Owned by our new friends Luciana Pancera and Luigi Giuseppi, the Villa Vallerosa was built in the 1800s and is located in the Sabine Hills, 40 miles outside of Rome. The thriving farm—they produce olive oil and wine, and breed horses—offers rental apartments in a bucolic and charming setting, a quick train ride from Rome. We spoke with owner Luciana to get more details.
Interview: Brad Roe
Images: Villa Vallerosa
The Sabine Hills region is known as the Tuscany of Rome? Yes. It is a region still not well known but very important in Roman history. Some of the most important emperors were born here like Vespasian, the builder of the Coliseum. This is also the area where wealthy Romans had their country villas. It is scattered with medieval abbeys, castles and Roman ruins in the rolling hills and so near to Roma—only a 45-minute drive. Also, the famous south Umbrian towns like Orvieto, Spoleto, Todi are close by. While Tuscany is becoming a little too crowded and spoiled by the massive tourism, people find in our area more authenticity and unspoiled sights with a lot of history.
How long have you owned and managed the property? Luigi, my husband, was born here. His father was the doctor of the small village and Luigi was passionate about horses since his childhood and bought the place in 1968. It was completely rotten, abandoned by a famous soprano that had financial problems in her family and was obliged to sell everything. A local carpenter bought it, but never restored it, and it was abandoned again. Finally, Luigi slowly repurchased all the 15 hectares of property and, when I arrived, we started the business of Agriturismo in 1995.
Can you tell us about the farm? We have…thoroughbred horses, one clever domestic donkey, a few goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, a pig and a boar—and two funny little dogs Mimì and Cocò.
You have guests from all over the world? Yes, we started to restore the villa and I started to advertise it in USA. After that we started marketing in Europe—France, Sweden, Holland, Germany—and nowadays people are several times to our villa to the point that 16 of them already bought properties in the area!
What makes Villa Vallerosa so special in your mind? It is a fascinating place, on top of a hill surrounded by the fields. The house has a compelling story with three generations of the soprano family that lived here. You can still breathe the charm of that lady that was singing also at the Metropolitan in New York and in the most famous theaters all over the world and had a wonderful life here until 80 years old and then was compelled to sell. We are proud to bring the house back to its old glory by hosting here people from all over the world.
From issue 54. Buy it here.