Does blue blood run through your veins? How about playing with Kings, Queens and Jacks? Not a poker hand. But a guest list of a Who’s Who of residents who have lived, dined and entertained in Renaissance building in Florence, Italy – the Palazzo Serristori – now on the market.
“Living in Florence is the ultimate experience in culture, art and business” says Jennifer Giraldi, Sales Director of Lionard Luxury Real Estate. They hold the exclusive negotiation rights of Palazzo Serristori’s sales.
Million dollar residences
Restoration of Palazzo Serristori begins next spring. The property stands at 5,500 square meters of interiors and approximately 3,000 square meters of garden. In total it’s about the size of twenty-five American basketball courts. The infamous historic Villa was the last home of Giuseppe Bonaparte, Napoleon’s brother and the King of Spain and Naples. It was the home of the Russian Demidoff family and Pope Leo X of the Medici, whose sixteenth-century coat of arms is preserved in sandstone in the main atrium.
Celebrated tenants also included internationally renowned nineteenth-century intellectuals and artists, such as Giacomo Puccini, Gioacchino Rossini, Lord Byron, and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Others included the composers Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner, and the Queen of Italy, Elena of Savoy.
“The building will be completely restored and will return to its former glory combining the most common living comforts in a context of historical prestige,” says Giraldi.
“The enchanting cradle of the Renaissance so small and yet full of masterpieces and monuments that will leave you breathless. The entire city center is a UNESCO world heritage site and a tribute to the Dolce Vita.”
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“Florence is the centerpiece of Tuscany,” says Giraldi. “In Florence, even the graffiti is ancient. The city is going through a sparkly revival, and by settling down here, you embrace the city’s heart, soul and energy.”
Prices range from €2 to €7 million Euros ($3,122,347 to $10,928,559 CAD). The construction of the palace dates back to the beginning of the 16th century. That’s when Lorenzo Serristori built a magnificent dwelling along the banks of the Arno River.
Huge “wow” factory
A breath-taking “wow” factor occurs as each visitor enters the “auditorium”. It’s a magnificent frescoed ballroom, the biggest and most prestigious in Florence. And the room measures 250 square meters and 12.5 meters in height. Walking through, the auditorium leads to a 150-square-meter foyer, a common area available for all residents.
But it doesn’t end there. In addition, there are two splendid Murano chandeliers, dating from the 1700s. These beauties are on display in the ballroom, both intact and in working order. In a word, “opulence”. This property is truly unique, from an investment perspective. But not just that, though. It’s unique from a romanticism perspective too.
The original wooden floors and authentic works of art also remain. So does the “Hall of Mirrors” and the palace’s fireplaces, made of precious marble, featuring the Serristori coat of arms. Featured as well is an exclusive and one-and-only in the world terracotta stove, with glass made by Ginori.
And let’s not forget the beautiful spiral staircase that still connects the basement to the top floor. That is attributable to the renowned artist, Michelangelo. Nor should we overlook the spectacular garden, the largest in the city, with a swimming pool and beauty spa.
Blast from the past
The noble Serristori family, whose rise to power began in the Middle Ages, had already reached a high-level status of wealth and prestige by the 1500s. That was mainly due to their loyal connection to the Medici family. Thus, the Palazzo Serristori is strategically placed at the foot of the hill of the current Piazzale Michelangelo. It’s a stone’s throw away from Ponte Vecchio.
Each of the apartments are embellished with period frescoes, including lithographs of the 1500s. The palace was originally built with two mills, one of which is still visible today in the basement. Mystery, intrigue and fascinating features of the historic building include secret passageways. One of which, having been partially discovered, connected the palace to the other bank of the Arno.
Reputation well established
Within the space of a few years, Lionard Luxury Real Estate has become the market leader in Italy in the luxury real estate market. The company was founded in 2008 by entrepreneur Dimitri Corti. Currently, Lionard has 2,918 real estate properties in its portfolio, with an average market value of 4.84 million Euros ($7.5m CAD). They have an overall portfolio value of €14.13 billion ($21.9 billion CAD).