During the Renaissance, many rich families in Florence built summer homes in the hills surrounding the city. When the summer arrived, they would retreat to their country piles to escape the heat. This 16th century estate, about five miles south of Florence and priced at €10.5 million (US$11,792,453) is one such home.
The main house on the hillside estate is a real Italian “villa"—an opulent country retreat built for the rich. What is more, the owner, an art historian, believes that parts of the building were designed by Michelangelo, the Florentine artist, sculptor and architect and poet of the Renaissance period.
"The owner says that there are documents that suggest that Michelangelo was involved in its design, though there is no absolute proof,” said listing agent John Jonk of Italy Sotheby’s International Realty.
“Part of the reason that it is thought to be true is that Michelangelo’s father was the mayor of the village at the time,” Jonk said. “The style of the design and the date it was built also make it quite likely.”
The estate comes with 25 acres of vineyards that produce grapes used in Chianti Classico. Up until recently, wine has been made on the estate and the property has spacious cellars to store an extensive wine collection.
In fact, the property played an important role in the creation of Chianti Classico. It was one of the estates where the rules were established for how the wine should be produced.
Positioned on the highest piece of land on the estate, the house has far-reaching views. Florence Cathedral and its famous dome can be seen through clipped hedging in the lawn gardens. “It brings home how close the property is to Florence,” Jonk added.
The main house has six to seven bedrooms, three reception rooms, kitchen, library and a private chapel.
There are four apartments housed in a separate building, a guest house and outbuildings. There are 16 bedrooms on the estate in total.
Formal Italianate gardens, vineyards and nearly 20 acres of olive groves are also included in the grounds.
The property’s trompe l’oeil frescos were designed in the 17th and 18th centuries. They are featured in every room on the ground floor except the kitchen.
Though the wine is produced off the estate, the estate has the facilities and equipment to produce wine.
The property also comes with an outdoor swimming pool.
The property lies in Chianti, an area of central Tuscany known for its beautiful landscapes and vineyards that produce the grapes used in Chianti and Chianti Classico.