Nestled snugly in the Italian hills, perfectly poised between the borders of Umbria and Tuscany, is a quaint luxury farmhouse by the name of ‘Piantaverna’. It is one of 50 farmhouses that, together, comprise the Reschio Estate: an exquisite collection of world-class properties — over half of which have been restored to the highest standards whilst retaining their quintessential charm.
“We were incredibly fortunate, as when my father acquired the entire Reschio Estate in 1994, nothing had been done to modernise it,” owner Conte Benedikt tells Gentleman’s Journal. “The 50 farmhouses were gently decaying, the castle was crumbling, and where land had previously been intensively farmed by hand, they had been abandoned and left to recover.”
Now, however, it’s a different story. The combination of rustic charm and modern luxury is a marriage made in heaven; and a prime example of a perfectly restored farmhouse. Managed by Knight Frank, Piantaverna comprises a main building and a picturesque guest house; and this collection of graceful stone buildings epitomise everything that is captivating and cultured about Italy.
“Piantaverna was recently transformed. It is a wonderful opportunity to acquire a house that is completely decorated and furnished, yet with the help of Reschio’s Architectural & Design Studio it is possible to put your own stamp on the property,” explains Conte Benedikt.
And this is a far-reaching restoration. The Reschio team have decorated and furnished the farmhouse, resulting in an interior space flooded with light. The property’s generous proportions, arched porticos and magnificent windows welcome the Italian sunshine inside, and allow it to fill every crevice. Meanwhile, the understated decoration and subtle tones provide ample breathing space for those looking to relax and unwind.
Speaking of interiors: there are no furniture-related worries here. In fact, stepping over the threshold of this breezy farmhouse is any furniture enthusiast’s dream — as it contains pieces exclusively sourced with this specific property in mind; as well as numerous pieces designed specifically for the space. Goodbye, furniture problems; hello, aesthetic bliss.
We’ve waxed lyrical about the interiors, but the exteriors are just as close to our hearts. The sky blue shutters of the main house are the epitome of European charm. And, together with the grey stone walls and the lavish green trellis, they form an exterior aesthetic sure to please any lucky guest.
The lavender and rosemary, too, will also help inhabitants feel as though they’ve walked straight onto the set of a period drama, evoking (as they are prone to do) gentle scents of Italian banquets from times gone by. A stroll around the villa’s extensive grounds and gardens (2.62 acres altogether) continues with a mature garden, pruned to perfection; and culminates in a 15m x 4.5m overflow pool. Poised on an upper terrace with a thriving meadow alongside, swimmers and sunbathers alike are guaranteed plunging views of those rolling Italian hills.
The villa’s four bedrooms (three in the main building, and one in the guest house) evoke sublime elegance, with flagged stone floors and curtains flowing to the ground in graceful folds; but they’re also undeniably cosy, with exposed wooden beams and inviting armchairs. Forget tossing and turning: these softly lit bedrooms have an unmistakably cosy feeling — and are sure to guarantee eight hours of blissfully uninterrupted sleep.
You can forget hammering on the bathroom door, too: with four bedrooms and five bathrooms, you don’t need a calculator to do the maths. And these aren’t just any bathrooms — these are bathrooms that expertly merge the old with the new. Authenticity comes with the ever-present exposed wood beams and claw-footed bathtubs, and comfort is paramount — with heated towel rails, stark glass shower doors and state-of-the-art flooring all making their modernist presence known.
Thankfully, these comforts aren’t confined to the first floor. For those who’ve had their fill of the pool (although the chances of that happening are slim), the house offers ample opportunities for curling up with your latest read — whether that’s in front of the fireplace in the main living room, or in the cosy surroundings of the liminoia sitting room.
The dining room seats an impressive ten people, so opportunities for hosting are palpable (anything to show off those stunning windows). And the wine cellar! What a wine cellar! One of the villa’s crowning glories, the racks stretch as far as the eye can see — sitting pretty below arching, cavernous stone walls.
It’s a rural idyll, certainly — but a rural idyll different to any we’ve encountered before. There’s discreet elegance to be found around every stone corner, and tasteful furnishings wherever you cast your eye.
“The Estate has evolved in the past 26 years,” explains Conte Benedikt, when speaking of the Reschio Estate as a whole. “In that time we have protected the wilderness, the ancient forests, the animals and really enhanced the serenity and tranquillity for those that own houses or rent villas here.”
Serenity and tranquillity are certainly two words that can be applied to Piantaverna. A traditional Italian villa, this is a home that retains all the rusticity of its origins, whilst delivering luxury in spades. What more could you want?
Piantaverna on the Reschio Estate