ROME – Reportedly tiring of life in London and New York, the Material Girl is said it be mulling a move to the Eternal City.
The Italian media reported Wednesday that Madonna may be looking to acquire a luxury property in Rome.
The most likely candidates: a luxury villa on the Aventine Hill, or a penthouse apartment in the iconoclastic neighborhood designed by early 20th century architect Gino Coppede. There is no official word from the camp of the singer born as Madonna Louise Ciccone about a possible move, though the 54-year-old pop icon has always maintained close ties with Italy, the home of her ancestors.
Madonna’s personal donation of $500,000 to help the victims of the devastating 2009 earthquake in Abruzzo was at first larger than the aid from the U.S. government. She has also opined periodically on Italian affairs, and has been a vocal critic of media tycoon and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Madonna’s directorial effort, W.E., which told the story of the love story between British King Edward VIII and American divorcee Wallis Simpson, premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year.
But she has also been attacked repeatedly by the Vatican, which called the video for her 1989 hit "Like a Prayer" "blasphemous" for its visions of burning crosses, statues that cried blood and a scene where Madonna herself seduced a black actor playing Jesus Christ. In 2004, she was also criticized for promoting the Kabbalah religious belief, which the Vatican considers to be a threat to Roman Catholicism.
Most recently, church officials blasted her for the decision to sing while hanging from a crucifix during a 2006 concert in Rome. After that show, Cardinal Ersilio Tonino, speaking for Pope Benedict XVI, said, "This time the limits have really been pushed too far. She should be excommunicated."
She last attracted headlines in Italy in June, when during another concert in Rome, Madonna flashed her buttocks, revealing her black undergarments and fishnet stockings, to the delight of concertgoers.
Rome has been a popular destination for the entertainment world’s elite since the Dolce Vita days of the 1950s and 1960s. But in recent years, few top stars have gone as far as to move there.