The deeds to Michelangelo’s old Tuscan villa, a three-structure complex complete with Renaissance-age fixtures, functional wood-burning fireplaces, and an olive grove, could be yours for just $8,369,602. The nearly 13,000-square-foot property known as La Torre de Michelangiolo has been on the market since July 2014 but was only advertised on an international scale last August on Handsome Properties. It’s curious that no millionaire has jumped on this opportunity yet, as the property seems pretty sexy — and eight million dollars doesn’t seem terribly outlandish for bragging rights to owning the former home of one of the Renaissance’s most famous artists, right?
Originally built as a fortification, the property was purchased by Michelangelo in 1549, three years after the Pope appointed him architect for St. Peter’s Basilica. The artist had written (probably in great pain, or with assistance) a letter to his nephew Leonardo asking him to help him find a reasonably priced property ten or 15 miles away from Florence. He purchased the villa for 2,281 florins (roughly a little over $319,340 today), and it remained in the Buonarroti family until 1867, after which a number of Italian families have resided in it. Its current owner, the Busoni family, has lived there since 1973 and are now seeking a prospective owner who understands the history of the property and will respect it as they did, according to realtors.
The primary reason for the sale is that the villa is too large for the family to maintain especially as they age — an understandable concern, as the main residential building alone shelters eight bedrooms and seven full baths across four floors and a basement. Much of the architecture is original (and the villa underwent restoration two decades ago) and dates to the Renaissance; built with “filaretto of Alberese stone” — a style of irregular masonry — its interiors are what one would expect of a Tuscan country home, with wooden floors and plenty of brick. The gardens, too, are sprawling, featuring an original Renaissance-era well, an oil mill that stood during Michelangelo’s residence, and 200 olive trees — “enough for a family use of olive oil,” the realtors note, “but not to sell it.” Unfortunately, home-bottled wine is not to be enjoyed with home-made olive oil, as the vineyard adjacent to the villa is apparently not yet for sale.
Aside from all the amenities that would make La Torre de Michelangiolo a pretty sweet place to throw a rager (inviting, of course, your most preservation-conscious friends), perhaps one of its disadvantages is that you can’t make much architectural edits to it: the Italian Ministry has deemed the property a historic home, and its realtors note that “it is practically impossible to change the outside layout of an estate like this,” although the municipality may allow the construction of a swimming pool.
Future owners will also not be required to maintain the villa as a strictly residential house, and there are no restrictions on visitor frequency, either. So if you can’t shell out eight million bones right now, you may at least have the option one day of staying at a rad bed and breakfast or Airbnb.
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