The 18th century Palazzo Ricci in Casoli, Abruzzo is being renovated by timeshare company Viaggio Resorts. It will become 14 residences.
Abruzzo, known as the “green lung of Italy” for its abundance of national reserves and parks, is home to the medieval village of Casoli. Below a 9th century castle, sits Palazzo Ricci.
Neglected palace gets new lease of life
Built in 1799, Palazzo Ricci was once owned by the noble Ricci family. It has recently served as an office and school but was past its prime.
Founder of Viaggio Resorts, Mike Brosnan, spotted the potential. “It was literally the gem at one time, of the historic district of Casoli,” Euronews reports Brosnan as saying.
Struck by the beauty of the whole Abruzzo region, which he calls ‘therapeutic’, Brosnan started immediately. The renovation will see the palace turned into 14 residences which the company promises will have five-star amenities and highly personalised services.
Each apartment will be available to 9 families under a timeshare agreement, or fractional ownership as companies prefer to call it now.
The company begs to differ with the description of timeshare, but in effect it is same premise. Purchasers buy a certain number of weeks in the property, with flexible time as opposed to the old-fashioned fixed weeks. It is a little more flexible, but purchasers only “own” a fraction of the property.
However, despite any reservations there may be around timeshare, it is a viable option for some families and the property is getting a new lease of life. 2023 is the expected date of occupation.
Beauty of Abruzzo
Abruzzo is one of the best places in Europe to retire. Italy’s most protected region, 36% of the land is protected. It is also the least inhabited area of Italy.
With so much green space, it’s little wonder it has the green lung label. The stunning Apennine Mountains dominate two-thirds of its geography. The Gran Sasso Masstif is literally a massive part of that within the Gran Sasso National Park.
Abruzzo also hosts Europe’s southern-most glacier – Il Caderone. 13 locations in Abruzzo received the Blue Flag (Bandiera Blu) in 2021, which also include two lakes, Villalago and Scanno.
Lovers of wildlife will be pleased to know that Marsican Bears and wolves live in the region’s mountains.
When it comes to food and drink, Abruzzo has a pantry full of delights. Sip on the rich Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine; you can also enjoy it from Italy’s only free wine fountain (near Ortona in the province of Chieti). Dine on fresh fish and seafood, and indulge in the truffles hunted in the woods and mountains.
For a change, try out the chitarra pasta typical of Abruzzo. A type of spaghetti made with a chitarra (guitar) gives the pasta its distinctive shape. Its porous texture allows the sauce to stick really well.