When our four children were young I frequently used the phrase sharing and caring. Share your possessions with your siblings and friends. Watch someone else experience joy and happiness from something that is dear to you. It shows you care. I’m not saying it’s easy. Try explaining that to a three year old, clutching their favourite toy. It can be quite a challenge!
Hopefully it was good advice. Our children have grown up to be thoughtful, kind and caring adults.
Appassionata was created around the same principles. We immerse ourselves into the caring Italian culture, grounded by strong family traditions. Small communities caring for each other. Old and young cared for by their own families, often sharing the same home.
Appassionata is a boutique, family business. We buy, restore, furnish and sell shares in luxury properties in Le Marche for a limited few. Ten owners share the purchase cost and all running costs of their home for five exclusive weeks each year. All the boring legal work has been done, by us. Owners can share their Italian home with family and friends and see the joy others experience from their generosity. Owners don’t have all the worries, work and stress normally associated with owning a holiday home. Appassionata does it all. They arrive, indulge and relax. Many of our owners have celebrated special occasions in their Italian home. Sharing memories and precious time together. Italy brings families together. We care about our owners and make sure everything is perfectly prepared for their next visit
Appassionata want to share this beautiful region of Italy and take care of you.
Appassionata properties are occupied throughout the entire year, and this constant flow of people helps support local businesses. Owners are given a warm welcome in the shops, bars, cafes and restaurants each time they return. Many of them become friends.
Our owners can also interact with each other, sharing their favourite restaurants, wines, beaches and designer outlets!
We currently have a few shares remaining in our fourth property, Il Riposo. An elegant three storey, four bedroom villa. Nestled within the beautiful medieval borgo of Patrignone. Ideally situated between blue flag beaches and the Sibillini mountains. There is certainly plenty to share amongst loved ones.
We invite you to come and visit us and see why we care so much about this hidden gem in Italy.
Please contact India Hobbs Mauger for more information
email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone – 0039 331 5413225
Chapter Two – Florence
I gazed around the Piazza and sipped my cappuccino elegantly, copying the glamorous Italians on the next table. Trying not to get the milky froth all around my mouth.
I love to people watch. The tourists racing to keep up with their flag bearing tour guides. The Nonna’s dressed in black, carrying their heavy bags of shopping back home to their families. I listened closely to the sing song melody of the Italian language, exaggerated with arms and hands waving in the air. Everything about the Italians is passionate and dramatic.
I meandered back to the hotel, absorbed in the sounds of the city. The walk should have taken me ten minutes. You guessed it, luckily for me I took another wrong turning!
I stumbled upon a lovely little shop halfway down a narrow street. The window had a wonderful display of tassels, braids and ribbons.
As an interior designer I am always on the lookout for things fabulous and unique. This was an Aladdin’s cave of colour and texture. I bought tassels in every shape, size and colour. Natural greens, blues and siennas with a hint of gold.
Each item was lovingly wrapped in tissue and delicately placed in a posh paper bag. No sign of plastic in this shop!
Shopping in Italy is a very different experience. Most shops are owned and run by family member. They are proud of what they do and love to tell you how many generations have worked there. Their knowledge is extensive, and they take the time it takes. Note to self, allow more time when shopping in Italy!
I floated back to our hotel, clutching my purchases and feeling rather proud of myself, I had found my way back.
My husband, Michael, was happy. The rugby match had gone well, his team had won and he was celebrating with a cold beer in the hotel bar.
He looked suspiciously at my shopping bag. “What have you bought”? I told him,” gorgeous tassels in natural hues………” I received the typical response from a man who thinks shopping is only to purchase essential items, food and drink. “How many tassels do you need, what are they for, how much did they cost”?!!! I quickly changed the subject and asked about our dinner plans for that evening, while visualising one of the tassels threaded through an antique key, hanging from wardrobe I had recently finished painting.
I eat fish, no meat. Michael loves meat and eats fish. He had spoken to the hotel manager earlier and asked his advice on fish restaurants on the outskirts of the city. Away from the touristy eateries and high prices. He knew the perfect place!
