On the trail of Michelangelo in Tuscany
Let’s admit it: secretly we are obsessed with celebrities’ properties. Even if we speak ironically about some overhyped star, sooner or later curiosity got the best of us, and we can't help but peek inside another luxury mansion. Indeed, it’s pretty intriguing to glance behind the guarded gates of Bel Air or Malibu Road.
Although looking through all the pretentious interiors we learn more about the designer's talents rather than about the personality of the star. The number of bedrooms and pools can vary but the level of vain remains inevitable. And if you have enough money you can afford it too. The stars or their way of life are no longer so inaccessible as it seems. Just scratch a few million, and LA real estate brokers will be glad to offer you houses that remember noisy parties and crowds of paparazzi.
If you are looking for a house with more decent heritage than reports in the tabloids, you have to do more intensive research.
Did you know that you can buy Tuscan Villa owned by Michelangelo? Yes, that Michelangelo.
The Renaissance master purchased the classic farmhouse in 1549, almost three decades after he has painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling, and the property remained in the Buonarroti family until 1867.
The home is located in Castellina in Chianti, a picturesque town between Florence and Siena.
Set on a hill among Tuscany's signature cypress trees, the charming stone villa offers breathtaking countryside views. 200 olive trees and an original olive oil mill, which is 1,000 years old, are included in the sale. Michelangelo’s home can be yours for roughly $9.3 million.
In the year when Michelangelo purchased the villa, he started to work on his famous sculpture The Deposition, also called the Bandini Pietà. 7 feet 8 inches tall marble artwork depicts four figures: the dead body of Jesus Christ, newly taken down from the Cross, Nicodemus (or possibly Joseph of Arimathea), Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary.
The creative process exhausted the painter. Claiming that the marble was unsuitable, Michelangelo once tried to destroy the sculpture and broke off numerous limbs from the figure. Michelangelo worked on the sculpture till his death in 1555. The Pietà was meant for the painter’s own tomb, but currently, it stands in the Museo dell ‘Opera del Duomo, Florence.
The house boasts 10 bedrooms, seven bathrooms, romantic functioning fireplaces and rustic style kitchen. The living room and bedroom have original wood-beam ceilings, while the second living room has an untouched brick vaulted ceiling. Probably they are not so spectacular as one of Michelangelo’s most famous masterpiece, but you’ll be anyway overwhelmed by the impressive historic interiors.
Outside there’re 6 acres of private land with olive and lemon trees to walk through, and a nice lush courtyard with flowers. Though the dining room is really cozy, it’s a shame to dine inside when you have this patio, and can enjoy a glass of Chianti under the Tuscan sun.
The olive oil mill was turned into a guesthouse and its second floor has a two-bedroom apartment.
Due to its classic stone exterior, the villa has a medieval appearance, but it’s not devoid of a glamorous touch.
The living room is furnished with antique wooden furniture and baroque style sofa and chairs. The original parquet floor is lavishly covered with vintage carpets, while the plain walls are adorned with paintings and candlesticks.
During the last 10 years, the villa’s current owner has lovingly restored the façade and interiors, preserving original interior details. The owner holds as well copies of the original documents and deed to the home. That means, purchasing the estate, you’ll get an autograph of the world's most celebrated artist. A nice bonus.
Whether the picturesque landscapes and spirit of antiquity will inspire you to create your own masterpiece or not, the relaxed life in Michelangelo's former living quarters is a marvel itself.