La Dolce Vita

  • We are just back from Italy, where we have been visiting our clients Ultissimo and viewing 2 of their property developments in Umbria.

    Ultissimo is the brain child of Paul Belcher and Steven and Karen White. Typically they find and renovate rural buildings that have fallen into disrepair. The buildings are lovingly transformed into 6-8 extremely stylish second homes or holiday villas, which are then sold, predominantly to the UK market.

    The renovations are all meticulously carried out and it is very clear that Steve and Karen, the principles behind the renovation activity, leave a lot of themselves in each project. They take their responsibilities to the community and the local environment very seriously and treat each development as a legacy to the country that they love so much.

    Most of the original features of a property are retained, sometimes with surprisingly rewarding results. At San Vittorino, near Gubbio, they uncovered a 14th Century fresco on the wall of an abandoned chapel. This now forms the stunningly original centre-piece of the bedroom in one of the properties.

    We have been fortunate to work with Ultissimo since its formation in 2007 and have watched it quickly grow into a successful business. Regular reviews appear in the property pages of the national press and the development at Rancale, nr Umbertide, was a 2008 Award Winner in the CNBC European Property Awards.

    Jo, our creative director, is currently out with the clients visiting 2 new projects in the Lake Como area. We'll post her report as soon as she gets back.

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