Pick olives on Sting’s estateComment on this story
Rome - You might think a hard day’s work in a field under the baking sun would merit a decent labourer’s wage.
Not if you’re working for Sting. In fact, you have to pay him.
The rock star, real name Gordon Sumner, is charging his fans £208 a day to pick grapes and olives on his Tuscan estate.
Despite being worth more than £180-million, the 62-year-old expects holidaymakers to stump up for the privilege of working alongside local labourers on the 900-acre Il Palagio farm near Florence in Italy.
He bought the 16th century property in 1999 with his wife Trudie Styler, 60, and sells the produce – including honey, olive oil, wine, fruit and vegetables and salami – through a farm shop.
Their wine costs up to £36 (about R600) a bottle, while a bottle of cold pressed olive oil is £14.99.
Customers are reportedly invited to “roll up your sleeves and join the grape or olive harvest in the field of dreams at Il Palagio”.
Describing picking produce as “therapeutic”, the sales pitch says: “Start the day with a picnic on the expansive lawn and a briefing from the estate manager to help you understand your work as a farmer for a day: learn about the soil, the vines and trees, and techniques for harvesting.”
At the end of the day, pickers will be able to taste the estate’s wine.Last year, Sting started renting out six cottages on the estate for £6 000 each per week, but this is the first time guests have been invited to work for him.
The property has a large swimming pool, woods, lakes, a five-acre kitchen garden and beehives, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Sting is not the first celebrity to venture outside his chosen career to make extra money. Many stars have added to their incomes by launching perfumes or clothing ranges, or fronting exercise videos.
Others put their properties up to let. They include actress Helen Mirren, whose Los Angeles mansion was reportedly on the market for £24 000 a month earlier this year.
Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen is believed to rent his Hollywood property for £50 000 a month. Sting, whose last world tour generated an estimated £220-million for his band the Police, has four children but has said they will not inherit a penny of his fortune.
He also own homes in New York, Wiltshire and London. Earlier this year, the London property went on the market and was expected to sell for more than £15-million.
Sting’s agent did not respond to a request for comment. - Daily Mail