A Rebuilt Italian Castle

On Tuesday May ninth, at 6:43 AM in Silvia, marchetti couple Max and Joy Ulfrane had been searching for their dream home. But in their lifetime they never knew they would be buying a rundown castle in Tuscany. Castellón di Fighine which is a neglected medieval military fortress. Joy says, “we’ve put lots of labor and love in here, facing and overcoming challenges. And lots, lots of money to bring this place back to life again.” “And to think that we never wanted a castle, never wanted to own one.” The couple viewed dozens of homes around towns of Italy.

        Then one day while searching they came across the castle which was surrounded by olive groves, and forests, which brought them to their attention. Once they arrived at the castle they were excited and once they saw it, it was covered in an ivy colored building with very high ceilings and several rooms which also included a wine cellar. It was filled with rubble but they saw a home here and they felt like it was the right place for them. They did end up purchasing the castle and ended up being a four year process to rebuild and repolish. Joy says, “We come here once a month from London to relax, we love the peace, tranquility and utter privacy of our castle.” After a lot of rebuilding they decided to buy some of the rundown houses.

       It was a process that took about eight to ten years. The couple visits their own retreat as much as they can and they feel very much at home. The couple after rebuilding some of the buildings they open to rent for people. The couple took an old school building and transferred it to a restaurant. (Ristorante Castello di Fighine). Gloria Lucchesi who is an artist and history amateur from San Casciano said this, “There was no electricity, running water nor toilets, just a nearby freezing cold fresh water source that fed Fighines historical stone wash house where village women gathered and can be visited.” When people are there they can walk the valleys and around the small area and they can see the beautiful ancient stone walls that are covered in so many different flowers. 

       Over the years people have fought to take control over the property and territory. The building was left abandoned because the living conditions became more harsh. So the families left to find something bigger and better. In 1746 it was known that the castle was lived in by 17 other families. The castle being left abandoned for many years did manage to stay up. And then with Italy’s war the amount of people living there. It has decreased by a lot of people. Morelli said this, “in 1606 it passed into the hands of a nobleman from Rome who was named marquis of Fighine and whose descendants lived in the fortress for nearly four centuries, until it was sold to the Ulfanes.”

       In conclusion, this couple had never given up their dream of trying to find their dream home. An elderly lady Angelica who has recently passed away had lived in Fighine since the 1950s and never thought she would be living there. She said, “Fighine has always held a special place in the hearts of everyone in the valley, school kids are taken here on tours and tourists can’t miss it. Its past grandeur still resonates, it’s the biggest castle in the area and the most beautiful. The renovation has made it shine again. In Fighine, one can experience life in a medieval village, as a journey across time.” This just explains how the couple worked really hard to renovate the castle. And how beautiful of a place it is to live there.