We were picked up in a taxi later that evening, it was the first and only time I have travelled in a taxi in Italy. The manager had given the driver directions to the restaurant so we both sat back and enjoyed the drive across Florence. Thirty minutes later we pulled up outside a large wooden door, with no sign, in the heart of an industrial estate. We stepped out of the taxi and looked at each other, both thinking the same thing. This can’t be right. Before we had chance to get back into the taxi, it roared off into the distance.
We rang the doorbell and waited. I was feeling a little nervous. Not about my surroundings, but it was nine o’clock and Michael was hungry, we needed to find food before he turned all hunter gather on me.
The door opened and we cautiously stepped into another world. Before our eyes was a busy, bustling restaurant. A beautiful, yet simple décor. Delicious aromas wafting from the open kitchen blending with the lively voices of sixty plus Italians all talking at once. In the large walled courtyard, huge interconnecting sunshades provided a soft textured ceiling. The lighting was low and atmospheric, with a blend of candles and fairy lights. Each table dressed with a small vase of fresh flowers. Crisp white linen tablecloths draped down to the cool cotto tiled floor.
We were shown to our table, and looked around. There were large families, three generations enjoying a celebration together. Young lovers with eyes only for each other. Young children out with their parents, babies peacefully sleeping in their pushchairs. Children are always made to feel welcome in restaurants in Italy, however posh or expensive. Family is very important and younger members are never excluded. Another plus for the Italian lifestyle.
Our waiter came to take our order. This was going to be tricky. He spoke no English, we spoke no Italian and had left our phrase book back at the hotel!
We shouted “menu” at him and mimed opening a book. Why do people shout in their own language at foreigners, expecting them to understand once the decibels are turned up?
He shook his head “no menooo, you wanta da otta fish o colda fish”. Whita wine o reda wine? Hot fish we both said, white wine we agreed
I glanced across at Michael, he was looking a little concerned. He’s lovely, but he likes to know what’s happening at all times, in the present and the future. I knew he would struggle with the concept of not being able to converse with the waiter, he loves to talk!
He also likes to see a menu, ask questions and check nothing has vinegar on it. He likes to see the wine list and chat about different grapes, countries, regions, years. He especially likes to see prices and mentally calculate how much the whole meal will cost. He likes to feel in control of the situation.
Our waiter disappeared into the kitchen and we sipped our wine, poured from a glass jug. Michael shared his concerns about not knowing what food would arrive and how many courses would be served. I tried to reassure him. “Let’s just relax and enjoy the experience, it will be fun to try new tastes and not know what to expect”. He looked doubtful and took a large swig of wine, it was delicious, he looked happier.
The more courses we ate, the more wine we drank, the more he relaxed. I wish I could give you a detailed description of the food we ate, but I can’t. I can remember the interiors, because I seem to have a photographic memory for those. I think I drank too much wine and the food detail got lost. It’s a little hazy. What I can remember is that every dish was exquisite, fresh and unpretentious. The seafood was scrumptious the pasta cooked to perfection. I think we had seven courses, to be honest I lost count.
I have never seen Michael so relaxed, enjoying the present and not worrying about the future. We had no idea how much this dining experience was going to cost, we didn’t care.
The waiter brought over bottles of grappa, mistra and limoncello, to help with the digestion! The limoncello was divine. Michael was so, so happy, he tried all three, twice.
We swayed over to the bar to pay the bill and hopefully order a taxi. Michael was very pleasantly surprised when he saw the total, half the cost he had toted up in his head. The bar man generously offered him another drink on the house. I began to wonder if I would be able to get him back to the hotel. The taxi arrived and I managed to steer him onto the back seat and close the door.
We were dropped off at the end of a one way street, only a couple of minutes walk from our hotel. We needed a walk! In the distance we could hear opera music, as we walked closer I recognised an aria from La Boheme, one of my favourite operas. We entered the Piazza, and there under the moonlight of a warm summer’s evening were hundreds of people enjoying an open air opera. I looked up to the balconies of the surrounding apartments, each one crowded with local Italians holding a candle and swaying to the music. It was truly magical and that was the exact moment I fell in love in love with Italy.
As published by Georgette Jupe
With the sparkling Adriatic Sea and the Apennine mountains at a comfortable proximity, a hilly and vibrant countryside as far as the eye can see — you have to wonder why more people don’t talk more about the region of Le Marche. Those in the know however are quite aware of Marche’s positive attributes. And there are many. Central Italy has often been a hot place for expats to call home due to its low prices and stunning natural landscapes. It’s the kind of place where people truly find their joie de vivre (joy of life).
