Sheila Pickles: from the cooperation with Zeffirelli to her new life in Città Della Pieve

Sheila Pickles: from the cooperation with Zeffirelli to her new life in Città Della Pieve

Buyers , Sellers Oct 08, 2019 No Comments

Mrs. Sheila Pickles: a very funny client of Great Estate. She entrusted herself to Great Estate for the sale of “Il Piccolo Cuore” in Cetona and the following purchasing of “Il Giardino Del Perugino” in Città Della Pieve.

When I arrived in Italy to work, I was just 20 years old… I was very young! I was Mr. Franco Zeffirelli’s personal secretary for many years. I enthusiastically remember the periods during which Franco created “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Romeo and Juliet” – the one of the MET opening – as well as the many marvellous summers spent into his amazing villa in Positano.

We often travelled all over the world: my life was really amazing!

After seven years, once my cooperation with Franco ended, I came back to London, where I got married and had two beautiful children. In the meantime, by managing different UK and US shops, I dedicated myself to the sale of some high-quality perfumes.


At a certain moment of my life and in order to come back to Italy – in Rome – I decided to stop with this business and sell it. At that time, I did not know the area of Cetona already. I discovered it because of a friend of mine.

I remember that this person owned three farmhouses in the Cetona countryside and he wanted to sell them all. One of the three was “Podere Fallerini”: a small hamlet composed of five houses near Piazze, a small district of Cetona. Its location, immersed into the nature, was really amazing.

And so it was… after having seen this property, my husband and I decided to purchase it. We renovated the property with passion and we finally created a unique farmhouse.

However, life always makes its own plans for us: indeed, a few years later, my husband and I got divorced and he came back to the UK. At that point, I started feeling the need of moving into another house and, for this reason, selling “Podere Fallerini”.

So, for the next year, I rented a small house near Sarteano. One day, if I correctly remember a Thursday, one of my friends phoned me and said:

“I discovered an extraordinary ruined farmhouse under the Monte Cetona! Let’s have a lunch together and then let’s take a walk so to go to the discovery of it”

That walk was decisive because, once having seen and admired its location, I immediately fell in love with the property… it was love at first sight.

This was how, shortly after that moment and thanks to the cooperation of Mr. Baglioni, a contractor, “Il Piccolo Cuore” was created: my small and special home. I designed and personally dealt with every single detail of its renovation: for this reason, I was and always will be in love with my farmhouse and “my” Monte Cetona!


During the last 4-5 years – and given my age and needs changing -, many of my friends have been suggesting me to “leave” the mountain and move into Città Della Pieve, the amazing town where they live and that offers all the services needed. In addition to that, this hamlet would have also allowed me not to keep living so isolated… I am a grandmother now!

Initially, I was not ready for this important changing but, after about a year, I finally decided: I would have moved into Città Della Pieve!

About 12 days later the sale of “Il Piccolo Cuore”, the first home which my GE trusted consultant, Giacomo Buonavita, proposed and let me visited was “Il Giardino Del Perugino”, an ancient house dating back to ‘800 (click here to discover the property).

I remember that while going inside and visiting the apartment Giacomo asked me:

“Do you like it Sheila?”

And I:

“It is perfect for me… I will take it!”

As already happened for the house which would have become “Il Piccolo Cuore”, I immediately fell in love with “Il Giardino Del Perugino” too.

The characteristic I appreciate the most of my new home is its splendid view on my beloved Monte Cetona; then the garden, where some good grapes are growing up and where my cat, whose name is “Perugino”, feels very good. Moreover, I love the ringing of the bells I hear every day: amazing! I have never lived near a street travelled by cars before. Initially, I thought it would have been bad for me but, with the time, I got so accustomed that I am not paying attention on this anymore.

So… I love Città Della Pieve: in addition to its traditional restaurants, this town is full of life, many people who I can meet every time I go out!


I think that Giacomo is a really amazing, adorable, calm and sensitive person: it has been a real pleasure to work with him!

He supported me during the post-sale phase too. For example, he helped me with the utilities registration transferring which, in the UK, is something unthinkable. Moreover, he is currently arranging the relocation of some furnishings which I had personally chose and purchased. Finally, to today – two months later -, Giacomo keeps proving me to be very helpful: some time ago, he invited me at a dinner with the new owners of “Il Piccolo Cuore” with who – I want to underline that – I immediately had a huge feeling because they are some very adorable people.

I would also like to underline my complete satisfaction with Giacomo’s work and the entire GE team. My home in Cetona has been sold right after having entered the market: surely thanks to its selling price, the same one Giacomo suggested me.

I can only talk positively about Great Estate! For example, with reference to the advertisement of “Il Piccolo Cuore”, I believe that both the professional photo-shooting and drone video were perfect: I had never seen any service like it before… and I had it for free.

In addition to a great love for Italy, Mr. Zeffirelli gave me also another important teaching. Indeed, I remember that he always said me:

.. in every circumstance of life and before taking any decision, look and always choose for the “THE BEST”..

Finally, I can affirm that for the sale and purchase of my houses I have definitively did what he suggested me: I chose Great Estate.

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Marianna Gaiotto

International Sales Consultant - Great Estate Network

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