[Ed. – Hey, sign me up. Insider note: the fact that it has 100 bathrooms, instead of the more usual 4 or 5 for such a number of bedrooms, means it’s been seriously updated. Bonus! — Galileo slept there.]
…you could buy a whopping Italian estate with a 12th-century medieval castle and a sprinkling of Tuscan farmhouses in the grounds, where the number of bedrooms adds up to 115, with 100 bathrooms on the side. [Price:] €28m (£19.8m [or about $29 m]).
This castle just east of Siena, wrapped in 630 hectares planted with 1,500 olive trees producing award-winning olive oil, is thought to be the largest property in the world currently on the market. But the Italian market is as keen on discretion as the Mafia is on anonymity, so even the name of this prize piece of history is being kept firmly under the estate agent’s pillow.
It will probably sell to one of those in the top 1 per cent of the richest people in the world – the ones who own roughly 99 per cent of the planet’s wealth – so the purchaser’s name, too, is likely to remain hush-hush. The setting in Tuscany, the medieval courtyard with tower and chapel, the Italianate gardens with palms and box hedges, the interiors with marble floors and elaborate painted ceilings, make it so romantic that it is sometimes hired for weddings. …
From the 1400s it had been in the hands of the Piccolomini family until the current owners bought it more than 30 years ago. “The price is unusually low considering it provides 154,139 sq ft of accommodation. But this reflects the market in Europe at the moment.” It is believed that Galileo Galilei stayed in the tower and must have gazed out upon the same night sky.