My husband and I left Tuscany behind for a night in Le Marche, our destination the hilltop town of Petritoli which sits pretty with high points offering views overlooking the Adriatic Sea. As we drove through the three arches and 15th century turrets, I knew immediately it was going to be a place I would love. The tiny medieval town boasts only four churches, a few restaurants, and a local population of no more than 2,500. Truth be told, I have always had a very positive view of the Marchigianis, a humble and hard-working people who know how worthy their land really is.
Two such people who have certainly figured out this “secret” destination are interior designer Dawn and successful entrepreneur Michael Hobbs, originally from the UK . Since 2004 they have split their time between England and the beautiful town of Petritoli. They first discovered this area in search of a holiday home after a suggestion by Michael’s business partner. Choosing to stay here was an easy one for them to make, with a natural beauty and charm so less besieged by tourism than neighbours like Tuscany. Also, the proximity to local airports was a huge advantage for Michael and Dawn who travel back and forth to the UK frequently. Petritoli makes for an easy 45-minute drive from Ancona or an hour from Pescara.
[Piazza in Fermo, Le Marche]
They bought their first property around 2005 and started renovations, planning to then sell the property outright but then changed their minds. “This is when the wheels started turning regarding starting our company offering fractional ownership,” Michael said. They founded Appassionata in 2007 with the idea to allow people part ownership of a property that Michael and Dawn completely renovate and furnish. After purchasing and renovating a few more places, they took their time setting up the business “we didn’t want to rush things, we wanted to do this right.” In fact, each property was chosen under careful consideration, for its proximity to the sea and airports, and also its potential after the renovations.
Each owner has a 1/10th ownership in the property which they have total control over and are allotted five exclusive weeks a year to use. The cost is roughly 90,000 pounds to 195,000 depending on the size of the property. With the favourable dollar to pound currency rate at the moment, this is really the ideal time for a property investments for those from the USA. Dawn and Michael’s properties sell off quick, momentarily there are only 9 of 10 shares left in the latest available property “Il Riposo”. None of the places are “cookie cutter,” each comes with its very own personality. Currently owners include people from Australia, South America, England, American and China.
[Dawn and Grandson Lucas]
After checking in with Michael and Dawn, they showed us to an exquisitely designed one-bedroom apartment underneath their own home in the 15th century Palazzo Scarsini in Petritoli. This space is mainly used for discovery visits from potential buyers– but they also rent this apartment on Airbnb, a steal at €125 per night considering I have rarely seen five star hotels this impeccable. Like every other of the properties that they have handled, it has been completely designed by Dawn. She handpicks everything from the liberty tiles adorning the floors and kitchen to each exquisite piece of furniture, a bowl of fruit and welcome bottle of wine finished the welcome.
[kitchen area of their beautiful apartment]
Finding a retreat in beautiful Patrignone
Their latest property “Il Riposo” a 12th century renovated townhouse is an absolute dream — true to its name which in Italian signifies “the retreat.” Located in the nearby town of Patrignone in the “Terre di Bonfini,” it was known locally as a 12th century artists’ colony founded by the Bonfini family whose names pepper each street corner. First in tribute to the painters Martino and Giacomo Bonfini and later the historian of King Mattia Corvino’s Hungarian court, Antonio Bonfini.
For me, Patrignone, facing east of the Adriatic sea signifies a quiet, picture-perfect example of a small borgo in Italy – think narrow cobblestoned streets which beautifully pave the way towards Il Riposo. It is an area also home to incredible views while the countryside beyond is dotted below with charming countryside villages. Year-around the town boasts only 150 residents, thus making this “retreat” a true reality for those looking to escape the crowds.
Patrignone is a frazione of Montalto delle Marche, the village of Montalto close by, just a few kilometers away and home to a few restaurants, shops, and a bank. Michael informed me of its illustrious past “What put this place on the map was Pope Sisto V” who was elected Pope in 1585, “he made Montalto a Papal State during his reign.”
