According to a recent article in Fortune magazine, the hottest ticket out of the U.S. these days is a second passport to Italy. Priced out of the kinds of homes they want in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and other cutthroat domestic housing markets, more and more Americans are setting their sights on the Southern European nation, where the dollar is strong, the climate mild, and the barriers to obtaining a passport/dual citizenship surmountable. This is particularly true for those applying for citizenship based on Italian ancestry, as unlike most other European countries, which require applicants to have had either a parent or grandparent that was a citizen in order to claim ancestry, Italy has no generational restrictions.
While both Rome and Milan have seen significant upticks in property sales to Americans and Britons since the start of the pandemic, according to a Bloomberg report, the most popular city with ex-pats continues to be the Tuscan capital of Florence. As one might expect for the birthplace of the Renaissance, a sift through the listings on offer in the region turns up numerous palazzos from the 1500s, countless ancient frescoe’d flats in the city center, even a stone abbey dating back to 1084.
Standing out as a relative youngster is a recent addition to the market, a three-story villa constructed circa 1900. Located in the hills above Florence, south of the Arno River and the Piazzale Michelangelo, the villa was built by a Russian art collector, whose initials were wrought into the property’s iron front gate. At some point, its interior was stylishly modernized and subdivided into two completely independent levels, which could be a plus for buyers looking for an owner/rental property, or for a family with live-in staff.
As currently configured, the residence disperses three bedrooms and three bathrooms throughout its 3,767 square feet. A carved-stone staircase ascends to a covered veranda with stone balustrade. Double front doors of carved wood and wrought iron open to a spacious foyer, beyond which lie the main floor’s living room, primary bedroom, kelly-green kitchen and two mezzanine studies/guest sleeping quarters. Standout details include sky-high ceilings, marble floors, immense windows, and stunning rosewood cabinetry and built-ins.
Not quite as impressive as the main/mezzanine floor, the lower unit contains a curvaceous study with a fireplace, a dining room, living room, eat-in kitchen, bedroom, and pink marble bathroom.
In addition to a surrounding private and manicured garden, the building is capped with a high turret from which one can soak up poetically beautiful vistas. The property is listed with Francesca Loddo of Sotheby’s International Realty Italy at an asking price of $3.2 million.