed and breakfast... With such a large space, the problem will be deciding what not to do with it.
Open-up its front-facing wall, with floor to ceiling glass, and you would have an exciting self-contained building to rent out, play drums to your hearts content, or paint in. All surrounded by peace and quiet and open countryside.
One option would be to realise the barn's potential first. Move in. And then invite the builders in to re-design the house.
The kitchen has a wood-burning stove that you can cook on, and a conventional gas oven. Plus an open fire-place in typical Tuscan-style. The wood-stove keeps the whole of this side of this house warm. Its warm air rises up the open staircase to the two bedrooms and bathroom above.
If you are like my mum and have always wanted one, there is a stone butler sink. And wooden ceiling beams throughout.
The door to the downstairs bathroom is the one next to the sink. The one that is open is the front door that takes you to the covered first-floor terrace and the garden. With mature fruit trees.
The sun terrace in mid-day winter sunshine. The sun rises at one end of the garden and passes along its length during the day. To behind the valley where it sets. Magnificently. Silhouetting the village of Montegiovi on its hill.
The apartment also has it's own wood-burning stove and open fireplace.
The living/dining room.
The glass-paneled door takes you to the bathroom.
The other door takes you down a short flight of steps into the day room.
Which opens onto the double bedroom.
All the windows in the apartment open onto that valley view.
It is here that you get to bake Italian-style, in your own wood pizza oven. Proper pizza. Nothing tastes quite like it, especially when you have made it with your own hands and put on top anything and everything you want!
While you are waiting for the crust to go golden brown and the mozarella to bubble, nibble on an antipasti of your own fresh figs - from the tree alongside - and some slices of salami from your walk into town. And sip on a glass of Prosecco. If you want to, of course!
Or even put those figs on the pizza with some Gorgonzola or prosciutto crudo. Or both. Just remember to invite me round when you do :)
The garden in mid-November sunshine. It's a good-sized garden - all of 2,525 sqm - home to 30 olive trees.
A grove big enough to produce sufficient extra virgin olive oil to keep you supplied for a whole year. And a perfect place to relax in the shade during the heat of a summer's day.
The garden isn't a formal one, but it does have it's own "rooms". With paths and planted sections.
If it were mine, I would convert one of those rooms into an "orto" - an allotment - for tiny, fresh, bursting spheres of cherry tomatoes, Mediterranean vegetables and fruit. And another jam-packed with herbs: rosemary, parsley, thyme, nipetella and sage. And some tiny red hot peppers to dry and give my pasta dishes a kick of heat.
And it has its own spring. So watering those plants in the summer won't require you to use precious tap water.
The town on the hill, Castel del Piano, is literally only a couple of minutes drive away. Or about a 15 to 20 minute walk: uphill on the way, but all downhill on the way back :)
With not one, but two huge churches, restaurants, bars, and a pasticceria that is famous for its sweet things for miles and miles around in these parts. I always try and arrive in time for coffee and a cake in Castel del Piano before setting off on the short, but oh so stunningly beautiful drive to the top of Maremma's Monte Amiata.
For the floor plans, more information and the asking price, which is negotiable, contact Rita Renzi and Riccardo Giuntini, the real estate agents handling the sale and the ones that I recommend for house hunting here in Maremma.
You can them an email directly via this form.
Explore some more...