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Restored Convent, Near Florence, Italy

€4,950,000

This majestic residence sits immersed in rolling hills of Tuscany just 30 minutes from Florence. Dating back to the 13th century the ex-convent has been lovingly restored and maintained by its current owners.

In total there are approximately 700 sqm of floor area spread over the main house and the separate guest apartment. Wrapping around this impressive Tuscan house there are approximately 3 hectares of land with manicured gardens, swimming pool, woodland and olive groves.

The hilltop position provides 360 degree views with the lights of Florence visible in the distance in the evening. Absolute tranquillity can be enjoyed whilst in under ten minutes there is the small town of Tavarnelle Val di Pesa where one finds a good range of services.

The Main House On arrival at this historic Tuscan house one approaches the main gate via a cypress tree lined avenue. Once one enters the gate the green lawns sweep to either side and a box hedge viale leads one to the main doorway into the stone tower of the southern facade. When the huge door is pulled open one is immediately charmed by the enclosed courtyard; its wonderful cobbled floor and loggia provide an environment perfect for summer dining and receptions, whilst also allowing one to imagine life within the convent several hundred years ago.

The principal reception rooms on the ground floor boast high ceilings, antique terracotta floors and impressive features such as the huge fireplace in the dining room, carved oak beams, vaulted ceilings and an elegant stairway. Three separate apartments have been created allowing one to provide privacy and independent facilities to guests or indeed generate a rental income. It however is very clear how the property can be used as a single residence with a couple of minor alterations.

The ground floor provides two drawing rooms, a dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms sharing two bathrooms and a bedroom with ensuite bathroom. A grand stairway leads to the upper floor as well as a stairway to the cellars.

To the upper floor there is a spacious apartment with kitchen, open plan living-dining room, three bedrooms and two bathrooms; the bedroom within in the tower is particularly charming and provides magnificent views of the surrounding countryside. The apartment is entered from the elegant sitting room at the top of the main stairway which is also the entry point from the wonderful loggia that overlooks the courtyard. This exterior stairway allows the possibility of an independent access to the first floor residences.

To the west wing of the first floor one can access a small one bedroom apartment which would be ideal as service or nanny accommodation.

To the lower level of the property one finds two large cantina rooms under the east wing; these cellar rooms are currently used for storage but could be adapted to create an impressive wine cellar and tasting room.

The Eastern façade of the property is perhaps its most impressive with its painted stucco, stone window surrounds and architraves and the established creeper weaving up to the stone tower. This garden area, accessed from the stone stairway from the kitchen and dining rooms, is another area ideal for summer dining and entertaining.

Annexes To the lower terrace, along the west wing of the property, one find a two bedroom apartment of 60 sqm with open plan living and dining room. With separate access it could be used as guest, rental or service accommodation.

In addition there is a barn of 150 sqm which could be used for storage, garaging or additional accommodation.

Gardens and Land The house is surrounded by approximately 3 hectares of land which provides manicured garden areas around the main residence and a separate pool area to the south from which the magnificent views can be enjoyed. The pool measures 6m x 12m.

The rest of the land is laid to woodland and olive groves.

Location In just under ten minutes one reaches the attractive hilltop town of Tavarnelle Val di Pesa where a good range of services can be found including some restaurants. The entrance to the principal Siena-Florence dual carriageway is also just 10 minutes from the property allowing central Florence to be reached in 30 minutes and Siena in 45 minutes. Pisa airport is 1 hour by car.

Please be aware prices may vary due to fluctuations in the exchange rate

A GUIDE TO BUYING IN ITALY

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.

MAKING YOUR OFFER

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.

THE PRELIMINARY CONTRACT

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 DEED OF SALE (‘ROGITO’)

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 COSTS OF BUYING

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.

ONGOING TAXES

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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