Perched on a hill in the Italian resort town of Stresa, with panoramic views of Lake Maggiore, is an amazing castle surrounded by a two-acre private park for sale. The 486-square-metre castle once belonged to the late Gianfranco Ferré.
Offered for close to €3 million, the price tag also includes a 100-square-metre rural building, two private beaches, and a hint into the life of the reputed Italian fashion designer.
“Ferré owned the property for about five years,” says Silvia Ardizzoia, an agent of listing company Francesco Papurello Luxury Real Estate. “He had bought it with the intention to renovate and transform it into a relais châteaux for his guests during fashion weeks. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the time to realise his project.”
Ferré passed away in 2007. He was fondly known as ‘the architect of fashion’ because of his imaginative sculptural designs and academic credentials — a degree in architecture. The Italian visionary joined Christian Dior in Paris as stylistic director in 1989. Ferré left Dior to critical acclaim, following his 1997 spring collection.
It seems that buyers of Ferré’s neoclassical castle may need to embark on their own up-to-the-minute makeover project. According to the listing, the whole property requires major restoration. Some inside features to work with are the two basement wine cellars; an enormous entrance with central staircase on the ground floor, plus a small elevator, kitchen, dining room and living room with fireplace.
Built in 1890, the castle is made up of four floors set on a symmetric base with two circular lanky turrets and a square central tower. The annexed staff quarter or guest house has two floors with a kitchen and breakfast room. All in all, the estate holds 11 bedrooms and three bathrooms.
While the interiors may have seen better days, the exterior and outside remain stunning, with views of the blue water and mountains. A traditional Italian-style garden, with fountains, statues, terraces, balustrades and pathways, adds to the grandeur of the lake-front estate.
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