"Castello Due" is a very old property, started as four servants houses for the Castello Podenzana, built in 1024.
The houses was totally upgraded in the late 1990th, built together to one spacious high standard Villa in the front of the castle, with true Tuscany details.
The house includes 5 bedrooms, sleeping some 12 persons, 3 bathrooms, sitting room dining room for 12 persons, WiFi . 16 rooms all together, including a Cantina/Taverna seating 18 persons, garden, workshop, technical room and storage room. More than 300 m2,
Outdoor there are 6 terraces all with total privacy (4 large and 3 small) all with stunning panoramic view, combined Swimming pool and Fountain, inside covered with glass mosaic glass tiles. There are also 3400m2 land, partly garden, including fruit trees, and partly woodland.
The Location is very unique. From 300 m above Aulla you can see the Apennines, Carrara (white marble mountains all year around) and the Sea. The front side of the castle with ancient solid walls behind,serve as a platform to a fascinating landscape, even many Italians do not believe is possible. 4 restaurants in walking distance, shopping in Aulla 5 min.
From Aulla you reach most of Tuscany and Liguria in one - two hours. Genova 1 hr, Pisa (nearest airport) and Parma and Lucca 45 min, Florence 90 min. Railway and motorways connected to Aulla.
The Magra Valley has a long and interesting history. There are some 24 castles in the neighbourhood. Huge National parks, hundred of mountaintop villages, and walking paths and roads for many kilometres.
Near to Cinque Terre, as one of the major tourist attractions in Italy. Easy access to ll the coastline of Liguria and Tuscany with many small picturesque towns.
In addition to the photos, we have prepared a drone video that makes you feel like you are flying over the countryside to see the splendid panoramic views and and a reality walk-through the interior of this unique villa. Just click on the You-Tube button under the photos !
Last but not least: beside from the good price, especially considering the large surface area and the absolute uniqueness, this property is also included into the special Remax program "No commission for the buyer"(*). This means that to the final purchase price that you will negotiate whats-however, you will not have to add any cost for the brokerage!
(*) Only Notary compensation and registration tax/fee have to be added
A brief History of Castello Podenzana and Castello Due.
We believe the servants houses were build fairly soon after the castle. The Castello Podenzana was built in 1024. We suppose they needed servants from day one, but they had to establish outside the walls. Our house had a separate entrance through the walls. Lots of evidence like building techniques, walls and steps cut in solid rocks, and meter thick walls of stone, indicates that this is very old..
We have seen pictures from just after the World War II, that the 4 houses merely was farmhouses, with animals inside the house.
The castle behind is one of 6 origin Malaspina Castles. The Malaspinas came with the Longobards after the fall of the Roman Empire. They were in opposition to the defending families that was built up like Medicies, Savoys etc.
When Dante di Alighieri wrote his "divine comedy" 1400century, his description of heaven and hell made him banned by the Medici family in Florence, and he had to find protection where he could. After many escapes he got protection from the Malaspinas in Castello Podenzana, where they still have a bedroom with his name and furniture.
During Middle Age the castello could provide protection to the local people against an annual fee. The castle had an army of steel armed soldiers, and horses, knights that could act as police force.
The ancient road from Canterbury, England to Rome, passes by Aulla. Via Francigena. In a little village across the valley, named Bibola, there were hospice for the walking people. The trip took them some 60 days, and station no 30 was in Aulla. If they sent out smoke signals, the army could come and rescue them in short time.
The castle includes a private museum, not open for public, with original arms and weapons. Besides it can dine some 350 guests in one room, and was restored in the 1950 th because of bad shape after the 2.world war.
The castle has played an official role during the middle age, mainly through the family dynasties, where the Malaspina family ruled this northern part of Tuscany.
Castello Due (please see the two videos, (outdoor and indoor), and still photos.)
We naturally know fairly little about our house from the middle age. The door through the wall for daily contact leads us to the servants role. We can see a lot of ruins all over, from detached farmhouses in stone ruins, big stone wall constructions, and terrain is built up in steps for food, fruit and grass production.
During the second world war, Generale Alberto Ferrara, lived "high up" in the Castello Podenzana, probably as a prestige military district manager or something.
After the war, he had to leave the Castle in disgrace, and ended his days at Castello Due. We have several (very) amateur paintings he has produced in his older days, and we have a copy of his biography. Castello Due was at that time more like a very poor and basic farm, and part of the houses were for animals. Very low standard indeed.
In the 1990th Gunther Padberg, a German, previous jet fighter pilot, from the late fifties in Germany and later photographer and globe trotter, bought the property and the very old houses.
He totally restored the four houses, linked them together via a winter-garden construction, to one big house, extended terraces, built walls and a swimming pool. He just built his "own Castle". The view is just stunning, and the property is upgraded to a comfortable, very quiet home, no neighbours, with breath-taking panoramic view. Lot of space. Still central. This is seldom to find in Italy.
When Gunthter Podberg had been dead for ca 10 years his sons wanted to sell, and we just could not leave this house. We took over in 2003.
To finance this project we have developed a profitable renting business. We rent out some 18 - 22 weeks per year, and guests que up to get their week at Castello Due. The size 12 persons invite families to celebrate their anniversaries, and stay together for a week or two in this more hidden part of Tuscany We ourselves stay here circa 4 mounts a year. (2+2), and discover new things and places every week.
The economy is like this. Annual income 40.- 50.000 Euro, Total cost, like taxes, electricity, cleaning after all guests, bed-linen, pool, garden, caretaker. The local help all working by the hour, costs some 6-7.000,- euro. This gives a far better return on investment than any bank can give, and the house income will cover its cost in some 25 years.