Secluded, verdant and just a short dash by superyacht from the Côte D’Azur, the private island of Gallinara could be a perfect billionaire’s bolthole to ride out the pandemic.
But the Italian government is under pressure to block a €25 million deal to sell the property to the son of a Ukrainian aerospace tycoon who is a citizen of Grenada and resident in Montecarlo. Opponents of the selloff want it to be returned to the nation.
Under Italian law governing cultural and environmental assets, the state has 60 days to exercise its right of first refusal over the sale of Gallinara, which lies off Italy’s northwestern coast. And with stringent EU budget restrictions lifted under the coronavirus crisis and billions allocated for state investment as part of the pandemic rescue packages, the government has plenty of money to throw around.
“This is a great opportunity for Italy to buy back and make public an island that is unique in the world because of its history, and its ecosystem which has been completely uncontaminated,” local Mayor Riccardo Tomatis said.
The mayor envisions instead a museum in the existing villa and a beautiful park, with paths for small hiking groups. But at present, the island doesn’t even have running water and electricity. The eventual owner, state or private, may find the island, stunning as it is, is also a deep money pit.
Photo Credit : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lampedusa