12th-Century Castle for Sale Near Florence Offers Panoramic Views and Plenty of History

Courtesy Lionard

Welcome to your next Italian paradise.

What's interesting—and incredibly appealing—about Calenzano is that despite its proximity to the city of Florence, the municipality still feels Old World. Owning this Medieval castle in the Calenzano hills would offer access to all of it. You could spend your days lolling around the property—nearly four acres studded with olive and evergreen trees, flower gardens, moss-covered statues, and peaceful views across the hills—and then head into Florence for dinner. The local area, also worth exploring by car, features historic villas, medieval and renaissance towers, ancient parishes, and more castles. 

Pamela Bralia/Courtesy Lionard

Listed at € 5.9M ($6.6M), the castle measures approximately 24,757 square feet. Its origins in the 12th century involve Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, who ordered it be built to defend local roads connecting the town of Calenzano to the Mugello valley. A series of noble families proceeded to own the castle and maintain its military function until the 1300s, when it became a private home. It was expanded in the 17th and 18th centuries, and the current owners recently refurbished the property. The entire estate is now for sale, including banquet halls and guest suites, one of which was allegedly preferred by opera singer Enrico Caruso, a famous 20th-century tenor from Naples. 

Pamela Bralia/Courtesy Lionard

Interiors are surprisingly warm and bright for an ancient castle, and showcase elegant features like carved wood ceilings and ornate fireplaces. Some rooms feature exposed portions of ancient stone walls or curved brick ceilings. The estate's oldest feature is the chapel, an atmospheric space where light filters through small windows to illuminate the white altar. As the property listing notes, this is a castle that could easily host any number of special events, from weddings and private parties to cultural gatherings—or just extravagant family vacations. 

Pamela Bralia/Courtesy Lionard

If you can already imagine overseeing this prestigious property, only 17 miles from the city of Florence, visit the listing on Lionard.com for all the details.