Italian Renaissance-era castle, yours for over 100 million yuan on Alibaba's Taobao

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 May, 2015, 3:53pm
UPDATED : Friday, 19 June, 2015, 1:27pm

An Italian castle built during the Renaissance period will be auctioned on Chinese e-commerce platform Taobao with a starting price of 100 million yuan (US$16 million).

Located in Verona in northern Italy, the castle was built in the early 16th century and covers an area of 2,831 square metres. According to Taobao it is estimated to be worth in excess of 170 million yuan. The real estate lies close to Valpolicella, the backdrop of Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet.

Photos of the property show the two-floor building sitting in the middle of swaths of lands separated by neighbouring properties with dense trees.

The auction is set to start on Thursday morning and will last for 12 hours.

The castle is one of more than 100 properties, including dozens of apartments in Milan, being offered on Taobao's Paimai auction platform. The apartments starting prices range from just 1 yuan to 6.8 million.

Alibaba on Tuesday said the auctions are the latest in a series of sales of overseas properties on Taobao designed to connect property developers and owners with potential Chinese buyers.

“We started setting our sights on overseas properties in late 2014, in the hope of providing our users with the opportunity to own an exotic overseas residence,” said Yu Jinlin, operations director of Taobao Auctions.

The auction proved to be a huge success with 80 per cent of some 60 overseas properties sold, Yu said.

In March, Taobao gained widespread attention for bringing under the hammer four islands in Fiji, Greece, the UK, and Canada with starting prices as low as 1 yuan. The islands were eventually sold for between five and 12 million yuan.

Last month it held auctions for over a hundred of properties in the US state of Orlando.

Yu said Taobao is planning to add French vineyards and commercial residential buildings in Spain to its auction list later this year.


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