The Story

Fassia Estate is a historic estate located in the hills near Gubbio, in Umbria. The estate dates back to the 16th century and was owned by several noble families of the time, including the Ruspoli Princes, as well as prominent industrial families of the 20th century, such as the Borletti-Cosulich family, from whom the current owners descend.

It was under Prince Ruspoli that the villa and its gardens took their current form. In 1937, he commissioned the architect Nello Baroni to adapt the main villa and its annexed buildings, including a chapel, a guesthouse, the stable, and several stone agricultural outbuildings.

The gardens were designed by the renowned Italian landscape architect, Pietro Porcinai, known for his innovative and modern approach to designing some of the most beautiful gardens and parks in Italy and Europe. The project for the Villa Fassia park envisioned long perspective views through the two entrances of the villa, with ancient cypress trees on one side and the garden’s contours and the avenue of holm oaks leading to the entrance gate on the other. It’s a harmonious and elegant landscape that complements the villa’s architecture, with the water lily pond and various paths bordered by boxwood hedges. It’s a park that provides a sense of tranquility and serenity, offering guests and visitors the opportunity to explore and appreciate the beauty of the early 20th-century Italian garden.

The property has been carefully restored, maintained, and expanded over the years, with a strong focus on preserving its historical character and architectural features. In the 1960s, three lakes were created to supply water to the fields and all the farmhouses within the estate.

Today, these three lakes serve as a place for leisure and relaxation, offering the opportunity to linger in the tranquil and peaceful atmosphere of the estate, amidst woods and winding country roads that extend for over 9 kilometers within the property. They provide a chance to appreciate nature and recognize the importance of conserving the local ecosystem.

Within the Borletti Cosulich family, an architect named Zanuso designed and built a school with a unique structure (windows as doors, a garden, an orchard, and a laboratory) to educate the children of the farmers. During that time, sharecropping was still prevalent, and this school followed an experimental educational model established by the Italian pedagogue Giuseppina Pizzigoni. The Pizzigoni method emphasizes hands-on and experiential learning, nurturing a child’s personality development by fostering their connection with nature and the external world in a state of continual exploration.

Throughout the 20th century, Villa Fassia hosted some of the key figures in Italy’s history, invited by the then-owners, Senator Borletti and Nella Cosulich. Among the notable guests, we can recall Enrico Mattei, born in the nearby Acqualagna, renowned for its truffles, Arturo Toscanini, and his niece Emanuela Castelbarco, the De Sabata family, the Argentine President Arturo Frondizi during his visit to Gubbio in 1960, and Don Carlo Gnocchi, who was beatified and awarded the Grand Gold Medal of Memory by the City of Milan, celebrating the marriage between Elena Mancini Griffoli and Carlo Felice Musini in 1955. Thanks to its natural beauty and historical charm, this property is now a privileged venue for events and celebrations. Over the years, it has hosted prominent weddings, including those of some of Europe’s most important royal families.

Today, the estate is owned by Piero S. Musini and his twin children, Edoardo and Veronica, who continue to preserve its beauty and historical charm. In the early 1990s, Piero established Casa Sangam within the estate, which has since become one of the most important holistic centers in Italy and one of the first in the country to welcome meditation groups and conscious practices. This awareness extends to the agricultural aspect as well.

Agriculture has a significant impact on the environment and groundwater. Therefore, for over 20 years, the estate has been promoting a form of agriculture that is more than just organic; it is synergistic, simple, and natural, without the use of any chemical substances, fertilizers, or pesticides. They have rediscovered ancient varieties such as Senator Cappelli wheat, Gentilrosso, and spelt, alternating them with legume crops to support bees, such as vetch, lupin, and alfalfa. This approach to agriculture is both organic and sustainable, aimed at supporting and reproducing the local and migratory fauna while ensuring that the products are healthy and environmentally friendly.

In addition to organic agriculture, the estate manages oak forests and valuable timber, which are important sources of biodiversity and natural beauty. This responsible and sustainable forest management helps preserve the local ecosystem.

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