A Pego Santuario where you “can live without problems”


First built over 200 years ago, Franc Vila’s mansion in Pego, Spain is an irreplaceable find. Adorned with palm trees, terraces and two medieval towers, the six-bedroom, six-bathroom, four-story home is a timeless sanctuary just 5 kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea.

Completely modernized, the interiors bathed in light are both majestic and comfortable. The house is an unassuming citadel – an apt description given that the property began as a military fort in 1287. Exposed 13th century walls – a 30-meter muralmedieval–are highlighted in the house, which includes four fireplaces, a wine cellar and a roof terrace with views of the mountains and the sea.

The 883 square meter house is accessed either through double doors to the street set into one wall (large cutouts reveal the interior courtyard) – or through a carport that can accommodate three vehicles.

“It’s been my sanctuarysays Franc Vila, an accomplished watchmaker who bought the property 15 years ago. His handcrafted timepieces are sought after internationally, selling for around €130,000 to almost €400,000.

After buying the house, Vila quickly gave it a €400,000 renovation, including renovating floors, ceilings, walls and adding new windows, as well as electrical, heating and cooling systems. An earlier 20th-century renovation included combining three existing houses into one.

“I love antiques – all masters, and I love houses with character and history,” says Vila, who now spends much of his time in Geneva. “For me, this house was perfect – it’s quite difficult to find a house whose origins date back to the 13th century and impossible to recreate. The Arabs were here of course, but even the Romans were here.

The windows and arches throughout the house reflect a deep history – the nearly 800 years that medieval Muslims ruled Spain and Portugal. Moorish arches and windows rise above the terracotta tiled floor. At almost every turn there is access to an outdoor terrace, giving the property a breezy unbuttoned feel.

Indeed, living in Pego is an outdoor experience given that coastal Spain has a rare Mediterranean climate, one of five in the world. Additionally, Pego (population over 10,000) is protected on three sides by mountains and open to the Mediterranean Sea; the city is ideally located in the province of Alicante. Pego is an hour’s drive from Valencia or Alicante, each with major airports.

The ground floor of the property is easily navigable between a living room with a fireplace, a kitchen with a central island and two dining rooms, formal and informal, all connected to leafy courtyard areas with complete privacy. “We use it as a summer lounge at night,” Vila says outdoor spaces. The floor also includes two bedrooms and a bathroom, ideal for guests or private staff.

The ceilings are 4 meters high, many with beams and a Catalan vault design, which lends further distinction.

Ascend no further to the other three floors of the house via a marble staircase, and already the entertainment possibilities of the property are considerable. “On the first floor you can have 100 guests,” says Vila, who was born in Valencia. “The biggest seated dinner we’ve had was 30 people on the terrace, no problem. And at the back you have a patio, also for dinner if you wish.

The second floor has three bedrooms; two are ensuite with Juliette balconies.

The third floor is made up of a cozy living room and a fireplace, as well as an adjoining guest bedroom and a study/office.

The upper level has two additional bedrooms with a guest bathroom and a claraboya sunk into the ground in front of one of the windows. The skylight, built with safety glass, allows pedestrian circulation and allows abundant light and views to the lower floor.

The pine wood in the house, from doors to cabinets, dates from 1880 to 1930 and was sourced from the US port of Mobile, Alabama. The Gulf of Mexico port was a global trading power in the early 20th century, shipping natural resources to the crowns of Europe.

Vila filled his house with 500 works of art, including renowned Spanish and French painters.

The adjacent chapel of San Lorenzo once belonged to the house, but was donated to the church in the 19th century. The gates of the property still lead to the chapel.

The rooftop terrace, with views over the medieval town and anchored by the house’s 13th-century towers, offers additional entertaining options, as well as the house’s wine cellar. Pego originally had 16 medieval towers; the home pair is the only one that has remained intact.

Located at the foot of one of the towers, under the first floor, the cave-shaped wine cellar is at a constant temperature. It can accommodate hundreds of bottles amidst its sturdy stone and brick walls. Both bedrooms are perfect for hosting small gatherings. The ceilings were constructed using Catalan boveda technical, as are the other ceilings in the house.

With the house’s abundance of spacious rooms and bedrooms, Vila drew up renovation plans that a future owner could use to convert the property into an eight-bedroom (all en-suite) boutique hotel.

The property is ideally located for such an enterprise. “A lot of people come here in the summer for the beach, but also for the golf, which is played all year round,” says Vila, adding that there are 20 golf courses within an hour’s drive of Pego. .

The beach near the town is at the northern end of the famous 200 kilometer Costa Blanca, which is dotted with beautiful coves and charming coastal villages. “We have a kind of Miami Beach here,” Vila says. “Twenty kilometers of flat sand – very good.” The seaside town of Dénia is a 15-minute drive away.

“In the summer the house is very, very cool – we only use the air conditioning once or twice a summer,” says Vila. “Normally the windows are open and you have the breeze coming from the sea. Everyone who arrives says the house has a kind of spiritual peace – a positive energy. It is the place where I have been free to create, a place where one can live without problems. Pego and this house is always a paradise.

Among festivals and street parties, Pego is famous for passionately celebrating Carnival, including a wacky race–Baixada del Riu Bullent– made up of costumed locals paddling homemade rafts down a river.

Vila says the townspeople are “really open, they welcome everyone as if they were born here. I know everyone in the restaurants. Pego has three Michelin restaurants – two one star and one three star – with many more within easy driving distance.

In winter, Vila lights fireplaces on the first floor, where he reads in the library on the top floor where “you have direct sun in winter, which is very pleasant.” He listens to music in a living room he created in one of the towers, and given the excellent acoustics in the house, the music he plays on the first floor can be heard clearly throughout the house.” even though I don’t have speakers,” he says. .

“I play Bach,” he continues. “Why would you play anything else? People in this small town think there’s a pianist who lives here. They say to me: ‘Ah, you play very well, we love your music.’ And when I go out to dinner, I leave the music on so that when I come back, the music will welcome me. That and the naps on the first floor while the music is playing, it’s an incredible moment, a wonderful thing.

Victoria Kabisova of Inmobiliaria Rimontgo made the list. The asking price is 1 million euros.

Inmobiliaria Rimontgo is an exclusive member of Forbes Global Propertiesa consumer marketplace and member network of elite brokerages selling the most luxurious homes in the world.

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