With all of this in mind who wouldn’t want to call Il Riposo home? This three-floor light-and-airy luxury property is the perfect space for larger groups looking for a true “country and town” atmosphere with designer details. Dawns well-searched for acquisitions for the property from local artisans (like large terra cotta pots) have led to many of Appassionata’s buyers ordering items direct from these Italian small suppliers for their other homes.
[Kitchen – Il Riposo]
Inside you’ll find four spacious double bedrooms, three bathrooms, all in a luxurious 210 square meter (2269 sq. feet) space with plenty of open-plan space. All the better for enjoying the extraordinary views from the huge, airy kitchen. The cozy living room and dining space with its light colours, original wooden beams and custom, colourful furniture looked the perfect place to entertain guests, who like you, will thoroughly enjoy what is truly a slice of Italian paradise.
[Staircase of Il Riposo]
Walking outside, I was surprised to find the walled terraced garden even boasts a pool, albeit discreet for those who want their privacy. More importantly to note, Dawn and Michael hire local artisans and builders, which has gained them trust locally as respected business people that pay their bills on time – a not too frequent occurrence in Italy. “I often go to our carpenter and suggest an idea that he thinks is totally crazy,” Dawn laughs as she shows me around, “but eventually he always surprises me and himself too by creating exactly the one-of-a-kind item that previously only existed in my mind.”
[Outdoor pool of Il Riposo]
Dawn spends hours in her car driving around to look for the next great furniture piece or antique chandelier, everything is kept in a storage space before it finds its home in an Appassionata property. Their daughter India and her husband Charlie live nearby and help out with the business, owners with special requests can turn to them for customised requests.
You might be asking yourself, why not just buy a house outright instead of a fractional ownership? As was quoted in The Times “Owners might be able to afford a holiday home outright but don’t see the point if they’re only going to use it for a limited number of weeks each year. They like the fact that the property is managed and used all year around and they don’t have to worry about it when they’re not there.”
Which is a great point.
After all, imagine you don’t speak the Italian language (yet) nor have the will to weave yourself through endless Italian bureaucracy. Buying a fractional ownership means that essentially all you have to do is show up, everything is taken care for you upon arrival. For those scared to be locked in for life, don’t be. Re-sale is 100% possible, with Appassionata facilitating the deal between the current and new owners.
For Michael, it’s not about the money. In fact, they regularly turn down people who are looking to buy a share as a financial investment. Over coffee he quite rightly pointed out “what you get here in Le Marche is a real lifestyle investment.”
Since the seaside is so close, we decided to have lunch at an airy, beachside restaurant “Il Grecale” in the pretty resort town of Grottammare on Via Cristoforo Colombo. Though it’s January, the sunshine has brought locals out, biking or running along the wide stretch of promenade that runs parallel to the sea. Michael and Dawn know this place well, we order a bevy of seafood dishes, fresh pasta and swapped stories.
[Fresh pasta at Il Grecale]
That evening, tired but happy to come home to pretty Petritoli, we decided to visit a local wine bar suggested by Michael and Dawn, the “Cantina Antisociale,” adjacent to a gas station owned by the owner’s father just outside the town’s ancient walls. Cozy and welcoming, locals gather here amicably for aperitivo or a light dinner, tasty nibbles are brought out with every glass of wine. The young owner Simone is extremely passionate about the business and was more than happy to chat with us about his curated selection of wines. Later that night, we head to Ristorante Re Squarchiò where families were gathered in big groups for Saturday dinner. Though we were still full from lunch and our aperitivo, we dig into delicious fresh pasta and yet another bottle of Passerina wine.
The next morning, we lingered over one last cappuccino (doppio espresso for the hubby) at Bar Tre Archi with Michael and Dawn, who made us feel instantly at home. As I walked back to pick up our luggage, I heard the voices of mass (it was a Sunday) radiating from the steps below to our apartment and a few bellows of a laughter. Apparently, priests around here have a sense of humor. We stood on the steep steps reveling in the peaceful atmosphere, a comforting murmur from the building continued inside and that’s exactly when I realized my Petritoli visit can’t end just here. I have to come back. A reminder about how so many people probably feel who come to Le Marche on holiday, it draws you in as easily as a laughter-filled wine-induced lunch on a Saturday afternoon. Even if it it’s just temporary, it feels like home. Michael and Dawn, we will be back.
