“I think the property would be perfect for someone who has a love of olive oil and would like to restore the old mill,” the international real estate specialist for Handsome Properties International, Annie Madren Young, told Olive Oil Times. “The olive grove can offer a small production with its 200 olive trees.”
We are talking about a villa that once belonged to Michelangelo, which includes an almost 1,000-year-old olive press with a millstone in untouched condition, and has now been offered for sale.
The ‘the first artist recognized by contemporaries as a genius‘ and ‘one of the greatest of all time’, paid 2,360 florins in 1549 for the property that over the centuries has changed hands only a few times. The Buonarroti family owned it until 1867, it was sold again in 1888 and acquired by the current owners in 1973.
The third homeowners since Michelangelo are a couple who lived on the property for over 20 years and lovingly restored it to preserve the original atmosphere. You can feel the history entering the mill and by touching the original stone, still worn out by the unceasing labor of donkeys.
The villa is nestled on the slopes of rolling Tuscan hills, in Castellina in Chianti, halfway between Siena and Firenze. It consists of 2.5 hectares (a little more than 6 acres) of land embracing a 1,200 square-meter house (approximately 13,000 square feet) which includes ten bedrooms, seven bathrooms and five fireplaces.
An ancient Etruscan driveway leads to the main house, which is connected to a tower that dates back to 1047, and two private apartments. The third floor of the main house has been left unrestored, allowing the future owner to remodel the space to their liking, while an additional building can be used as storage.
The ancient mill is located on the ground floor of a building with a two-bedroom apartment on the top floor and a balcony that offers a breathtaking view of the landscape.
Sprinkled with an astounding number of original and intact historical items in addition to the mill, like tiles, beams, windowsills and thresholds, the kitchen sink and vaulted brick ceilings, the property is on the market for €7.5 million ($8.4 million). The purchase will be accompanied by a copy of the original deed that resides in a museum in Florence.
When the current owners were asked who they thought would be the best fit for the property, Young said the answer was very simple: “They wanted the new owner to love the property as much as they do. They believe they are not the ‘owners’ of the property but rather stewards of a sacred piece of history, and they are looking for someone to whom they can pass the torch, so to speak.”
They believe that whoever has the same love and appreciation for the property will continue to preserve and protect the former home of Michelangelo, a piece of history combined with the rarity of an ancient mill.