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Bill Gates Just Bought A 17th Century Roman Palazzo For $170 Million. Plans To Convert Into A Hotel

Gates (via Four Seasons) is said to have already made a $21 million down payment for the enormous building known as the Palazzo Marini, which is close to the famed Trevi Fountain.

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Recently, Bill Gates’ plan to buy the storied Danieli hotel in Venice was blocked. He wasn’t deterred and moved on to another Italian city. Ultimately, Gates spent $170 million to transform a 17th-century Roman Palazzo into Rome’s first six-star hotel through the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts firm, of which he owns the majority along with Saudi businessman Prince Al Waleed bin Talal Al Saud.

Gates (via Four Seasons) is said to have already made a $21 million down payment for the enormous building known as the Palazzo Marini, which is close to the famed Trevi Fountain. It will be transformed into a five-star hotel under the Four Seasons name.

Matteo Rossetti/Archivio Matteo Rossetti/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Arcivio/Matteo Rossetti via Getty Images: Matteo Rossetti/Mondadori Portfolio

There will be a significant building effort involved in converting the four-block structure into a luxurious Four Seasons hotel, and it is unknown when it will be finished. The palazzo, which was described as a “real fixer-upper,” was most recently home to a temporary Ikea store at street level. It was started (but never finished) by a Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1650, and over the ages, it has undergone far too many restorations and alterations to count.

Back in 2016, when he was being sought for bribery, Italian real estate tycoon Sergio Scarpellini sold the property in a “fire sale” situation. It was acquired by a financial group as a component of a collection of properties Scarpellini was offering for sale, with a total asking price of $800 million.

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The complex’s conversion to a hotel will reportedly cost an additional $120 million, but once it’s finished, it will fill a gap for top-tier hotels in the neighborhood, where previous hotels have been able to command top rental rates from the rich and famous simply because of proximity.

Gates and Four Seasons have not yet made any statements about the initiative in the media. But as the hotel nears completion, more news coverage might be anticipated.