An abandoned 16th-century monastery in Italy was transformed into a $5 million mansion with sprawling gardens — take a look
Holly Lueders and Venetia Sacret Young turned a 16th-century monastery into an elegant mansion.
The 26-acre property had been abandoned for decades before the duo bought it in 2006.
The home, which has 10 bedrooms and a 60-foot pool, is now on sale for more than $5 million.
A 16th-century Italian monastery is on the market for more than $5 million after it was converted into a home by a mother-and-daughter duo from New York.
Holly Lueders and her daughter, Venetia Sacret Young, have renovated numerous historic properties together. This particular project, the renovation of Convento di San Francesco, was led by Sacret Young, and completed with the help of her mother.
"Before finding this property, we searched all over Italy for about three years," Lueders told Insider.
They first saw the abandoned building, which is located in Pitigliano, Tuscany, in 2006.
"When we saw this, the second we were in front of it, we both knew it had a lot of potential," Lueders said. "The magic was still there," she continued. "It had never been touched or restored."
Take a look inside the gorgeous home and its surrounding gardens, now on the market for $5.5 million, according to its Knight Frank listing.
After they bought the property in 2006, they learned it was designed by renowned Renaissance architect Antonio da Sangallo the Younger.
"We knew it was something special, but we didn't know how special it was until we discovered that the whole compound was designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger," Lueders said.
Da Sangallo lived from 1484 to 1546 and, according to Britannica, was the "most influential architect of his time," designing properties including the Palazzo Farnese in Rome.
"We found the drawings [of his plans for the property] in the archives at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence," Lueders said.
One of the most unique features of da Sangallo's monastery is its underground cantina, where wine is stored two stories below ground level.
San Francesco, which was built in 1522, operated as a monastery until 1910, housing monks devoted to Saint Francis.
The dining room, which is now arranged to seat up to 20 people, was where the monks fermented their wine, according to the property's website.
The kitchen has also been modernized, with two refrigerators, a six-burner gas stove, an oven, and a dishwasher.
In 1911, the building was devastated by a fire and left abandoned for decades.
The fire started when lightning struck the church attached to the house, according to Lueders.
"Inside, we have endeavored to change as little as possible so as to keep the magical solemnity of the building," they wrote on their website.
One of their favorite features of the mansion are its vaulted ceilings.
"Even though the rooms are not extremely large, the vaulted ceilings make you feel like the room has a presence of a large room," Sacret Young told Insider.
The vibrant drawing room is just one area of the property conducive to relaxation.
"My theory of decoration is that every room should be filled with as many places as possible for people to lie down," Lueders told House & Garden in 2021.
This drawing room contains a fireplace, a silk velvet sofa, and a wall filled with prints depicting Franciscan monks.
One of the bathrooms is home to an abstract mural that looks like a cloudy, blue sky.
"You lie in the bathtub and you stare at the ceiling," Sacret Young said. "You have a lot of time to just contemplate all the details."
In total, there are 10 bedrooms and eight bathrooms, according to the listing.
While working on the property, they said they were surprised by the lengthy protocol associated with renovating historic properties and obtaining permits in Italy.
"Even if you know its going to be difficult, nothing truly prepares you for how difficult its going to be," Sacret Young said, adding that, in her experience, dealing with Italian bureaucracy took patience.
"You need to have important people on your side, you need to have time," added Lueders, in regards to the process of obtaining permits.
In the end, the renovations took more than a decade.
While they awaited approval on their permits, they devoted themselves to the house's surrounding greenery, creating what Sacret Young called a "wild, rambling, and romantic" garden.
"We completely dove into the landscape," Lueders added.
The property's land spans 26 acres, including 13 acres of woodland, according to the listing.
The property also now features a saltwater lap pool.
The 18-meter-long (almost 60-foot-long) saltwater lap pool is surrounded by greenery.
Large windows ensure residents can experience the garden's beauty from inside the house.
The staircase leads to the second floor, which contains a hallway lined with bedrooms and bathrooms.
The carefully curated landscape looks even more impressive through a bird's-eye view.
Sacret Young told Insider that among the plants they grew on the property were thousands of trees, hundreds of roses, and a sprawling lavender garden.
"If anyone came today, they'd think, 'This garden has been there for several hundred years,'" she said. "You'd never guess was assembled quite recently."
The home is listed with Douglas Elliman and Knight Frank.
Read the original article on Insider