Donatella Versace has purchased a historic villa for roughly $5.6 million on Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy, where numerous cultural icons have stayed.
Versace, 64, an Italian fashion designer and chief creative officer of Versace, recently snapped up the pink-stucco compound previously owned by publishing magnate Arnoldo Mondadori for approximately €5 million (US $5.6 million), brokerage Engel & Völkers Lago Maggiore, which handled the sale, announced in a news release on Wednesday.
The lavish estate, known as Villa Mondadori, spans 15,000 square feet, including 20 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms, according to the brokerage.
A seaside highway through the town of Meina cleaves Versace’s new estate in half, with the gated hillside mansion on one side and the lakeside pool and gardens on the other, images of the home show. The property also includes a pool, garage and football pitch.
For years, the property served as a rustic bed and breakfast where visitors to the scenic town at the base of the Alps could stay for several hundred euros per night, according to former advertisements for the home.
Part of its attraction is its connection to early 20th-century cultural icons like writers Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Mann and Nobel laureate Eugenio Montale — all of whom have stayed at Villa Mondadori and signed a fireplace that still bears their signatures today.
It’s also where Walt Disney signed an agreement with Mondadori in the 1930s for a children’s series based on Disney’s iconic characters, according to Engel & Völkers.
In some ways, it’s a homecoming for the Versace family. Gianni Versace, late founder of the brand and Donatella Versace’s brother, famously owned and restored a lavish classical villa on nearby Lake Como before his death in 1997. A Russian real estate developer purchased Gianni’s grand Como estate for €33 million around 11 years ago, according to a recent blog post from Engel & Völkers.
Donatella Versace could not immediately be reached for comment.