Situated on a quiet country ‘strada bianca’, a white rural lane, 350m above sea level, overlooking the town of Apiro to the north and the picturesque village of Poggio San Vicino to the south, nestled in the foothills of Monte San Vicino, Monastero di Favari is a beautiful 17th century former monastery-turned gentleman’s villa. Discovered in 2006 as a sleeping romantic ruin, it has been renovated to a high standard whilst keeping its character and soul strongly intact. Complete with 7 bedrooms, swimming pool, outside pizza oven/fireplace and its own one-hectare vineyard, the house offers the perfect combination for a classic Italian family holiday: a beautiful rural setting not far from the life, culture and cuisine of picture-postcard Marchigiani towns.
The house sits in a rural setting with gorgeous 360 degrees of views of Apiro, Poggio San Vicino and the surrounding rolling hills. It is not isolated however, making up part of the tiny hamlet of Favari. Three farms line the approach road and the house overlooks a small country dwelling, or casale owned by delightful Vittoria, a perfect neighbour who has acted as the Guardian Angel of the house during its restoration. Her family, local farmers, used the part-derelict Monastero in the 80s and 90s to house their cattle and machinery on the ground floor and her brother-in-law lived in very rustic style on the first floor. The charming small town of Apiro is only 5 minutes drive away, lovely Cupramontana, the capital of the Verdicchio wine region, lies 10 minutes away and the town of Cingoli 20 minutes drive away past the pretty man-made Cingoli lake. The historic cities of Jesi and Fabriano, two important centres, lie within a 25 minute drive. Ancona is the nearest international airport (with direct flights to London Stansted) and Rome is only 2.5 hours away by train or 3 hours by car.
Accommodating up to 15 people, this historic property comprises 7 bedrooms over 2 floors: a master bedroom with en suite bathroom (claw foot bath and wet room shower) and adjoining single bedroom/dressing room on the first floor; 5 further double bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, underfloor heating, modern fitted kitchen linked to kitchen/breakfast room with open fireplace, 2 large sitting rooms with open fire, TV/DVD room, separate dining room, utility room and downstairs shower/WC room, grand central corridor, sacristy/entrance hall, cloakroom and chapel. To the exterior lies a swimming pool and terrace with wonderful views over the surrounding villages and rolling hills and vineyards. Mature trees, including olives, pear, walnut and grand oaks compliment the newly laid grass lawns and sweeping driveway around the property.
The house comfortably accommodates three families: on the first floor the master bedroom and adjoining single room/dressing room share one bathroom and separate entrance; one small double bedroom with a French “one and a half bed” is located off the central landing area; a separate archway links two further double bedrooms (one with king size bed, the other with a queen and a single bed) and shared bathroom between them with sunken bath, WC, bidet and walk-in shower. The attic (third) floor has full standing height and comprises of two large double bedrooms (one with 3 x single beds and one with a queen bed and sofa bed) with bathroom in between them with WC, bidet, bath and shower attachment. Note there is some compromised head space here.
The ground floor accommodation comprises of library/study room with archway leading to a large sitting room with two comfortable 3 seater sofas surrounding an open fire place and French windows out to the garden and outdoor eating area under the shade of a beautiful oak tree opposite. The house was restored respecting the original room layouts, thus the rooms flow off the main central corridor with archways to the chapel at one end and library/sitting room at the other. The old kitchen with fireplace and breakfast table links to a modern fitted kitchen; the TV room with DVD player and Dolby Surround Sound lies between the study and formal dining room, both with French windows to an outside gravel terrace. There is a utility room with washing machine, tumble dryer and butler’s sink with adjoining downstairs shower room and WC with door to the outside which serves as a useful swimming pool change area. A further downstairs cloakroom with sink and bidet lies off the sacristy/entrance hall next to the Chapel. The original baptismal/Holy water font is set into the stone wall.
Outside, the 14m x 5m swimming pool, with a uniform depth of 1.4m, is situated a short walk from the house across the lawn. There are 6 sunloungers and rattan easy furniture here on the terracotta pool terrace and a small iron table with 3 chairs for eating/drinking. A beautiful pergola has been built on the old threshing floor to the right of the house (on the garden/pool side) where there is a large stone fireplace, with chimney, suitable as a pizza oven, perfect for al fresco cooking. There are two adjoining wrought iron tables with chairs seating 12 outside. A round table and 6 chairs is situated outside the dining room on a gravel terrace. This is a perfect sunny spot for breakfast or a coffee. This table can be joined onto the end of the other tables under the pergola to seat 15. We have beautiful Uno Piu teak furniture (2 3-seater sofas and 4 armchairs, with table) on the main lawn outside the house for sitting and chatting, eating and drinking also. Plenty of mature trees offer shady spots for relaxation around the garden, including a hammock for the ultimate snooze venue. For those of a more active nature, a rough lawn behind the barn/garage area is perfect for football/badminton etc where there is a Samba goal. A vintage wooden swing hangs from one large oak tree (children only!) and a Table Tennis table (including bats) is located in the garage and can be moved around. Adventurous children can explore down to the bottom of the vineyard where there is a tiny stream which runs along the perimeter of the property. Although sometime just a muddy trickle, plenty of fun can be had damming it up! Tennis courts are available nearby in Apiro and Poggio San Vicino.