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Monteleone d’Orvieto: A Sentimental Journey

While Monteleone has a noble history as an outpost for the ruling families of Orvieto in wars with their counterparts in Perugia and Florence, this quaint town has more immediate importance for Patrizio as the home of his maternal ancestors, the famiglia Bilancini. As a child he roamed its streets during brief summer vacations at the family home. The most famous family member and Patrizio’s great-great grandfather, the renowned 19th Century poet Pietro Bialancini, was honored by having both the principal piazza and the local elementary school named after him. A series of small world coincidences brought Patrizio back to Monteleone and to the residence that became Mazzini 31 in 2012. He was once again charmed by his ancestral hamlet, still an oasis of red brick medieval buildings and beautiful vistas far removed from the hustle and bustle of commercial tourism. Exploring the town as well as the poems written by local hero Pietro, Patrizio was intrigued by the idea of bringing others here to share the beauty and charm of this Umbrian town perched on a mammoth rock promontory, criss-crossed by narrow streets, dotted with vaulted passageways, and enlivened by romantic belvederes. Visiting Monteleone to reconnect with the family legacy, Patrizio unexpectedly discovered a crumbling noble apartment filled with dreamy frescos and hints of a more prosperous past. Patrizio, who shares the romantic nature of his poet ancestor, could not resist the idea of sharing the story of his lineage in the language he knows best: architecture and design. “I fell in love with the feel of something once glorious and now in complete disrepair,” says Patrizio. “Something about that–infusing new life into it–charmed me.” Convincing his partner Mark to share his vision and invest in the residence, the noble apartment discovered on a sentimental journey became Mazzini 31….your introduction to a forgotten corner of Italy, a still beguiling way of life, a piece of personal history.