Michelangelo’s former Tuscan villa hits the market for $9.3M

April 4, 2018 by  
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If you’ve been dreaming about living a new life under the Tuscan sun, now you can in Michelangelo’s former villa — currently on the market for $9.3M . The famed artist bought the sprawling 12,916-square-foot home located in Chianti, Italy in 1549, and it remained in the family until 1867. Today, the ten-bedroom manor — which is surrounded by the region’s iconic rolling green hills — was recently renovated to retain the historical character of the property. It even includes a copy of the original deed. The massive villa has been renovated to pay homage to its historic past, and the result is an idyllic property straight out of a fairy tale. A sturdy brick cladding covers the home, which sits on six acres covered with cypress and olive trees. Inside, the home includes ten bedrooms and seven bathrooms, and a guest cottage is located on site. A brick vaulted ceiling opens up the main living room space, which also comes with a central stone fireplace and several seating nooks. An adjacent sitting room features beamed ceilings and another grand fireplace. Related: Sistine Chapel to Illuminate Michelangelo’s Masterpiece with 7,000 LEDs Beautiful arched doorways and terracotta floors run throughout the interior and blend in nicely with the additional rooms’ white walls and ceilings. The home’s large kitchen comes with the original stone hearth and basin, as well as a backsplash made out of Tuscan ceramic tiles. The property, which is listed through Handsome Properties International , would make an amazing home for anyone ready to walk in the inspirational footsteps of Michelangelo. According to the real estate company, the property could easily be converted into a charming B&B . + Handsome Properties International Via Dwell Photos via Handsome Properties International

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Michelangelo’s former Tuscan villa hits the market for $9.3M

This off-grid cabin in the pristine Alaskan wilderness can only be reached by sea or air

March 1, 2018 by  
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If you’re looking for a luxurious off-grid retreat in the middle of nowhere, you’ve come to the right place. Located on Alaska’s remote Alexander Archipelago, the spectacular Hidden Bay Retreat is a three-bedroom timber home with a copper roof that sits on the water’s edge. Stunning views of the pristine wilderness and wildlife can be enjoyed from the home’s covered porch or better yet, from the infinity-edge hot tub. At 2,382 square feet, the home is a large space, built for maximum enjoyment of the surrounding nature. Constructed out of old growth Western Cedar , the home combines the best of rugged exterior materials with a sophisticated interior design. The copper roof was built with oversized eaves that extend out over the roof to create a series of covered terraces. These seating areas are prime wildlife viewing areas, but the infinity-edge hot tub is definitely the best place to catch the bald eagles and ravens that commonly soar around the home. Related: Lakeside cabin made out of reclaimed wood is as idyllic as it gets The interior design was also created to blend a bit of rustic with sophistication. Timber panels line the walls and an abundance of windows lets in optimal natural light and offers stunning views from the chimney-warmed living room. A double-height ceiling opens up the main living space, which leads to a chef’s kitchen and dining area. Three bedrooms are located on either side of the elongated structure and there is also a large, six-person sauna for those bone-chilling Alaskan winters. The landscape around the home, which opens up to the rocky shore of Hood Bay, has been left in a natural state to fully appreciate the beauty of the untouched wilderness and wildlife . The natural ecosystem is home to a variety of animals from bald eagles and snow geese to brown bears and deer. The waters are filled with a variety of fish and, further up the bay, Humpback Whales, Killer Whales, and Sea Lions are regular sites to see. If this all sounds like your cup of tea, it can be yours for $2.5 million (!). + Hidden Bay Retreat Via Uncrate Images via Sotheby’s International Reality

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This off-grid cabin in the pristine Alaskan wilderness can only be reached by sea or air

