Bill Gates shelled out a cool US$30 million (S$42 million) for a 500-year-old manuscript written by Leonardo da Vinci. Now, here’s another property of a Renaissance master up for grabs – an eight-bedroom villa in Tuscany that once belonged to Michelangelo.The stone-walled villa sits surrounded by Chianti vineyards and olive groves, and still retains original features like the heavy wooden beams and brick ceilings.
The artist might not have lived there himself, having moved from Florence to Rome – but the current owner still holds the original property deed that bears the artist’s signature.
Israel Hotel Doubles Up as a Cultural Hub
A 450-seat concert hall is what you will find attached to Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel in Zichron Ya’akov, Israel. The sprawling space overlooking the Mediterranean is as much a hotel with all the fixings – opulent guest rooms, a spa and two pools – as it is a cultural hub. Check out performances at the outdoor amphitheatres, or spend some time in the two art galleries that house the works of Israeli and international artists.
BIGGER, BETTER, ON WATER
Luxury cruise line Seabourn has gained a reputation for its suites-only vessels. Now, meet the ultra-suite: a bigger, better version that will be introduced later this year, together with the launch of its newest ship, Seabourn Encore. The idea here seems to be double the pleasure – with two bedrooms, two verandahs and two (and a half) bathrooms. But what really has our attention is the promise of a private glass-walled solarium with a soaking tub and a lounging bed – the best spot to enjoy that bottle of champagne, gratis. www.seabourn.com