Benefits of Buying an Appassionata Property?
- Buy the weeks you are actually going to use each year
- Align your costs with your usage
- Make a lifestyle investment to share with family & friends
- Own a more luxurious holiday home than you thought possible
- Share the annual running costs of the property
- Own a fully furnished interior designed home
- Have your holiday home managed and serviced
- Start your holiday the minute you arrive
Tips for Petritoli
Cantina Antisociale: a local wine bar, perfect for a before-dinner drink. Address: Piazza Costantino Tamanti,
Bar Gelateria Tre Archi. The place for a morning coffee and a chat with locals. I’ve also been informed that they make excellent homemade ice cream. Address: Largo Giacomo Leopardi, 5
Ristorante Re Squarchiò, excellent eatery to sample local seasonal cuisine form Le Marche, they offer a 25€ tasting menu (with wine). Reservations recommended. Address: Via Largo Tre Archi, 4/5.
Interested in checking out Appassionata’s “Il Riposo” in person or to learn more about fractional ownership? Contact Dawn and Michael here for a chance to see your potential next vacation home in Marche
Travellers looking to escape the grey skies of the UK this winter are currently eyeing up southern Europe and, as ever, Italy is one of the top destinations for those looking for some winter sun.
“Italy is incredibly popular as a winter holiday destination,” comments Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs, founder of fractional ownership company Appassionata, who moved to Italy with her family in 2004. “Here in Le Marche there is so much to do during the winter months. The coastline offers some stunning scenery and extends for over 100 miles, making it perfect for walking, hiking and cycling holidays.
“The slopes of the Sibillini Mountains are also extremely popular, with everyone from amateurs to wannabe pros donning their snow boots and grabbing their skis or snowboards. We find that, for many of our owners, the combination of sea and ski provides the ultimate winter holiday experience.”
The owners Dawn refers to are those who have purchased shares in Appassionata’s luxury fractional ownership properties, which include stunning rural houses such as Casa Leopardi, complete with a roaring fire that is perfect for snuggling in front of with a book and a glass of wine from grapes grown on the estate as twilight falls on a winter evening.
Appassionata’s latest fractional ownership property – the three bedrooms, three bathroom Casa Tre Archi – is ideal for those looking to head south for some winter sunshine. The spacious property boasts outdoor space on three levels, allowing owners to maximise their time in the sun. In the medieval hilltop town of Petritoli, the townhouse is perfectly located for local shops and restaurants while also providing easy access to the Sibillini Mountains and the coastal town of Pedaso, which is famous for its fabulous seafood restaurants, large fish market and some of the best mussels in Italy. A one tenth fraction in Casa Tre Archi, which entitles the owner to five weeks’ exclusive use per year, costs from £65,000. Just one share remains available at this special offer price.
Overall, Italy attracted 47.7 million visitors in 2013, according to the World Tourism Organization. While big cities such as Rome and Milan and well-known areas such as Tuscany attracted their fair share of tourists, those seeking out the ‘real Italy’ are increasingly heading to Le Marche and many of them are looking to ski during the winter months.
In fact, for Brits looking to ski overseas, the 2012/13 season marked a turnaround in the market, with a 1% increase year on year in the number of skiers travelling abroad. It is the first time the sector has seen an increase since its 2007/08 peak, according to the Crystal Ski Report, but with countries such as Italy doing all they can to court tourists over the winter months, it seems that the 2013/14 season might be an even better one.
For more information on fractional ownership and the wonders of life in Le Marche, contact the Appassionata team on +39 33154 13225 or visit www.appassionata.com.
Italy has been crowned the favourite country for the second year running by Conde Nast Traveller readers. Everything from its beaches to its shopping has impressed visitors, with food and culture receiving particularly high ratings.
World-class cities like Rome and Milan are a delight to visit, but those wishing to look a little deeper into the history of this fascinating country need to head out into the countryside, where ancient hilltop towns provide glimpses of a past steeped in rich tradition.
Italy’s iconic hilltop towns were built for defensive purposes. Settlers could sit upon the hilltop and see anyone who approached with enough warning to ready their town’s defences. Early hilltop towns were built with stone and wood, until the Middle Ages brought thick stone walls, watchtowers and sturdy gates into the equation. The Renaissance then added churches packed with works of art to even the most remote of hilltop towns, creating a wonderful voyage of discovery for future generations.
