La Torre Di Pila
Pila, Perugia, Italy
- Original main building was constructed around a 15th Century watchtower.
- Formal Italian gardens, swimming pool, a pond with swans, gazebo, amphitheatre
- Additional buildings include a Tuscan style farmhouse, outbuildings, stable, two greenhouses, an old cellar, a cow barn, pigsty hayloft and carefully cultivated farmland.
The “Villa la Torre di Pila” is situated high above the village, surrounded and protected by its own grounds.
The original main building of the Villa was constructed around a 15th Century watchtower.
The property belonged to the noble family of the Marquis Monaldi, who erected a large house surrounded by gardens. In the 20th Century the property passed on to the Bartocci Family, and ownership then passed on to the “Congregazione di Carita di Perugia”. In 1930, Count Francesco Maria Guardabassi bought the property and summoned Ugo Tarchi, the famous roman architect, to refurbish it. It was at this point that the villa was given the name of “Villa Torre di Pila”, and went on to become a property renowned for its luxurious appointments and natural beauty. Formal Italian gardens were designed and installed with a pond to accommodate swans. Winding pathways were cut in the park-like grounds and through the adjacent woods, and a large swimming pool was added. Farmhouses were added for the groundskeepers and other staff, modeled in the rustic Tuscan style. Greenhouses-one of them a “limonaia” (which would be an “orangerie” in France)- and various useful outbuildings were also added. Cowsheds and stables were added and the amount of farmland was increased. A 2-½ mile (4 km) aqueduct was put in to ensure all the fresh water that such an important house and extensive gardens would require. As was the custom of the day in grand homes, a hunting reserve was created, stocked with pheasants and hares.
At the beginning of WWII, the villa was rented to the Bulgari Family, the famous jewelers of Rome. Because of the Villa’s renown and importance, along with its central strategic locations, for a time during the war it became the headquarters for the German Army, and later for the Allied Troops. During these two occupations the villa was stripped of most of its household furnishings and abandoned, as happened to many such properties across Italy.
In 1989, after the house lost a loving owner, the property was bought by Maurizio Petrini, who has spent years returning Villa la Torre to its original splendor with great enjoyment.
“Villa la Torre di Pila”, together with its farm houses and other outbuildings, the Italian gardens, and the park that surrounds the villa, have all been declared of particular historic interest by the Soprintendente ai Beni Ambientali Architettonici Artistici e Storici dell’Umbria and are, therefore, protected and safeguarded by special laws.
Architect Tarchi, who gathered inspiration from 16th and 17th Century Roman and Tuscan palaces, designed the Villa, adding a dramatic front façade that looks out on formal gardens. From stone terraces that grace the second story you can admire the breadth of the entire property and the dramatic hillsides and farm fields beyond with a view that goes as far as Assisi, Perugia and Lake Trasimeno.
The villa is surrounded by formal Italian gardens, a park with many fountains, a swimming pool, a pond with swans, a gazebo, a small amphitheatre, a well and a large cistern serving the aqueduct.
The park-like grounds are rich with a vast variety of evergreen and deciduous trees, including box-trees, citrus trees, laurel and lilacs, maritime pine trees, bamboos, taxus barbassi, Lebanon cider trees, palm trees, citrus trees, magnolias, etc. All of these plants profuse their essences and perfumes everywhere on the property, mingling with those of the lemon trees, the olive trees, the vineyards and hazelnut trees.
The additional holdings that surround Villa Torre di Pila are extensive, including a Tuscan style farmhouse, outbuildings, an old cellar, a stable, two greenhouses, a cow barn, pigsty hayloft and carefully cultivated farmland.
The interior of the Villa is breathtaking in its attention to architectural detail and adornment, yet at the same time it is warm and comfortable. There are numerous ground floor rooms with frescoed walls and ceilings with medieval and classical scenes and a paneled library that is simply exquisite. 17th Century hand-painted French doors, decorated with evocative scenes, enclose the main sitting room. Almost every room in the house has a majestic marble fireplace. The enclosed sunroom/dining area is paved in hand-painted Deruta majolica and brickwork.
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