Visit our Historic & Romantic Italian Properties

For many years, from the time of our courtship, through our early married years, raising our children, and establishing our home in Utah, owning property in Italy was a distant dream.  If you dream long and hard enough, sometimes those dreams can become reality.

How did we connect with Italy?

 

 

Many years ago, before Keith and I ever met each other, Keith and I both desired to serve missions for our church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We were both called to serve in Italy.  Keith was in the Italy Milan mission, and I was in the Italy Padova mission.  We happened to be there at the same time, experiencing very similar wonderful things, falling in love with Italy, its people, its food, its culture, architecture, everything… yet we never met until we returned home.  Then, we both chose to attend Brigham Young University, where we got jobs teaching Italian to other missionaries who were on their way to Italy.

 

Fast forward about 30 years, four children, many trips to Italy, Keith’s career as an architect, mine as … not sure what, but interested in, and trying to do lots of different things… and we started talking seriously about looking for property in Italy.  It took a few years, but with the help of our Italian friends, Marco and Angela Morganti, we found our amazing medieval tower in Umbria.  Several years later, we added our dream property, a cluster of 500-year-old mills and a crumbling historic chapel on the Riviera of Liguria.

 

We love visiting these properties and sharing them with our friends.  We also occasionally rent out our tower in Umbria.  Our Ligurian properties include several apartments which we rent out on HomeAway (VRBO) and AirBnB, as well as privately, through this website.  The cluster of mills will eventually be able to house groups of up to about 32 people, if the house and all of the apartments are rented at one time.  Currently, we could accommodate 28 people, and are in the process of finishing our last apartment, which will sleep four or five people.

 


 

 

 

Apricale, a spectacular Ligurian hilltown, is less than an hour from our mills at Borgata Tre Molini.

 

 

Exploring the beautiful countryside of Umbria, you never know what wonderful places you will find!

Our 800-Year-Old Tower

In Umbria — The Green Heart of Italy


View Torri Gallery

 

Our castle complex (of which we own one of the towers) was begun in 1252, a time of severe unrest, wars, and danger in Italy.  (see Guelph and Ghibellines)  No one was safe from the marauding bands of mercenary soldiers that regularly passed through, ransacking the countryside.  People had to band together for protection, and many similar castle/fortification complexes were built during that same time period.

 

We were fortunate to purchase the tower in 2013.  The tower had already been restored by previous owners, and we have only made minor changes.  The tower has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a living/dining/kitchen area at the top.  It can sleep up to 8 people, all in double/queen-size beds.

 

The tower is heated, but has no air conditioning.  However, the walls are very thick, and there is good air circulation, so it stays comfortable during most of the summer months.  

 

There is WiFi in the tower, as well.

 

Because of the fairly isolated position of the village, a car is necessary for staying at the tower.  The roads are all good, and very quiet.  

 

Everyone who stays there loves it, and never wants to leave.  If you would like to rent the tower, please contact us.

 

 

 

Borgata Tre Molini

A Group of 500-year-old Mills in Liguria


View Borgata Gallery

 

Our mill complex at Borgata Tre Molini, which means village of the three mills, was originally begun at about the same time that Christopher Columbus, who was himself a native of Liguria, sailed across the sea on his maiden voyage which resulted in the discovery of America to the rest of the world.  The three mills were originally grist mills for the grinding of grain, until they were converted to the extraction of olive oil from olives.

 

We began searching for a property in Liguria soon after we purchased our tower in Umbria.  Most people who visited the tower wanted to travel north to see the famed Cinque Terre.  We wanted to find a historic property that was closer to France, but also within an easy day trip of the Cinque Terre.  In 2018 we found the perfect place:  a cluster of old stone mills near the sea in the province of Imperia.  The property is just an hour from Nice, France, yet two hours from the nearest of the Cinque Terre.  In between are more beautiful villages, beaches, cities, and other amazing places than it is possible to thoroughly explore in a lifteime.

 

In addition to the wonderful places to explore, the climate of Liguria is very mild.  It is usually comfortable with just a sweater or light jacket in the winter, and usually doesn’t get unbearably hot in the summer.  Whenever we are there we feel like, to quote one or our favorite books/movies (The Enchanted April), “We’ve died and got to Heaven!”

 

Borgata Tre Molini consists of our mill house, when can sleep up to ten people, plus three apartments in the second mill.  The apartments can sleep 5, 7, and 6 people.  We are currently in the process of finishing a fourth apartment above our mill house.

 

We have converted the old water retention basin from the olive oil process into a swimming pool that is shared by the house and the apartments.

 

There is also a lovely little ruined chapel on the property.  It lost its roof in a large earthquake in 1887, and has been abandoned since.  We have dreams of making it available for weddings.  If there is interest in this, we could contact the Catholic diocese in our area, as the chapel still technically belongs to them, though all of the property surrounding it is ours.

 

To Reserve one of our Properties

Please contact us to reserve our tower in Umbria.  You may also contact us to reserve the mill house and/or one or all of the apartments in Liguria.  You may reach me (Cindy Bennett) at:  orchardhilltreasures@gmail.com.