It’s hard to imagine in today’s modern real estate market that an early home of Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo still exists. But it does and recently changed hands in Florence, Italy.
The historic residence, built between the 14th and 15th centuries, is where the young Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni grew up and honed his skills.
Set on the upper hills of the village of Settignano, the villa was both home and laboratory for the ardent sculptor and painter, who became an artist’s apprentice at 13 and was already receiving commissions as an older teen.
His masterworks, both created when he was in his 20s, include the 17-foot-tall marble sculpture of David and the Pietà, the poignant depiction of Mary cradling Jesus after he was taken down from the cross. Michelangelo’s remarkable work in the art of fresco notably lives on in the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome’s Vatican City.
The multilevel villa his family called home retains its original structure with roughly 900 square meters or about 9,700 square feet of living space. A square internal tower protrudes from the center of the roofline and once functioned as a guardhouse and lookout point.
The main floor opens to a covered terrace marked by arched supports softened by vines. French doors access the above balcony, which has unobstructed views of the surrounding countryside.
A vast piazza-like patio, flagstone paths and weathered stonework on a grand outdoor staircase and outbuildings make up the extensive hardscape. The grounds of nearly 1 hectare (about 2.5 acres) include expanses of lawn, mature trees, an orchard and a grove of 200 olive trees.
Building Heritage represented both the sellers and buyer in the private transaction. The asking price had been set at €8 million or close to 8.8 million USD. The final sales amount was negotiated and has not been disclosed.
An original Michelangelo work from the site―a portion of the mural known as the Triton or Satyr―was not included and remains in the ownership of the sellers, according to a press release from the real estate company.