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Villa Aurora is a jewel of Baroque architecture, Source: Lalupa on Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

No interest in buying Italy’s most expensive house

No interest in buying Italy’s most expensive house

The next auction will drop the asking price

It turns out that Italy’s most expensive property, which was placed on the market at the end of last year, might have been somewhat overpriced. The Baroque architectural jewel Villa Aurora (in Rome) was set for grabs at an online auction on Tuesday, 18 January, with a base asking price of 353 million…but no one showed up.

This was especially surprising given the circulating rumours in the media that esteemed billionaires, such as Bill Gates and the Sultan of Brunei, were quite interested in acquiring the glamorous real estate.

There is also some opposition to the sale of this heritage site

Any potential buyers would have had to show a guarantee of 10% of the asking initial price before even starting the bidding war on Villa Aurora. Apparently, though, no one considered it worth investing that much money. As a result, the villa will be placed on a second auction, on 7 April, but this time with a 20% reduction in the price, which would still make it out of reach for anyone but billionaires. The villa has been valued to be worth about 470 million euros.

Inside the Casino (as the Villa is also known), which is also disputed between the third wife of the deceased prince who owned it and the three children from his first marriage, there is a mural by Caravaggio.

The artwork was created in 1597 and has an estimated value of over 300 million euros – since it’s the only known fresco by the Milanese painter. And it is in fact this, and other art treasures contained within, that drives the price so high.

Meanwhile, the auctioning of Villa Aurora has raised protests from cultural activists. A petition on Change.org, addressed to Culture Minister Dario Franceschini, has collected over 38,000 signatures to date and many continue to adhere. The request to the Government is to use funds from the NPRR, the national recovery and resilience plan, to participate in the auction and buy the historic home to preserve it for the general public.

However, the real estate’s value would represent over one-third of the ministry’s annual budget.

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