Inside Donatella Versace's Pink Lakeside Home

The 50-room villa features a fireplace that's been signed by celebrities including Walt Disney and Ernest Hemingway...

Donatella Versace recently bought herself a pink-stucco holiday home on the edge of Northern Italy's Lake Maggiore.

The historic estate had been advertised on theEngel & Völkers website before the fashion designer snapped it up.

The expansive50-room property has a rich history, as it was a popular gathering place for cultural icons like Walt Disney, Ernest Hemingway, George Simenon, and Thomas Mann - all of whom have stayed at the villa and signed a fireplace that still bears their signatures today.

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Aside from its pink exterior and interiors, a key design aspect is the large fireplace in the main living room, which is covered in the signatures of famous writers and poets, authors and intellectuals.

Spread over four floors, the former Bed and Breakfast offers20 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms, each with lakeside views, as well as a library, billiard room and a study.

The lavish estate, known as Villa Mondadori, spans 15,000 square feet, and comes witha pool, garage and football pitch.

There’s also a beautiful lush garden, a greenhouse, several balconies, a pond, and private access to the lake (with private docks for boats), which sits on the border of Italy and Switzerland.

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The property also comes with a separate caretaker house and a large guest house.

According to the listing, the property is one of the most renowned and famous properties on Lago Maggiore.

No strangers to luxurious lakeside living, the Versace family previously owned a property called Villa Fontanelle on nearby Lake Como, which was thought to be one of Gianni Versace's favourite holiday homes.

While Lake Como is known for attracting A-listers like George and Amal Clooney, Lake Maggiore is apparently more private but just as glamorous.

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Along with Lago di Como and Lago di Garda, the Italian lakes have always been an internationally sought-after destination and are becoming increasingly popular.

In 2018, around 75 percent of property buyers came from international buyers. “We expect the real estate market on Lago Maggiore to see ongoing positive growth in the coming years. International buyers will continue to show a keen interest”, commented Alessandro Lotito, Office Manager at Engel & Völkers.

The villa was sold to Donatella Versace by previous owner publishing magnate Arnoldo Mondadori for approximately €5 million. The house has been in theMondadori family since the 1920s.

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The Versace family is of course renowned for their colourful style – and not just when it comes to clothing. The late Gianni Versace's maximalist South Beach mansion was designed by Gianni himself, and is now a hotel.

Donatella Versace's renovation plans have yet to be determined, but we've got a feeling the new design will be just as eccentric.

Image source: Engel & Völkers Lago Maggiore

Lotte Brouwer

Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.