Total field ban on bee-harming neonicotinoids likely after new EU assessments

March 1, 2018 by  
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A total ban on pesticides that harm bees is highly likely in the European Union, according to The Guardian . The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published new assessments Wednesday confirming the risks of neonicotinoids for bees. Countries will vote next month, and a total field ban is likely. EFSA just put out new assessments, releasing conclusions updating ones from 2013 on the neonicotinoids clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam. The assessments cover honeybees , as well solitary bees and bumblebees for the first time, according to The Guardian, which also said the authority scrutinized over 1,500 studies to come to their conclusions. EFSA finalized them after consulting with pesticide experts in the European Union , whom they said supported their conclusions. Related: Over 700 North American bee species are heading towards extinction EFSA’s Pesticides Unit head Jose Tarazona said they were able to arrive at very detailed conclusions as there’s an ample amount of data, saying in a statement, “There is variability in the conclusions, due to factors such as the bee species, the intended use of the pesticide, and the route of exposure. Some low risks have been identified, but overall the risk to the three types of bees we have assessed is confirmed.” Many environmentalists and scientists welcomed the news, according to The Guardian. Friends of the Earth campaigner Sandra Bell said in a statement , “We have been playing Russian Roulette with the future of our bees for far too long. The UK government has already said it will support a complete ban on the outdoor use of these three bee-harming chemicals — a move that is fully justified by this report. Other EU countries must now back a tougher ban too.” The EU passed a partial ban in 2013, according to The Guardian, following EFSA’s first assessment finding unacceptable risks for bees from neonicotinoid pesticides. + European Food Safety Authority Via The Guardian Images via Danilo Batista on Unsplash and Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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Total field ban on bee-harming neonicotinoids likely after new EU assessments

This historic Italian town is selling homes for 1 Euro

January 30, 2018 by  
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If your idea of the good life is making your home in a stone-built cottage in a historic Italian town, stop dreaming. For just one Euro ($1.24), you can make it happen. That’s because the city of Ollolai in Sardinia is selling homes to buyers who are willing to invest a little blood, sweat and tears into restoring their aging stone homes. ? in love with #barbagia #autumn #autunnoinbarbagia #sardinia #ollolai #sardegna #photography #sardinialovers #explore #igers #igersardegna #supagufrittu A post shared by ?? Sardegna ?? (@antonellapala9) on Dec 1, 2017 at 9:05am PST The beautiful town of Ollolai rests in the mountains of Sardinia, an island off the coast of Italy in the Mediterranean. The city has over 200 stone dwellings that are falling into disrepair, and a population that is rapidly dwindling. To reverse the problem, the city is selling off homes for one Euro, provided that the buyer commits to restoring the home over three years. Related: Italy is giving away hundreds of historic castles and villas for free C'era una volta…………#cortesapertasollolai #pastafattaincasa #sardinia #sardegnaofficial #sapori #sosbattormorossardegna #lovesardegna #lanuovasardegna #focusardegna #bestsardegnapics #like4like #specialesardegna #instafamenow #illife_sardegna #thailand_allshots #wonderful #volgosardegna #borghipiubelliditalia #sardegna_reporter #hashtag #ollolai #autunnoinbarbagia2017 #illife_sardegna#autunnoinbarbagia #borghisardi #the_hub_sardegna#nikond3400 #nikonitalia #photography A post shared by Ely (@elysjourneys) on Nov 30, 2017 at 11:21pm PST “We boast prehistoric origins,” said Efisio Arbau, mayor of Ollolai. “My crusade is to rescue our unique traditions from falling into oblivion. Like many small towns, Ollolai has seen its younger population move to larger cities and a falling birth rate. Last year, the mayor asked former homeowners to donate their crumbling dwellings and put them on the market. So far, three have sold, with over 100 offers coming in from around the world. Sound like your cup of cappuccino? Head over to Ollolai comune to check out the available homes and start picturing yourself eating the local cheese under the Italian sun. Via CNN Images via Wikimedia and Ollolai comune

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This historic Italian town is selling homes for 1 Euro

Historic Frank Lloyd Wright building to be destroyed in 5 days – unless it’s bought

January 5, 2018 by  
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For the first time in more than 40 years, we’re about to lose a Frank Lloyd Wright -designed building. The beautiful Lockridge Medical Clinic building in Whitefish, Montana was designed by Wright in 1958 and is one of his last designs before his death in 1958. The building was created as a medical clinic that was comfortable enough to feel like a home, complete with Wright’s iconic touches. Now, the owner wants to tear it down to make way for a three-story mixed-use development, unless someone pays $1.7 million in cash by the 10th to preserve it. Demolition preparations began on-site earlier this week. “This comes as a great shock to us,” said Barbara Gordon, executive director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy. “Fruitful discussions were still taking place to bring about a successful resolution to this case, which the Conservancy and our local partners have been working on for more than a year.” Related: Woman pays $100,000 for a home and then discovers it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright The Conservancy has plans to preserve the site, with demolition not slated until the end of 2018, giving the organization time to raise funds to save the building. The news that demolition was beginning early felt like a “gut punch” to those working to save the endangered building, which housed a law office until recently. At just 25 miles from Glacier National Park , the building is perfectly poised for tourism, but the Conservancy fears that unless a buyer saves the day at the last minute, the building will be lost. + Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy Images via Wikimedia and the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy

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Historic Frank Lloyd Wright building to be destroyed in 5 days – unless it’s bought

