Where Do Oligarchs Vacation?
July 7, 2011
There’s no shortage of conjecture about why we gawk. Scientists say we enjoy watching people more successful than us because it satisfies an ancient neurobiological instinct. Others claim that a recession necessitates escapism, i.e., we’re living in the TMZ age. For designers, celebrity-home-porn has more of a conciliatory effect: “Well, Putin might have great pecs, be a friend to all animals, and an oligarch — but man, he has awful taste.”
In that smug spirit, we surveyed a bunch of vacation homes frequented by world leaders, tech giants, and investment bankers, organizing them into a series of summer roundups. We’re starting with world leaders, and all in all, it’s a banal affair: it seems like politicians generally just want to be “alone” in order to “pursue” their “personal hobbies” when they’re on vacation. Look out for next week’s much more rococo installment: the tech world.
Who? Silvio Berlusconi
Where? The embattled Italian prime minister’s vacation home, Villa Certosa, on Sardinia was the location of his first major scandal.
In short: There’s a fake volcano on the grounds: ”Mr Berlusconi will offer guests a personal tour of the gardens. As they walk through eucalyptus and cacti, he informs them that, unbeknown to many, Sardinia is an active volcanic zone. When the group approaches the lake he pretends to become worried. At that point, one hears a crazy explosion… An artificial volcano works its magic on cue, erupting in a spectacular light show. It’s a game.” [via Times Online UK]