Italian Idyll

ENTERING A KINGDOM

In Umbria, fortified castle keeps are as common as Fiats. The building of castles seems to have been a habit of those papal states that girdled the areas of Lazio, Marche, Emilia-Romagna, and Umbria, and it’s lucky for us such a habit gained momentum over time. Reschio, the 11th-century castello that sits foursquare on a jutting hilltop above the valley of Pierle in ever-green Umbria, is the jewel in the crown of those former papal states. And how bright it glistens still.

Indeed, the castle shimmers in the sunlight as we make our long winding way (not by Fiat) towards this extraordinary building and all that lies within and outside of it. The structure and the property embody the grandest style of the old Italian aristocracy—a geometric precision, fanciful turrets, and rocketing cypress trees standing sentry.

The story of the place began 1,000 years ago, in the year 1050 to be exact, not such a dramatic distance back in time when it comes to things in Italy. But it reached its denouement when, in 1984, an enterprising count by the name of Antonio Bolza scooped up a holiday home in this corner of Italy. Ten years passed; he sold his publishing company and decided, in a moment of genius, to buy the rest of the estate’s 1,500 hectares (3700+ acres). With those endless fields came a dilapidated castle and fifty rundown houses.

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WRITTEN BY SAMUEL MUSTON

This story appeared in the Winter 2024 issue of MILIEU