▲ Troutbeck, 1 Troutbeck Lane, Amenia, New York, $9.95m
Where Upstate New York, around 75 miles north of New York City, with Bradley International Airport around 50 miles away.
What Founded as a farm in 1765 by the Benton family, who started local literary and history societies. The farmhouse has 19 bedrooms with en suite bathrooms and a five-bedroom house overlooking the walled gardens. As well as indoor and outdoor pools and two tennis courts, there are 45 acres of parkland. Currently run as an inn, Troutbeck has a permit to be converted back to a private estate.
Why The literary associations begun by the Benton family continued with the second owner, literary critc Joel Spingarn, who regularly entertained Sinclair Lewis, Ernest Hemingway and Theodore Roosevelt.
Who Houlihan Lawrence, www.houlihanlawrence.com, tel: +1 845 279 6800
► Villa Sofia, Lerici, Liguria Riviera, Italy, €3.2m
Where In Lerici, near the Tuscan border, 70km from Pisa International Airport.
What Overlooking the Gulf of Poets, this is a four-bedroom, three-bathroom villa. Set in 3,500 sq m of land, it has a pool and covered terrace at the front of the house, with a dining area where one can admire views over the bay.
Why The Gulf of Poets is an enclave of fishing villages and beaches around Fiascherino and Tellaro. The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (and his wife Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein) lived here, until he died when his boat sank sailing back from Livorno in 1822. DH Lawrence lived in the area, while Dante and Petrarch wrote of its beauty.
Who Savills, www.savills.com/international, tel: +44 (0)20 7016 3740
► Ponden Hall, West Yorkshire, UK, £950,000
Where High up on the Pennine Way, around four miles from Keighley and 181 miles north of London.
What A six-bedroom Grade II* listed detached manor house with two-bedroom annex and far-reaching views across the Yorkshire moors. The main body of the house was built in 1634 by the Heaton family. The current owners have restored the property and installed underfloor heating throughout, keeping its period features, including the library, once described as “the finest library in the West Riding”.
Why Emily Brontë visited and read in Ponden Hall’s library. It is believed to be the model for Thrushcross Grange in Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.
Who Charnock Bates, www.charnockbates.co.uk, tel: +44 (0)1422 380100
► Second-Floor Apartment, Grand Hotel Des Bains Residenze, Lido, Venice, Italy, €4.9m
Where Twelve minutes by water taxi to Piazza San Marco, around 30 minutes by water taxi to Venice’s Marco Polo International Airport.
What A second-floor apartment with three bedrooms and a terrace at the front of the hotel, which is currently being restored (completion due at the end of 2013). The building will be turned into 58 private residential apartments and a boutique hotel with 23 suites. As well as hotel services, owners will have access to the private beach club, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a fitness centre, tennis courts and a children’s club.
Why Thomas Mann set his novel Death in Venice here, and the author stayed regularly between 1912 and 1934. The impressive façade was used as the backdrop for the 1971 film adaptation.
Who Knight Frank International, www.knightfrank.com, tel: +44 (0)207 629 8171
► Townhouse, Deia, Mallorca, Spain, €880,000
Where On the northern ridge of Mallorca, 45km from Palma International airport, in the village of Deia, located in a valley with views over the Serra de Tramuntana mountains.
What A typical Mallorquin townhouse with 120 sq m of living space and four bedrooms over four floors. The ground floor has a living room, open-plan kitchen and rear terrace. The first floor has the master bedroom and bathroom, with two further bedrooms on the top floor and one on the lower level.
Why English poet and novelist Robert Graves, author of Goodbye to All That and I, Claudius, was one of the first foreigners to settle in Deia, where he remained until his death in 1985.
Who Engel Völkers, www.engelvoelkers.com/mallorca, tel: +34 971 636363