The arthouse in Guardia Sanframondi is an historical property in the heart of the town’s medieval quarter. It has 10 rooms, two balconies and a tiny street garden. 140 m2, the property is set into the bedrock of the hillside and contains various strata of history. It affords a stunning view down across the valley to the mountains beyond, and there is a relaxing natural ambience from the gardens below and a small waterfall cascading nearby. It is an optimum creative haven, with huge potential as a business, having been run as a five-star B&B and artists’ retreat for the past decade and received exceptional reviews.
The house has two main entrances which are accessed from pedestrian streets, one of which is through a large corridor with marble steps. The main entrance corridor from the top street has been recently renovated and has a door with a phone-buzzer system. It is shared with two other properties. The master bedroom and back rooms are to the right-hand side, and the kitchen and all other rooms are on the left-hand side of this corridor, which means that the house is very versatile with separate guest quarters or workspace.
The house is set on two levels and has two between-level rooms, benefits from both geothermal cooling and heating in summer and winter, and a bright south-facing perspective. The lower street doors enter directly into the stable, and the rooms there would be well-suited to an independent apartment or event space. The streets above and below have recently been renovated with new cobbles, steps, vintage-style lighting, benches and planters, which make the area particularly attractive.
The two main bedrooms (master and chapel) have balconies - the master bedroom has a covered balcony with spectacular panoramic vista over gardens, grave vines and olives, and there is generally a beautiful rural tranquillity, which make this an excellent creative retreat.
The kitchen and bathrooms have mod cons there are 4 sinks in total, one bathtub, and one open shower: all have great water pressure. There’s an 80l Boschetti water heater, which works from electricity or the wee fire below it; this keeps the kitchen very cosy in the winter, and serves both the shower, bath and three of the four sinks. The walls in the kitchen and first bathroom have vintage tiles lining them up to 1.8 metres. There is a large fridge-freezer in the central cantina (cellar) and a washing machine in the lower (second) bathroom.
There are a lot of windows, and window-doors on the balconies. All are single glazed, and there are metal storm shutters on two of the balcony window-doors. There is a high-speed wifi system in the master bedroom, which also serves the kitchen and chapel room (and can be adapted to serve the whole house). There’s a good, functioning electric system throughout the house, which could be developed in the lower and further back rooms. There are several built-in cupboards and shelving systems, like in the larder just off the kitchen.
The house will be partially furnished, in agreement with the owner about what you’d like to keep: e.g. a queen-sized bed in the chapel room, a double futon in the sanctuary room, a simple gas cooker and a big extendable table in the kitchen, drawers and cupboards, sofas and chairs.
The house is currently lived-in, and is structurally sound, wind-and-water-tight, secure and stable - it has been renovated single-handedly by an artist on a minimal budget and is comfortable elegant-simplicity throughout. Over the years, guests have always appreciated the charm and quirk of an organic medieval property! The property can however be enhanced with minimal investment and effort, i.e. modernising some of the electrics and lighting, neatening-up some ceilings and windows, redecorating, bringing in a fitted kitchen and central heating system.
Guardia Sanframondi has around 5,000 inhabitants, and a flourishing international community. Its medieval quarter is in a healthy process of recuperation, with extensive local, European and international funding going into housing, projects and businesses in the old and the new parts of town. (Periodically there is significant European funding available for both renovations and business start-ups.)
There are several supermarkets, many small convenience stores, butcher, poultry, and dairy shops, clothing stores and a multitude of bars and cake shops. There’s a bustling Sunday market where you can buy food, clothing, household goods, and hang out with the whole town. There are myriad local events and cultural-exchange opportunities, and beautiful hospitality: the town hall is very supportive of expats, and council and citizens alike go out of their way to make visitors’ experience here memorable.
Guardia is a well-positioned location for city, coast and mountain trips - we’re within an hour’s drive from Naples, the Amalfi coast, Pompei, and Capri and other islands. We have a train station 15 mins drive from Guardia (Telese-Cerreto), which serves Benevento, Naples, Rome and beyond. Our nearest airports are in Naples and Rome: both are served by public transport.
All around there are nature reserves and incredible walks, to the north there’s even skiing and there are many wonderful rural sights and delicacies within approx an hour's drive. Guardia has European City of Wine status 2019 - it has a well-attended annual wine festival, as well as 7-yearly religious rites that folks travel from all over the world for. Though the Sannio region is not much affected by tourism, Guardia has a vibrant English-speaking community that has developed over the past decade since we brought the town to international attention via a popular American TV show.
The arthouse owner was the main protagonist in initiating the old town’s renaissance, so is particularly well-connected in the town - she holds the keys to the city and is bilingual.
Click links below to view the plans and documents.
Disclaimer: the map may not show the exact location of the property.