Country houses for sale

The magnificent 22-bed Italian castle that featured in the Godfather III is up for sale for €6 million

Piazza Agostino Pennisi is a dramatic Sicilian castle where Al Pacino played Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather trilogy.

In the coastal town of Acireale, located in the north east of Sicily at the foot of Mount Etna stands an imposing, wildly-impressive castle belonging to the noble Pennisi family of Floristella.

Built towards the end of the 19th century by Baron Pennisi, the castle has made headlines, not just for its hugely striking interiors, grand rooms and disarmingly generous use of marble, but because part of The Godfather III was filmed within its walls.

Now on the market via Sotheby’s International for €6 million (about £5 million) the family are seeking an offer they can’t refuse for the over 43,000sq ft neo-Gothic castle.

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The agents state that the castle is ‘a fine example of eclecticism, characteristic of the architecture of its time.’

Reached via its main entrance just off the Piazza Pennisi, a Washingtonian palm-studded drive opens up in front of you, with the castle towering amongst the fronds in the distance.

Guelph battlements jut out above the palms, whilst a marble sculpture of Baron Pennisi takes centre stage in the foreground. Pointed ogival arches complete the Gothic exterior, forming an altogether incredible immense first impression.

Upon entering the castle, its sense of grandeur is truly revealed as a huge precious marble forked staircase leads up to the first floor.

From here, the fun really begins. Discovering the Piazza Agostino Pennisi is like unearthing well-preserved, hidden treasure.

The property is suspended in time, with the interiors formed largely of exaggerated ogival arches, huge mullioned windows, dizzingly-tall ceilings and marble — lots of marble.

Ceiling murals, painted by Paul Pennisi, ‘convey intense emotions’ through the cobalt blue and gold hues — the same colours which are used to portray a starry sky and saints in the chapel, in frescoes painted by renowned Italian painter Giuseppe Sciuti.

In total there are 22 bedrooms and eight bathrooms within the castle walls,  which have proved themselves a sturdy structure over the years having survived an earthquake in 1908 and remained intact when English bombers tried to hit the German army near Acireale during the Second World War.

Two terraces — each measuring 1400 sq ft — stand at either end of the castle and overlook the 2.1 acres of private parkland below, whilst elsewhere is a wine cellar, artists studio and separate staff accommodation.

Whether it continues its days as an extravagant private residence or a unique hotel, there’s no denying that this castle near the Ionian coast maintains a touch of Hollywood glamour with neo-Gothic Italian charm.

On the market via Sotheby’s International for €6 million — see more pictures and details.