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1161 West Rd, Dorset VT
For Sale: $1,500,000

Why travel all the way to Italy to enjoy Italian Renaissance-style gardens when you can just walk out to your own backyard? This Dorset home for sale in Vermont features gorgeous Italian Renaissance-style gardens designed by landscape architect Charles Downing Lay.

The gardens have marble walkways and walls that were added to the property in 1915,” said listing agent Sara Buckley. “[They] incorporate a lovely pool with a fountain and peaceful marble tea-house.”

This style of garden was first developed in the 15th century in Italy and was copied throughout Europe, leading to the English- and French-style Renaissance gardens. An Italian Renaissance garden is classified by a grand and symmetrical design and water grottoes, fountains and statues as well as multiple levels.

Lay designed a number of homes’ gardens besides this one in Dorset, but he’s best known for his work in city parks, particularly New York’s Battery Park, Marine Park and Madison Square Park as well as the National Academy of Sciences grounds in Washington D.C.

The home was built in the 1820s from marble quarried on site. The old quarry is still on the property as well as other outbuildings, says Buckley.

Another historical part of the property is the dining room that have “feathered edge (no nails) paneling from a tavern said to be frequented by Ethan Allen,” Buckley said.

Although the gardens are undoubtedly the focal point of the property, the home is nothing to sneer at. The 8-bedroom, 6.5-bathroom home has over 6,000 square feet of living space.

The property was first listed for sale on the Dorset real estate market for $2,495,000 but recently had a significant price cut, dropping by $995,000 down to $1.5 million. Located in southwest Vermont, Buckley says Dorset, is “quintessential Vermont – picture perfect town with stunning natural beauty and endless outdoor activities.” Much of the properties are historic, keeping median Dorset list prices on the higher side at $575,000.

Even with a price cut and historic low mortgage rates, a monthly payment for this home is currently $8,626, based on a 30-year-fixed loan and 20 percent down, according to current rates on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace.

About the Author

Erika Riggs, the Zillow Digs manager, covers home design and trends.

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