Saudi prince new owner of supermodel's castle

Alwaleed bin Talal buys Carla Bruni's family palace in Italy


Italian paper La Stampa confirmed Saturday rumors that Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the richest men in the world, was the mystery "Arab sheikh" who purchased Carla Bruni's family castle in February.

Saudi's royal businessman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, bought the historic castle dating back to 1019 from Carla Bruni, French president's Nicholas Sarkozy's wife, for a whooping €17.5 million ($25 million), Arab media reported Sunday.

Last week the prince, who ranks as the 22nd richest man in Forbes's list of the World's Billionaires, sealed the deal on the "Castagneto Po" palace, which is located at the outskirts of Turin in Northern Italy

The forty-room chamber palace boasts an 18th century interior without parallel in Italy. The palace, whose furniture was sold in a London auction for 10 million ($14 million), takes up 1,500 square meters (16,000 sq feet) and is surrounded by a garden with an ancient forest, according to La Stampa.

Supermodel Carla Bruni, 39, and her mother and sister, actress and director Valeria Bruni, owned half the shares of the company that owned palace. According to Italy’s La Stampa newspaper, Carla's mother said their palace has fallen out of use.

"We are done with Castagneto Po and we no longer frequent that palace," Marisa Bruni Tedeschi said.

Alberto Bruni Tedeschi, Carla's Italian father and the heir of a rich industrial family purchased the chateau in 1952.

Prince bin Talal also purchased two hotels, the Movenpik and Alfoarcisonz Mauritius hotel and resort in the Republic of Mauritius for $250 million.