Wind power supplied 43.6% of Denmark’s energy in 2017

January 5, 2018 by  
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Denmark set a new renewable energy record in 2017 by obtaining nearly half of its power from wind . The renewable source supplied 43.6 percent of electricity demand, beating the nation’s prior record of 42 percent in 2015 . In just a few years, the country could obtain 50 percent of its power from wind. Denmark’s wind turbines were particularly active in 2017, generating 14,700 gigawatt-hours in 12 months for a new production record, according to Renewables Now . Since 2001, installed wind energy capacity has doubled – even though there are around 20 percent fewer turbines. That’s because today’s turbines are larger and more efficient. The nation has installed 5.3 gigawatts of wind power on land and offshore – and most of the offshore turbines were installed after 2001. Related: Wind energy supplied all of Denmark’s power needs one day last week By 2020, Denmark could obtain around half of its electricity via wind. By then the nation should be able to generate 80 percent of its electricity from renewable sources including biomass and solar power . One of the world’s biggest wind turbine companies, Vestas , is headquartered in Denmark, and Danish companies are selling their green technology around the world, according to prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s new year speech cited by Danish Energy. CEO Lars Aagaard said milestones like the 43.6 percent figure help put Danish solutions on the agenda. At the end of 2017, Vestas announced a 96 megawatt order for a wind farm in India. TreeHugger points out that as transportation is powered more by electricity, greener grids are good news. Electric cars and buses are traversing the streets, and electric planes could someday be flying the skies. According to TreeHugger, 52 percent of new car sales in nearby Norway were electric. And while Denmark has quite a ways to go before they hit that target, once they do, those electric cars could run on clean electricity from all the wind power generated in the country. Via Danish Energy , Renewables Now , and TreeHugger Images via Depositphotos and Pixabay

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Wind power supplied 43.6% of Denmark’s energy in 2017

Picturesque Swiss Alps town wants to pay new residents to move there

November 22, 2017 by  
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A two-week vacation in the Alps is great, sure. But what about a 10-year stay where you’ll be paid to sip hot cocoa in a charming chalet settled amongst snow-capped mountains? Indeed, as Travel+Leisure  shares, the tiny Swiss village of Albinen, near Leukerbad in the canton of Valais is offering new residents a hefty annual paycheck—25,000 francs (or $25,200 USD) per adult and 10,000 francs ($10,000 USD) per child to be exact—to live in their dreamy village for at least a decade. Like many small towns across Europe and the U.S., Albinen has seen their population dip over the last few years as residents, particularly families, have left for larger cities. As Swiss site The Local  reports, three families have moved from Albinen recently, including eight children. While these numbers will seem negligible to most of us, the loss forced the local school to close. As it stands, there are just 240 residents remaining and they are demanding officials save the village from demise. As such, the village council proposed the pay-to-stay measure which will be voted on November 30, 2017. Related: Italy is giving away hundreds of historic castles and villas for free Of course, there are several caveats for applicants. First, you must be under 45 years old. Secondly, the property you chose must be valued at no less than 200,000 francs ($201,600 USD). And again, you’ll need to commit at least 10 years to the village and make it your permanent place of residence. If you break the agreement (i.e. leave before your decade is up), you’ll have to repay the town all the money they invested in you. Although modest, Albinen offers clean streets and some nice amenities, including a spa.  The village is also sited near several larger towns. Plus you can’t argue those spectacular views of the Alps. Really, could you ask for a better Instagram shot? Via Travel+Leisure via  The Local Images via WikiCommons and Google Maps

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s mushroom-esque Usonia home hits the market for $1.5M

November 8, 2017 by  
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In the late 1940s, Frank Lloyd Wright was hired to design a planned community near Pleasantville, New York. Today, the Usonia Historic District is a picturesque neighborhood filled with houses that were designed by Wright – including a round stone home with two circular rooftops reminiscent of the fungi that cover the forest. It’s called the Sol Friedmen Home – and it just hit the market for a cool $1.5M . Located just 50 minutes outside of Manhattan, Usonia is a 100-acre cooperative founded by NYC couples. Frank Lloyd Wright designed the neighborhood layout in a circular fashion to preserve the natural forest setting, encouraging “the flow of the land”. The architect then designed three of the 47 homes himself and contracted the remaining work out to some of his most admired colleagues. Related: Frank Lloyd Wright beach house listed on Airbnb for under $150 per night The Sol Friedmen Home, which was built in 1949, is a round structure with overlapping concrete slab rooftops. The two intersecting mushroom-like rooftops are complimented with a fungi-inspired carport adjacent to the home. The circular building is supported by a wall of exposed stone ashlar masonry topped with metal-framed glass panels. The home’s materials were selected to blend into the surrounding forestscape. On the inside, nature is again the focus. The home’s curvature and abundance of windows allow views of the evergreen forest from virtually every angle. A large great room is lined with built-in oak shelving and furniture designed by Wright. A beautiful stone fireplace holds court at the center of the room. The new owners of the three-bedroom home will join the unique 100-acre Usonia community , which was named a national historic district in 2012. Along with the three Wright homes, the remaining 44 homes were designed by innovative architects including Paul Schweikher, Wright students Kaneji Domoto and Theodore Dixon Bower, Ulrich Franzen, Aaron Resnick and Wright apprentice David Henken. + Sol Friedman House Via Archinect Images via Houlihan Lawrence

