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Zillowing Out

A €12.3 Million Estate Where We Can Become Wine Barons

photo of beautiful italian manor
Screenshot: immobiliareitaliano

One of my goals for 2024 is to consumer more culture. I am trying not to limit myself in this goal. No number of books or trips to the gallery would haunt me as the days ticked away. "More" is an amorphous goal. It has no literal meaning because I do not know exactly how much culture I consumed last year. It's not a count, it's a pursuit of a feeling. It's the desire to visit a museum or see a live sport or read a book. I want to be filled with the overwhelming emotion of interacting with beauty, and not to be immediately flooded with the low-level regret that makes you say, "We should do this more." My goal is about satisfaction, about interacting with culture and knowing that it is a stable, consistent part of my life. My goal is vanquishing the regret I felt last year after all those beautiful interactions with art.

In pursuit of this goal, I've been trying to watch more movies, really watch them. No phone, lights off, popcorn even if I'm at home. The problem I have always had with movies is that my taste in them rests only at extremes. My two favorite movies (and I truly wish I was joking here) are Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping and Clouds of Sils Maria. Because of this, I rely heavily on recommendations. So when my co-owner Sabrina recommended 2023's La Chimera, I watched.

I loved La Chimera the way you love a photo of one of the best days of your life. It was beautifully directed. It starred the hot guy from Challengers. It was in Italian. It grapples with loss and history and beauty, with honesty and turmoil. There is one scene in the movie, when a tomb is opened and the shot shows the paint on the walls fading from exposure to oxygen, that made me weep instantly. It is also, like many movies I love, shot in a series of crumbling European homes.

This setting reminded me of a website I visited every day during the pandemic and then promptly forgot all about: "Immobiliare" means real estate in Italian! Hell yeah! After our last house was an absolute monstrosity, I thought it would be nice to see something worth drooling over. A house that's expensive, sure, but that's worth every penny. It's a palate cleanser.

Today's house is listed at €12,300,000 ($13.1 million U.S.) and is listed as a "fixer-upper." This may seem insane to you. SUSPEND THAT DISBELIEF! OPEN YOUR MIND! This is our future!

Sure, it's €12,300,000. But it's also a 13,988-square foot villa with 15 bedrooms! It's a working vineyard that can make many varieties of Chianti that, to be honest, I would not know the difference between. It is one hour from Florence in the heart of Tuscany. It is close to all the historic art cities, and is literally medieval. We're talking castles! Bridge to house! Old historic walls! The house dates from the 13th century, and it has a garden. It has more than 200 acres.

So, sure, it's expensive. But it's at least what that kind of money should get you: beauty, history, expansiveness.

Let's take a look. Here is the house:

photo of beautiful italian manor
Screenshot: immobiliareitaliano

YESSSSS! I'm hooting and hollering. Look at these Van Gogh-ass trees. Look at how the bridge goes up to the front door of the house. This is the Under the Tuscan Sun fantasy we deserve.

Here's another angle of the walls:


No one is talking these days about having a wall surround your house. Walls rule. They're old and tall and exciting. It gives the house a sense of drama! Plus, I love that little doorway through the bridge. Very magical house, and we've barely seen anything.

Here's the entrance from another angle:


Already, I would die for this house. Look at it! It's so lovely I could vomit. The Italians famously do not fuck around with ugly things. They are devoted to expansive and opulent beauty. The stones that go halfway up this wall are to die for. Who cares if the plaster is crumbling a little bit. That's fine! It's called an aesthetic.

Look at this. It looks like a damn painting:

I'm obsessed. The vines are so beautiful. Even in disarray, there is an air of composure to this house. It has a history. It has seen many nonnas. It believes in long afternoons, in the kind of light that can change your perspective on the world, in eating outside long after the sun has set. It is a house that is haunted by its emptiness, that desires laughter and warm evenings and salons.

Let's look inside:


We can understand why this house has fixer-upper status. There is a potential to turn this place into something amazing. The space is unloved. This floor, for example, seems to be made of CMU or some big stones. Could we not dig out some of that grout and throw some little mosaic tiles in there to make it special? Doesn't this wall around the door look like it needs a painting? The stairs certainly need to be cleaned.

Here's a room with a little more life:


One funny thing to me about Italian homes is they love to have a tiny table in a room that could absolutely rock a giant long banquet table. Fill this room up! Otherwise, I have no notes. I love all the doors outside. I like this non-slip tile. I love the exposed beams.

Here's another angle, I think:


Beautiful! Gorgeous! Wine can be a decoration, if you believe.

Here is my room:


I'm never leaving. I love it so much. The little garden! The tiny bed! The small floating shelves! Imagine me doing hand gestures of appreciation, because mamma-fuckin-mia.

Here's another room:


To be honest I had never considered curtains as an option for an opening with a door, but I like it. Again, the floor leaves something to be desired. The floors of old homes should be showstoppers.

Here's a strange room:


I like the vaulted ceiling. I like the long hall. I do not really understand what is supposedly going on in here. Why are all these chairs facing the long table? What will happen there? Is it a wine class? It feels like a room that only has a purpose if you are hosting a ball. But who's to say that we can't host a ball? We could!

Here's a little house:


I don't know what it is for, but I love the embedded stones in the base and the artistic brick work. I love the big wooden door. I love the olive trees and the greenery and all the hills.

But what I love more is wine. Look at all this wine!


Wow. I didn't even know they put wine in those giant barrels. I would like to pat one like you pat a very large dog. How much money can you make on wine? Is it enough to fund our beautiful life in this villa? Let's imagine that it is.

All of this could be ours:


The remains of the castle, the villa and the farmhouse and the bridges. A beautiful place to imagine the future while we commune with the past. A perfect summer retreat for our fantasies.

This week's house has been listed on for €12,300,000. If you buy this week's house, please adopt me. I'm looking to become an Italian heiress.

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