Il Sogno is a lovingly and recently restored, centuries-old apartment in the heart of Casperia. It has a well-appointed kitchen, a modern full bath, a half bath, separate dining and living areas, a lovely rose and herb garden, and two double bedrooms, one carved out of the living rock on which Casperia is built, the other boasting a fireplace and a wonderful view over the Sabina mountains. Replete with many of its original wooden beams, wood ceilings and stone and stucco walls, il Sogno is the embodiment of the perfect Italian hide-away: luxury and practicality, ambiance and comfort, history and convenience — all at an affordable price.

Layout: Just outside il Sogno’s front entry is the recently restored garden, planted with antique roses, lavender, and herbs. The adjacent patio, shaded by a pergola supporting a 150-year-old grapevine, is the perfect spot to dine al fresco or simply relax with a glass of wine, a book, and enjoy being in Italy. Passing the garden, one enters il Sogno via a flight of outside steps that open into a barrel-vaulted ingresso, or entry. The spiral staircase in the ingresso, built of stone steps set directly into the rock foundations of Casperia, leads down past the lower grotto and into the magnificently-beamed lower bedroom, the camera vecchia, with centuries-old beams and ceiling, stone floor, an en suite half-bath, and the ancient, preserved cisterna unearthed during renovation. The ingresso also leads into the dining room, graced with a massive, ancient chestnut beam, cotto tile floors and furnished with beautiful antiques. To the left, off the dining room, lies the modern, fully-equipped bathroom with its mosaic tiles and a large (enough for two) tub sized for soaking out the kinks after a long day exploring. Straight on through the dining room is a gourmet kitchen, with Persian marble countertops, an antique Carrara marble sink, a modern gas, stainless steel 4-burner nob, or cook top and oven, a large refrigerator/freezer and a dishwasher. At the end of the kitchen, lies a small storage room housing a clothes washer. Adjacent to the dining room is the living room, with a comfortable leather sleeper-sofa. Passing through the living room, one enters the Master Bedroom, with a queen-size, memory-foam bed, private fireplace and its own magnificent view over the Sabina. Il Sogno is equipped with sub-floor radiant heating that keeps it warm and cozy during the cooler months. Casperia's altitude (400 meters) helps keep il Sogno cool in the hotter days of summer, and its two-foot-thick rock and stucco walls help maintain il Sogno's guests in comfort throughout all seasons.


The lower floor of il Sogno dates to the 11th or 12th century, while the upstairs-or newer-section was constructed in the 14th or 15th century. During renovation, a 800 to 1,000 year-old cisterna (featured below, left) was discovered in the lower level cantina, destined to become the camera vecchia, or old bedroom. Although it did not fit into the owners' original design parameters, the cisterna has been preserved. In addition to the cisterna, during the process of enlarging the small cantina that became the downstairs half-bath, a portion of the original, exterior door to the appartamento was unearthed in the kitchen, together with a section of the original medieval exterior street (featured below, right). Unfortunately this discovery could not be preserved. The story of Il Sogno's restoration was recently covered by the New York Times. To read the article, click here.

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