There is a Tuscany town house for sale in Maremma with a magnificent view of a mountain. In the hill top town of Seggiano, the home of a very special and unique extra virgin olive oil. And the mountain. Well, the mountain is no ordinary mountain. It is a magical mountain.
A mountain whose glorious centuries old beech, chestnut, and pine forests, hide waterfalls and steaming hot springs and pools. Was once the home of a fire breathing dragon who ate cows, sheep and other livestock, plus a man a day for good measure. Until he was slain by a knight on horseback with the help of the wizard and alchemist of Arcidosso. And where, on a splendid bright green grass covered plateau on its flank - the "prato dell'amore" (the meadow of love) - in times of yore, angels would come down from heaven to meet with the most beautiful girls of the local towns drawn to it by an irresistible force on warm summers evenings. The children born out of their unions were even more beautiful than their mothers and were given heavenly names of Cherub, Gabriel, and Seraph.
The mountain is Monte Amiata. And, just as its veins run rich and deep with minerals, so do those of every man, woman and child born on its slopes and foothills with its living folklore. Stories and legends that tell of a time not so long ago when we didn't pretend to know everything and when magic had its place in everyday life. And at the heart of each one lies a truth we would find difficult to believe today.
An extinct volcano revered by the Etruscans, whose geothermal force heats this land.
And the house. Well, the house is something rather special. A splendid, spacious three-story, stone home. Built in 1881 with the initials A & C in wrought-iron and a rose above it's door. With a formal lay-out that reminds me of Georgian town houses in England; with separate, well proportioned rooms all with their own original purpose. Now fully restored with an airy feel.
And a roomy roof-top terrace with an enchanting view.
A town house that will make you race to open your windows in the morning. Or leave them open all night to see the moon light-up Monte Amiata's snow covered peak and the pixie dust in the forest! Just kidding about the second! But who knows?!
The side view of the house: the two doors that you can see lead to the expansive ground floor. The front door is up the street on the right - in Via Vittorio Veneto - opposite your neighbours bright white washing that is hung out to dry.
I have tried to find out who A & C were. What their story is, why they built Number 3, and who lived within its walls after them. But so far, the register of births deaths and marriages in Seggiano for the years before and after have not given me a lead. But I will keep looking and update here when I find something tangible. Another visit to the keeper of the olive oil mill museum in town and a chat with the locals in the bar that serves great tea and cakes is in order I think.
What I do know, is that in 1881, Seggiano was home to 1994 inhabitants. I just have to find out which one or two of them built this house. The odds aren't that bad!
Whoever they were, they had money and a degree of standing in the community. For the construction of this house was a large undertaking. With a formal room plan. Decorated in style. With a lovely surprise for us today. Within the town's medieval walls and just feet away from its principle church.
The main room on the first floor. And that surprise. A beautiful convex frescoed ceiling. The inspiration, I am sure for the current owners and restorers choice of complementary pale blue for the walls of the rooms on this floor.
The corner details. Two birds, together holding a world of erupting volcanoes!
The modern en-suite bathroom is small, doesn't have a bath or shower, but it does have that view. You could use this room as a large living room, but my choice would be a rather wonderful and oh, so elegant, double bedroom. The living room I would put upstairs, in another room with a view.
NB. That is no ordinary olive tree growing in the circular piazza below. And that is no ordinary piazza! Find out more below.
The dining room with an open fireplace just waiting for a cosy winter's evening in and a bottle of local red wine to share, breathing on its mantlepiece.
The fully plumbed-in kitchen just waiting for your choice of appliances and fittings. It's window opens into Via Vittorio Veneto below, perfect for watching the world go by, albeit ever so slowly here in Maremma. For a chat with your new friends in town as they pass by, or to call out to your other half not to forget the milk as he shuts the front door.
In times not so far past, a basket would have been lowered down for the children of the house to put in the bread and supplies they had brought for mum, and for her to lower down their afternoon "merenda" (snack) as they played in the street.
The second bedroom with its window opening onto the side of the house. Between the two rooms is the main bathroom.
The marble stairs up and down to the front door.
And those up another level to the upper rooms and a terrace with a view.
The view as you open the door to the terrace at the top of the stairs on a November morning. With a light flurry of snow on the top of Monte Amiata. Not enough for skiing, yet. But it will come.
At mid-point in this photo, nestled amongst green, is the Church of Our Lady of Charity. Funded by the Bishop of Pienza to mark the end of a great famine, it was built between 1589 and 1603 by workers brought in from Lugano in Switzerland. Considered today to be a jewel of late Mannerism, it is the only Spanish baroque facade in trachyte to be found in Tuscany. It's brick cupola is rather special too.
The view to the left.
Of olive groves and green as far as the eye can see.
And left some more, the bell tower of the town's Chiesa di San Bartolomeo.
To the right, the view continues down the flank of Monte Amiata and across the terracotta rooftops of Seggiano.
Going back inside.
The stairwell with its terracotta roof tiles and wooden beams.
At the top of the stairs the door to the right takes you into the first room with double windows that open onto the terrace. It is this room that I would make my living room, with a huge soft sofa and shelves piled high with books.
On through this room, the second room/bedroom is on your left.
And the under the roof bathroom on your right.
Tucked around that corner is a shower. Now I have to say that, in places in this house, the doorways are pretty low for a tall person like me, and the shower in this bathroom isn't one that I could comfortably stand in. To me, the space is calling-out for a luxurious roll-top bath!
To get a good feel of the size and space of this house you need to see the plans.
The ground floor basement, accessed from the side street, is huge. Has been restored too and would make for an amazing self-contained work area or independent apartment.
Special things on your doorstep that you don't find everyday, even in a magical place like Maremma in Tuscany.
16th century graffiti that tells a tale.
Step into an olive mill that will take you back in time.
For the asking price of this town house in the centre of Seggiano and lots more information, contact Rita Renzi and Riccardo Giuntini, of the Tuscanary real estate agency here in Maremma. The agency that I recommend for anyone house hunting in this part of Tuscany.
You can them an email directly via this form.
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