This map from 1825 shows the Villa Cristoforo property unchanged from today. The house and garden are adjacent to the church on the left.
Villa Cristoforo is a 15th or 16th century house with three stories. It is a charming, stone house that stands by itself unlike most of the other homes which tend to be connected. The home is on a corner in the most beautiful part of the old town with gorgeous backyard gardens surrounded by Roman stone walls. Each room has antique Tuscan tile floorIng and the original rustic beam ceilings. Both rare.
The gardens look out over what can only be described as one of the most romantic views of the Val di Chiana. Both the upper and lower gardens are illuminated with professional indirect lighting.
The lower garden has a lovely stone patio and wonderful fire pit. There is a herb garden and a large Walnut tree. It is connected by stone steps to a large upper garden as well as connected by stone steps and an iron gate to a small triangle garden next to the road and filled with roses and lavender, as well as an apricot and bay tree.
The very large upper garden contains cherry (2), apple, fig (3), plum, pear, red plum and olive trees. Additionally, there are vines along the east Roman wall that bear both red and white seedless grapes. The garden has a restored ancient Roman well in one corner and two flagstone seating areas overlooking the valley. One seating area contains a table with an umbrellas a four chairs. The other seating area contains two chaise lounges and an umbrella, sheltered from view by roses. There is a wisteria covered pergola over a flagstone dining area for six. Most of the Roman Walls have been restored in accordance with Comune rules.
furthermore, the garden is irrigated via a large buried cistern that is fed by non potable water from the Roman Well. This saves the owners thousands of euros annually by avoiding paying for water from the commune.
Even though the property is similar to what you might find in a country villa, it is located within the town walls and a few steps from everything. The interior is 255 square meters (2745 sq ft). The gardens are three to four times the house footprint – very rare in Cortona.
Villa Cristoforo is constructed of ancient stone with a beautiful garden patio surrounding the front door which includes a three story tall cypress tree along with jasmine and roses. The patio is surrounded by a tall, old wrought iron fence and gate that has a lock.
The previous owner engaged a local architect to return the home to its early Tuscan form using original materials with the result being a beautiful, yet simple and attractive home that is true to its original essence. Every room has the antique beams and original tile ceilings, exposed stone walls (some plastered) and the original old, Tuscan antique terra cotta floor is rare and valued and has the original pietra serena stone in the stairs and around the windows and doors. The electricity, gas service, plumbing and roof were updated in 2006. High speed internet and a WiFi through out the house was installed in 2017.
The interior was totally redecorated in 2017 with new furniture, wall hangings, rugs and accessories along with many antique pieces.
The antique floors were cleaned and treated in 2018 and retractable screens added to windows and the door to the garden. All bedrooms have ceiling fans and air conditioning.
There is easy auto access to the house from Torreone on via Porta Montanina (Etruscan Gate - see photo left) or from the center of town on via Maffei/via Berrettini. There is non-permit, free parking in front or facing the garden. Less than 50 yards below the house is a lovely triangular park that is surrounded by renovated row houses. The neighborhood is very quiet – little traffic, few tourists, NO noisy trash collection area, etc.
You enter the first floor and encounter a wonderful wine room and then step down to the large kitchen/dining area. The kitchen has a lovely, old carrera marble sink, dishwasher, a new SMEG refrigerator and an oven/stove. The counter top is also carrera marble. The cabinets were replaced in 2017.
Adjacent to the newly redecorated wine room is a full bath with new clothes washer and dryer. The wine room has the possibilty to be opened to the upper garden with the addition of French doors at the end of the room, a scenario that was originally suggested by the architect who did the renovations.
Attractive French doors open off the kitchen/dining area into the lower backyard garden which flows beautifully and naturally into the surroundings and a view of Val de Chiana. The flowers and herb garden are lush and well-maintained while a walnut and persimmon tree provide just the right amount of shade.
On the elevated stone patio just outside the French doors off of the kitchen is a small old stone table with an old stone bench, perfect for sitting outside and enjoying early morning coffee or a snack. At the far end of the lower garden is a lovely stone fire pit — the ideal spot for an evening aperativo around the fire with magnificent views of the valley and other hilltop villages in the distance. The fire pit doubles as a wonderful grill for cooking a Florentine Steak or Tuscan sausages.
The lower garden, upper garden and front patio are furnished with sturdy cast aluminium furniture - consisting of a dining table, three other tables, fourteen chairs and two loungers. They all have cushions and umbrellas. There are small sheds built into the stone walls of the lower garden for the hot water/heating system (caldaia) and for storage, which is used for firewood. All the garden areas are irrigated using non-potable water from the Roman Well. An environmental and cost free approach.
The second floor includes a living room with a generous sized fireplace, ceiling fan and big screen TV. Next to the living room is the huge master bedroom with large windows that look out over the garden below and the valley in the distance (windows on 3 sides). The Master Bedroom has both a ceiling fan and air conditioner. There is a lovely study/work area in one corner and a reading area in another. The master bath is remodeled with a lovely vanity with a lot of storage.
The third floor has two good-size guest bedrooms and a full bath. Both bedrooms are air conditioned and one has a ceiling fan. The bath is remodeled with a new vanity with much storage. There are comfortable reading areas in each.
As a American couple who lives full time in Cortona recently said, “This is the best house in the best neighborhood in the best hill town village in Tuscany.” It is a special house and its proximity to all of Tuscany and Umbria, it would provide an attractive and comfortable base for travel.
There a six owners who will have at least two months each minimum in Cortona.
Cristoforo LLC (a Colorado LLC) is a vehicle for managing the relationship among owners. Our bank account in Cortona pays all expenses, including caretaker and maid There is a Joint Purchase and Operating Agreement in place that governs how the owners related to each other. The title to the property is registered in the individual names of the six owners.