One of the most distinctive properties in the world has gone on the market – a fortress turned luxury villa, designed by Leonardo da Vinci
The building, in Livorno, Italy, is currently on the books of n property firm, Lionard Luxury Real Estate, is expected to sell for between $5.6m and $11.2m.
The walls of the fortress, which overlooks the sea, were designed by Da Vinci in the 16th century while he was working as a military engineer. He also sometimes used the property as a home.
In the 19th century the building was purchased by Princess Elisa Bonaparte, sister of French Emperor Napoleon I and Grand Duchess of Tuscany – the only female member of the royal family to ever be given political power.
The converted fortress is on sale alongside a selection of other historic properties, including: an Ischia hotel that lodged an injured Garibaldi following the Battle of Aspromonte; a tower home built to defend the Amalfi Coast from pirate attacks; and a Coppedè-style castle on the Ligurian Riviera.
Lionard said: “Most of the buyers for this kind of real estate are foreigners, with only a few Italians who never exceed 10% of the market. They are people who are not only looking for luxury properties, which they could find anywhere in the world, but who are chasing a dream; a lifestyle.
“The place comes before everything else. It has to be famous, not just for its beauty and the services offered, but also for a rich history and for being a place of interest in the art world, theatre, nobility, and international business.”
The main villa features a total floor surface of 773m2 over four floors and a basement level. It is constructed of stone and brick, with terracotta flooring and copper eaves.
On the ground floor, which is connected to the upper levels by an internal staircase, there is a hallway that opens onto a living room with a view of the sea, a dining area, three closets, a passageway, a bathroom and changing room, kitchen and larder.
The mezzanine mainly features closets while on the first floor are the sleeping quarters with five bedrooms, each with en-suite bathrooms.
The top floor, traditionally used by staff, features a kitchen/diner, a bathroom and a bedroom. The basement, which includes a closet, is reached by an internal staircase on the north side of the villa.