Why spend over a million pounds for a two-bedroomed flat in crappy Clapham (house prices in London have become so absurd!) when for rather less you could buy a seven bedroomed palazzo in Bagni di Lucca.
There are two properties that are for sale which should appeal to those who need plenty of room, a certain isolation, yet proximity to local amenities.
The first of these is the Casa Mansi with its elegant portico and placed in the old upper part of Bagni di Lucca, at Bagno alla Villa. Not only was it the great Ian Greenlees’ former residence (see my post on him at https://longoio2.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/an-aesthete-in-bagni-di-lucca/ ) but it was also home for a while to Napoleon’s first wife, ‘not-tonight’ Josephine, and even Bonaparte’s mother herself. Two of the emperor’s sisters lived there too: Elisa Baciocchi, princess of Lucca, and Paolina Borghese, immortalised in Canova’s statue.
You can see more pictures of this exquisite residence on sale at http://www.russiaitalyservice.com/dettaglio.php?quale=IMM_116
The other place worth considering is this beautiful villa, just outside Bagni di Lucca Ponte,, on sale through Sotheby’s. At this time of year its wisteria display is spectacular.
More details of this high Victorian mansion with a rather beautiful garden, complete with gothick folly, are available at http://www.sothebysrealty.com/eng/sales/detail/180-l-2945-3lgltx/beautiful-villa-to-be-restored-bagni-di-lucca-lu
Forget Clapham or even Clapton and consider these dwellings if you have a little money to spend!