Italy’s ancient hilltop towns remain of interest to this day. Tourists can’t get enough of them, as Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs, owner of fractional ownership company Appassionata and hilltop town connoisseur, observes,
“Hilltop towns have an incredible charm that draws tourists to them and captures their hearts and imaginations when they visit. There is something about the thick stone walls, cobbled narrow streets and ancient architecture that brings the past to life, giving visitors a sense of days gone by that no museum can quite match.”
It is in the medieval hilltop town of Petritoli in Le Marche that Appassionata has developed its latest luxury urban factional ownership holiday home, Casa Tre Archi. In fact, the town’s ancient defences actually form part of the house, with the curved watchtower wall creating a delightful feature in the living room and roof terrace. The house is named after the three arches, which provide entry into Petritoli and from which it was most heavily guarded in years gone by.
With the need for armed defence thankfully now ancient history, Petritoli’s arches are open and welcoming to visitors from around the world, as more and more people discover the delights of hilltop living. Casa Tre Archi’s prime position affords owners views of the surrounding Le Marche countryside from the property’s generously proportioned roof terrace, while three bedrooms and three bathrooms provide room for the whole family. Fractions are available from £65,000 for five weeks’ exclusive usage per year.
For more information on fractional ownership and the wonders of life in Le Marche, contact the Appassionata team on +39 33154 13225 or visit www.appassionata.com.
Fractional ownership is, at its core, a means for individuals to purchase a luxurious item as a group that they would not individually be able to afford. From jet planes to super yachts to high end property, fractional ownership has opened up a world of luxury to those who might otherwise never have known it.
Overseas property, in particular, is ideal for fractional owners looking for a holiday home a cut above the rest. With a management company in place to deal with the maintenance and upkeep of the property, fractional ownership offers the capital growth benefits of a regular holiday home, but with less hassle and a far superior property.
As fractional ownership is still a relatively new concept compared with other methods of property investment, Italy-based fractional expert Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs of luxury holiday home company Appassionata here provides her five golden rules of buying a fractional ownership property.
The five golden rules of buying a fractional ownership property
- Location, location, location – as with any property purchase, be sure that the location offers everything you desire, whether it’s mountain views, access to stunning beaches, fabulous local cuisine or an easy flight from the UK. If it’s all of the above that you seek, then look no further than Italy’s Le Marche region!
- Value for money – ensure the purchase price is in line with the local market and offers value for money, with transparent annual maintenance charges. Check out the purchase procedure as well – it should be simple and straightforward, with clarity built in at every stage.
- Property size – think carefully about how many bedrooms you need and the property’s other rooms and features. Bear in mind that over time your holiday needs may change, with extended family and friends all able to join you if you have a sufficiently spacious property.
- Residency calendar – be sure to investigate how the property’s residency calendar works. It should be a simple system that is easy to understand, with a means of allocating weeks that is fair to all owners.
- Confidence – ensure that you have confidence in the company that you are buying from. The fractional ownership company should engender trust from the start. Here at Appassionata our clients get to meet the whole team, which as we are a family business even includes the grandchildren. We like our clients to know that we are nearby should they need us, especially for their first visits when everything is new to them.
Appassionata currently offers three fractional ownership holiday homes – two nestled within the rolling hills of the Le Marche countryside, plus their latest property, Casa Tre Archi, which offers Italian urban living in its purest form, in the medieval town of Petritoli. Dawn was careful to look at all three properties through their potential fractional owners’ eyes before purchasing.
Attached to the ancient turrets and entrance arches of the town walls, Casa Tre Archi offers three bedrooms, three bathrooms and three levels of outside space, including a stunning roof terrace with sea views. Unique features abound, including beamed ceilings, old turret walls and travertine stone floors. Fractions are currently priced from £65,000 each for a one tenth share, which entitles the owner to five weeks’ usage per year.
For more information on fractional ownership and the wonders of the luxury Italian urban lifestyle, contact the Appassionata team on 0039 073 465 8775 or visit www.appassionata.com.
