Garden Villa, ‘Centro Storico’ Of Florence, Italy


The property, dating back to 1584, is the ‘Limonaia’ of an important baroque villa. The ‘folly’ structure traditionally used to house the villa’s lemon trees during the winter months today has been restored and transformed by its current owners into a stunning 21st century home.

Behind its elegant façade one finds a fusion of original features with contemporary design elements ensuring the utmost comfort in historic surroundings

The Property In total there are 321 sqm of floor area spread between the main residence and the attached guest apartment. From the entrance hall one can enter the former ‘Uccelleria’ and the main living/study rooms and open plan dining and kitchen areas. There is also a guest WC on the ground floor and access to the guest apartment

A light and airy environment is provided year round by the large French windows in all the rooms on the ground floor leading onto the gardens, also fitted with automatic curtains and blinds.

In total there are four bedrooms and five bathrooms arranged with one bedroom and bathroom in the guest apartment, one bedroom leading off the dining area, a further bedroom located off the mezzanine floor and the master bedroom suite is located on the first floor

The highest quality of materials, fixtures and fittings have been used throughout and many of the features, including the kitchen, have been designed bespoke to the property. Such home automation systems are found throughout the property with the latest home security and climate control systems which can be controlled centrally and remotely.

A panoramic terrace, from which one can see the famous Brunelleschi dome, leads off the master bedroom suite and to the front of the property one has use of the terrace area. In addition the communal gardens also provide a quiet shaded area to enjoy during the summer months. Parking for 5 cars is available to the rear of the complex.

Location Being located within the historic centre of Florence allows access on foot to all the major cultural attractions the city has to offer as well as the wealth of restaurants and shops. The proximity of the neighbouring Four Seasons Hotel also provides the opportunity to take membership and use the hotel’s leisure facilities. Just 15 minutes by taxi one reaches Florence airport and there are regular train and bus services to Pisa airport as well as Rome, Milan and Bologna.


As with any property purchase in any country, it is always advisable to gain the help of reputable and independent legal and property advisers when you propose to buy in Italy.


Purchasing property in Italy is usually a three-stage process. When you make an offer to buy, this needs to be made in writing by way of a formal Purchase Proposal and this should be accompanied by a deposit (which can be up to 5% of the purchase price). The deposit can be held in escrow. It can be a good idea to put a time limit on your offer and make it subject to due diligence.


Once the formal details of the sale have been agreed between the buyer and vendor, and their legal representatives and the due diligence completed, the preliminary contract can be entered. This is a formal agreement drawn up by the agent, lawyers and, in some cases, this contract is also notarised. The contract stipulates all terms of the sale/purchase and is typically accompanied by a further deposit payment between 10%-20%. Again this deposit can be held in escrow or paid directly to the vendor. If the seller changes his mind, he will have to pay you double the deposit you have lodged.


The public notary prepares the final deed of sale known as the rogito, whilst also carrying out land searches and so forth. The notary is a public legal body who represents both the buyer and the vendor, and collects the necessary taxes on the sale/purchase. It is the buyer who may choose which notary they wish to use.


The main costs met by you, the buyer are:

Lawyer’s fees : 1-2% + IVA
Notary’s fee : Approx. £3,000 + VAT
Estate Agent’s fee : 3% + VAT
Tax on property : is calculated at 9% of the value according to the land registry. On resale properties the land registry value is typically lower than the sales price, often by as much as 30% to 50%.
Tax on land : is calculated at 12% of the land value. The notary will decide an appropriate value for the land in line with land prices in the area
NB:If you pay for your purchase with funds from outside Italy, be sure that the records are officially documented. Any later sale proceeds can then be repatriated.


Property owners pay income tax based on the theoretical rental income of the property. However, non-residents in Italy are subject to this tax only if the income exceeds a certain threshold.

Council tax (‘Imposta Municipale Unica’) is based on the land registry value of the property and is collected by the local authority twice a year.

You do not pay Capital Gains Tax if you sell the property more than five years after the purchase.

Please note: This article reflects Aylesford’s current understanding of property legislation in Italy. It is offered for general guidance only; specialist legal and tax advice should always be taken for any property transaction.

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