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s mushroom-esque Usonia home hits the market for $1.5M

Italy is giving away hundreds of historic castles and villas for free

May 17, 2017 by  
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Have you ever wanted to own your own castle – or perhaps an Italian monastery? Here’s your chance. As part of Italy’s Strategist Tourist Plan, the country is giving away 103 historic sites – including old houses, farmhouses, inns, monasteries and even ancient castles. However, only those who intend to renovate and transform the structures into tourist hotspots (such as restaurants and spas) will be granted a plot of historic property. The State Property Agency and Ministry of Cultural Heritage are responsible for spearheading the project, which aims to relieve some of the strain on the country’s most popular and overcrowded areas. In effect, lesser-explored destinations will receive an influx of tourists and local economies will benefit. State property agency employee Roberto Reggi told The Local : “The project will promote and support the development of the slow tourism sector. The goal is for private and public buildings which are no longer used to be transformed into facilities for pilgrims, hikers, tourists, and cyclists.” In total, 103 historic sites are available across the country. Many are located near the famous Appian Way – the Roman road that connects Venice with Brindisi on the southern coast. After the initial properties are claimed and foreigners begin exploring more destinations aside from Venice , 200 more sites will be included in the project over the next two years. This isn’t the first time Italy has relied on the public to restore its historic sites. The “ Lighthouse Project, ” for instance, has resulted in the Italian government auctioning off approximately 30 historic lighthouses to investors over the past two years. The requirement has been the same: transform the ordinary structures into hotels and tourist facilities . Additionally, the country raised €502 million for its “ Kill Public Debt Plan ” by putting 50 of its most prized sites up for action in 2013. Full details of the project can be found (in Italian) on the State Property Agency’s website . + State Property Agency Via The Local Images via Hand Luggage Only , SUWalls , Pinterest

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Italy is giving away hundreds of historic castles and villas for free

Research shows the UK tosses out 1.4 million edible bananas – a day

May 17, 2017 by  
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Grocery stores to food banks to big corporations like Walmart and Hasbro have all taken measures to combat food waste . But there’s still a long way to go in the fight: new research from United Kingdom (UK) supermarket chain Sainsbury’s reveals daily Britons still throw away 1.4 million bananas that could have been consumed. The study found one third of the nation’s inhabitants would throw out a banana even if it just had a minor bruise. UK charity organization WRAP assembled the Sainsbury’s study, and the results weren’t good. One in 10 Brits would discard a piece of the fruit solely for having a bit of green on the skin. Millions of bananas are thrown away every day, even though they could still have been eaten. 61 percent of Britons don’t use discarded bananas in baking , according to Sainsbury’s head of sustainability Paul Crewe, and the grocery store is hoping to do something about that. Related: Stop throwing away banana peels – eat them instead Crewe said they’re creating an in-store area aimed at inspiring Brits to bake with bananas. They’ll launch these new pop-up banana rescue stations in over 500 stores across the nation. At the rescue station people can grab a Sainsbury’s recipe for banana bread, and find the tools they need to bake their own loaf like mixing bowls, baking tins, and blenders. Crewe said, “While we’re pleased with the success of the in-store trial, we’re determined to help shoppers reduce the number of bananas going to waste at home too.” In November the store announced a one million pound, or around $1.29 million, fund for the second phase of their Waste Less, Save More project. The first phase saw a pilot program in the town of Swadlincote, testing waste-saving ideas and technology the company said could save families around 350 pounds, or $452, on food bills each year and could slash the town’s waste by 50 percent. They’ve also taken actions like getting rid of multi-buy promotions in favor of a lower price structure. Via edie.net Images via Pixabay and Pexels

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Research shows the UK tosses out 1.4 million edible bananas – a day

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