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The royal life is yours at Castel Valer, an 80-room historic landmark sitting at the feet of northern Italy's Dolomite Alps near Verona and now on sale as a family compound, a luxury boutique hotel, an event venue or a corporate retreat — for the regal price tag of $49 million.
A bit of history
Castel Valer has stood as an iconic presence in the Verona region since the days of the Roman Empire. In fact, an ancient Roman road still passes beneath the castle at the mountain’s base. A single noble family has called the villa home since the 14th century.
Castel Valer guards the entrance to the fabled Val di Non, a valley nestled against the mountains and where romance permeates the region. The classical love poet Catullus, whose sonnets were favored by Julius Caesar, was born in Verona in 82 B.C. More than 1,500 years later, William Shakespeare wrote his star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet into the city’s legend.
The views are breathtaking in all directions, with 13 acres of forest and nine acres of apple orchards — all set against the background of the magnificent Alps.
In 1776, Mozart composed a mass commemorating the investiture of a member of Castel Valer’s family as Archbishop of Salzburg. During World War II, German and Italian forces turned the castle into an officers’ command center, sparing it significant damage.
The castle’s octagonal granite tower, the 130-foot-tall standout structure in Val di Non, was erected in the 12th century. During the next 500 years, Castel Valer grew around the tower in two separate additions, each with its own courtyard and loggias, to reach present-day proportions in the mid-17th century.
Substantial 21st century renovations bring modern standards of elegance and luxury while preserving the Gothic frescoes and Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architectural features. Interior furnishings, with several exclusions, are part of the sale and include antique furniture, paintings, chandeliers, Venetian mirrors and carpets.
Castel Valer is easily accessible from two airports in Bolzano and Verona.
A walk through
An impressive portcullis or heavy iron gate welcomes home owners — or castle dwellers — inside. The 1,300 square-foot Knights' Hall with a late-Gothic wooden ceiling serves as the center hub for gatherings and meals. Four modern kitchens, plus a restored antique kitchen, offer plenty of space for cooking.
The castle features Medieval and Baroque sections with separate courtyards connected by passages. Archways and loggias are found throughout the compound. In fact, 2.5 acres of Castel Valer are terraced gardens with views of Val di Non.
Two-story ceilings in salons, inlay wood floors in some of the 15 bedrooms and two chapels with late-Gothic frescoes are just a few more of the significant elements. Sixteen restored porcelain room stoves dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries, in addition to two new heating systems, provide warmth for the castle. A large wine cellar is at hand, as is a sauna.
The views are breathtaking in all directions, with 13 acres of forest and nine acres of apple orchards — all set against the background of the magnificent Alps. A swimming pool at terrace level overlooks the valley, and former stables, now elegantly appointed, are perfect for large parties.
An 18-hole golf course is nearby, as is the world-famous ski region, Madonna di Campiglio.
Square footage: 35,521 square feet on almost 25 acres
Asking price: $49 million