The embassy building in London is being sold – it was bought for Benito Mussolini

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The luxury Edwardian property has not been offered for sale for more than 100 years. The Belgravia mansion is now on sale for £21 million.

A little piece of Italy has just opened up to a potential new homeowner. A former Italian embassy in London’s prestigious Belgravia area is for sale with a guide price of £21,500,000. Tatler writes about this.

Built at the turn of the 20th century, the Edwardian mansion measures 7,948 sq. feet was the Italian embassy for a century. And once it was bought for the dictator Benito Mussolini.

Benito Mussolini


Benito Mussolini

Photo: Getty Images

One of the nearby townhouses is rumored to have been the inspiration for the residence of Hugo Drax, James Bond’s antagonist in Moonraker. Drax was named after Sir Reginald Drax, a classmate of author and Bond creator Ian Fleming. Fleming lived nearby on Ebury Street from 1945 to 1953.

Former Italian Embassy

In 1923, the mansion in Belgravia was purchased by the Italian government for its embassy. This was when Italy was led by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. From 1932 to 1939 Count Dino Grandi was Italian Ambassador to Great Britain. Guests who visited the house included Lord Lloyd George, Wallis Simpson and Lady Alexandra Curzon. Grandi tried to bring about peace between Britain and Italy after the outbreak of World War II, when Mussolini entered into an alliance with Adolf Hitler. He was eventually removed from his post in October 1939.

At the end of the war, the mansion was converted into the embassy office of the Italian military attache. The attaché represents personnel working in the Italian Armed Forces. In 2005, they finally left this premises.

The neighboring townhouses housed the rich and aristocrats, from the 4th Earl of Lichfield to the 1st Marquess of Willingdon and the Viceroy of India.

Between 2009 and 2011, the embassy was converted into a private home. The basement features a cinema room, as well as staff quarters, guest cloakrooms and Regency marble fireplaces.

Charles Lloyd, chairman of Beauchamp Estates (Mayfair and Belgravia), who will be handling the sale, described the property as “sumptuous and in immaculate condition.”

Let us recall that earlier in Italy the Villa Galileo Galilei, where Queen Camilla spent her holidays, was put up for sale.


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