Childhood castle of Carla Bruni for sale at $28 million

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - If you’ve always wanted to live like an Italian heiress, supermodel, pop star and wife of a European head of state, there’s a castle on the market in Turin that might be worth a look.

France's first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, arrives at the Andy Warhol Museum for a tour hosted by U.S. first lady Michelle Obama,during the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 25, 2009. REUTERS/Ian Langsdon/Pool

The historic home in the Italian hills where French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy spent her early childhood is staking a “for sale” sign once again, just months after a Saudi billionaire bought the palatial property for $25 million.

Castello di (the castle at) Castagneto Po is in the hills northeast of Turin where Bruni-Sarkozy lived before the family relocated to Paris in the early 1970s as Marxist guerrilla groups struck fear among Italy’s elite. It was sold by the family earlier this year.

Saudi Arabia’s billionaire businessman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who is listed by Forbes as one of the world’s wealthiest men, is now flipping the 21,000-square foot castle, never having moved in, for about 19 million Euros ($28 million).

Christie’s Great Estates, a subsidiary of the art auction house, is slated to announce the listing in coming days.

Bruni’s father, Italian industrialist Alberto Bruni Tedeschi, bought the 40-room castle, which dates back nearly 1,000 years, in 1952 and had it extensively restored and lavishly appointed.

Tedeschi died in 1996. Bruni-Sarkozy -- a former model and now singer who married French President Nicolas Sarkozy last year -- her mother and her sister first sold the castle’s contents at auction and then the house itself.

“We had finished with Castagneto Po. Nobody went there any more,” said Bruni’s mother Marisa Bruni Tedeschi at the time.

Surrounded by some 175 acres replete with vegetable gardens, orchards, flowering terraces, ancient greenhouses, a caretaker’s house and a farm building, the castle was rebuilt in neo-Gothic style ending in 1835, having been destroyed in 1705 following two centuries of French army invasions.

“The grandeur of Castle Castagneto Po is unrivaled in Northern Italy,” said Giancarlo Bracco, founder of Christie’s Great Estates’ Italian affiliate ImmobilSarda s.r.l., which is handling the sale.

Its imposing facade conjures images of fairy tale princesses -- or real-life Italian supermodel-pop star-first ladies.

Editing by Belinda Goldsmith