Bernard Arnault Purchases Leonardo Da Vinci’s Former Residence & Vineyard In Milan
(Photo via Casa Degli Atellani).
— Updated on 9 January 2023

Bernard Arnault Purchases Leonardo Da Vinci’s Former Residence & Vineyard In Milan

— Updated on 9 January 2023
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH and currently the world’s richest person, is unsurprisingly a man of exquisite taste. The 73-year-old French billionaire isn’t a stranger to highly publicised power moves, but his latest is notable for the incredible history that sits behind it. That is, Bernard Arnault has become the new owner of central Milan’s Casa degli Atellani, one of the city’s most exclusive addresses and the former residence of master painter Leonardo Da Vinci.

Although the amount Arnault would have paid for the 15th-century Renaissance masterpiece is yet to be disclosed, it’s likely the billionaire would have invested quite a substantial amount in Casa degli Atellani, which in recent years was primarily used as a coveted spot for high-end fashion shows and presentations, as well as a base for several design-focused local businesses.

The majestic Milan estate, which was built in the late 1400s, was reportedly donated to Da Vinci by Ludocivo “II Moro” Duke of Milan in 1948 when the painter was in Milan to work on The Last Supper. That bit of history alone would boost the value of the estate quite considerably, but throughout the past few decades, the property has also built up quite an impressive pedigree of owners.

Former occupants include the descendants of Italy’s influential Conti and Portaluppi families, all of who have added their own touches to the estate, which is located on Corso Magenta, one of the main streets of Milan just a step from the impressive Santa Maria delle Grazie.

Famed architect and interior designer Piero Castellini Baldissera was the previous owner of the estate before Arnault, sitting on a lineage that dates back to his ancestor Ettore Conti, who purchased the property in 1919.

The estate, once the only wine-producing landholding in the area, is one of the few places in central Milan that feels like an escape to the Italian countryside. Casa degli Atellani was once the only wine-producing landholding in the centre of Milan, sitting on two acres with a central courtyard that shoots off into various residences with several decorative features including long-standing frescoes and a trompe l’oeil door.

Most visitors to Milan nowadays would know Casa degli Atellani for its attached museum or the six private apartments that are available for lease. Although, now that Arnault owns the entire estate, there has been no indication as to whether or not the museum and apartments will continue to operate as is.

As above, Arnault’s intentions for the estate are yet to be confirmed but LVMH has been rapidly expanding its hospitality portfolio in recent years with the acquisition of Cheval Blanc and Belmond.

Whether or not Bernard Arnault will file Casa degli Atellani under one of those two brands remains to be seen – after all, Milan is yet to have a Belmond hotel with the closest Italian property from the high-end hospitality group being Villa San Michele just outside of Florence – another place with strong connections to Leonardo Da Vinci.

RELATED: Belmond Villa San Michele Review – A Renaissance Masterpiece Just Outside Of Florence

As of January 2, 2023, Bernard Arnault’s reported net worth is $181.9 billion (~AU$269.3) billion, making him the richest person in the world considering the former holder of that title, Elon Musk, spectacularly lost $200 billion (~AU$297 billion) in just two months. The Twitter owner’s current net worth is $137 billion (~AU$203 billion) according to a report from Bloomberg.

Subscribe to B.H. Magazine

Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


Share the article