An 18th-century estate owned for centuries by the Frescobaldis, a powerful noble family of bankers and winemakers in Florence, Italy, has sold to an American investor for €10 million (US$12.32 million).
The Italianate villa sits on a parcel of sprawling Tuscan countryside roughly the size of Central Park and encompasses a touristic 19th-century garden cultivated by one of the Frescobaldi heirs. Lionard Luxury Real Estate, the brokerage that handled the sale, described the buyer, in a news release, only as an “American tycoon” who intends to invest another €10 million into rehabilitating the property.
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The brokerage, which announced the sale on Tuesday, did not immediately return inquiries about the buyer. The identity of the new owner also could not be accessed through Italy’s online land registry. Dimitri Corti, founder of Lionard Luxury Real Estate, said the sale underscores a trend of more American buyers in Italian real estate.
“We can see that Americans have resumed buying in Italy,” Mr. Corti said in a statement about the sale, “not only in Tuscany, which is still one of the most popular areas, but also in other regions, like Piedmont for example.”
The Frescobaldi banking and winemaking family built and maintained the home outside of Florence, in the town of Capraia e Limite, for centuries. Their legacy in Europe includes supplying wine during the Italian Renaissance to Sistine Chapel painter Michelangelo, acting as treasurers to the English crown during the 14th century and helping finance the Crusades.
The first references to the Villa Bibbiani dates to 1546, though the family built the grand villa in the 18th century.
Two towers flank the front of the three-story Italianate mansion, the interiors of which are filled to the ceilings with murals of Tuscan countryside and romantic frescos of daily life.
Outside the villa, Marquess Cosimo Ridolfi, heir to the Frescobaldi fortune, converted a love of botany in the early 1800s into a manicured park and botanic garden of exotic trees and 195 species of camellia flowers.
The grounds also encompass stables, a Medieval ice-house—used before refrigeration was invented—a chapel and a small theater.
The mystery American buyer plans to renovate and operate a business from the property, the agents said. The estate is already equipped with cellars for olive and wine production.
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