Petritoli is a medieval village perched on a hilltop 358 metres above sea level in the Fermo province of Le Marche in central Italy between the Adriatic Sea and the Appenine mountain chain. The village is 16km away from the coast and the delightful seaside resort of Pedaso. It is 35 minutes away from the Sibillini mountains.
Petritoli was founded by the Farfense monks around the year 1000 with the name of Castel Rodolfo, maybe from the name of a feudal monk.
The village follows the typical pattern of this region with the main square, Piazza Rocca, at the top housing the 40 metre high clock tower (1831) and the oldest properties (the original monastic centre), and the rest of the yellow brick village winding down below against the rock face.
The countryside surrounding Petritoli is typical of central Italy. Rolling hills stretching for miles, fold into each other occasionally interupted by the pale yellow cliffs, finally to be framed by the blue of the sky or the Adriatic Sea to the east, and the dark forms of the Sibillini mountains, snow capped during the winter months, to the west. Distant hilltop villages and towns are highlighted by the sunshine and their yellow bricks, lit up, contrast sharply with the greens and browns of the countryside that falls below them.
Teatro dell’Iride (1875) has recently been renovated and now holds regular concerts, plays and other performances. Of the numerous churches, the two most interesting are the 14th-15th century Chiesa di San Prospero and the Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Martiri with its unusual 17th century frescoes set out in 15 octagonal scenes, and rare organ, work of the renowned Callido.
The main festival in Petritoli is the Festa Della Cove, held the weekend of the second sunday of July. It is a truly magnificent record of the history and traditions of the village and a testimony to the hard work put in by the local residents.
“Festa delle cove” a feast of thanksgiving, according to the farmers’ traditions, for the wheat harvest, for three days there are parades of “canestrelle”, the sound of accordions and musical ditties. This is the world of the sharecropping, the world of the “vergari”, of their industrious farmhouses.
Fractional properties offering sun kissed beaches in idyllic locations are easy to come by, offering you the opportunity to unwind in your own personal pocket of tranquility in an exotic locale but without sacrificing your wi-fi connection or perfectly chilled glass of white. But contemporary fractional owners are beginning to demand more – they want the excitement, convenience, hustle and bustle of urban life, but still within easy reach of a fabulous beach.
Thus, in recent years, developers have recognised the potential of offering fractional interests in urban areas for those craving their own slice of a pied-a-terre in a foreign setting. Cities with international appeal – luxury shopping, high levels of cultural attractions and a world-class business centre – have been extremely successful for larger, resort-style fractional developments such as Marriott’s 47 Park Street in London and The Phillips Club in New York.
More recently, smaller businesses have entered the market, offering, unique properties for sale on a more traditional fractional ownership basis. A new breed of boutique companies such as Appassionata offer the perfect combination of urban retreat and insight into traditional Italian life in a luxury environment for less – a mere fraction of the price – and are proving extremely popular.
Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs, founder of Italian fractional ownership company Appassionata,comments,
“For urban fractional properties to succeed the old maxim ‘location, location, location’ is extremely important. Our properties aren’t necessarily going to work in just any old town – it has to be somewhere with international appeal that will attract visitors come rain or shine and be the type of place people have an enduring desire to visit and revisit.
“Picturesque hill towns nestled in Le Marche region, with their tapestry of hills, olive groves, vineyards, and pine forests, with cobbled streets, small churches and medieval watchtowers, provide the perfect urban retreat and baptism into Italian town life. Their fantastic pizzerias, locally produced wine and winding, romantic streets transport you to a different era, totally removed from modern life.
“The picture perfect town of Petritoli, where our urban fractional property is nestled, gets lovelier with each passing day. The views alone from the property are sensational. The collection of spires, towers and rooftops lie like buried treasure across the town when seen from the roof terrace, creating a delightful ambiance.”
The family-run company´s latest project in the medieval town of Petritoli is a three bedroom townhouse known as Tre Archi, packed with original features and in the process of being restored to Appassionata´s high standards. The property will provide stunning urban holiday accommodation at a snip of the usual cost – from only £65,000 for a share that entitles owners to five weeks’ usage per year.
The benefits of urban fractional ownership make Appassionata’s Tre Archi a truly exceptional lifestyle investment for smart purchasers seeking to indulge their passion for Italy and possess their own slice of the Italian dream.