A woman has paid €70,000 ($75,274; £60,862) to have lunch with Italy's media mogul and former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. The proceedings will be given to charity Red Cross to help victims of a series of earthquakes that struck central Italy in the past few months.

More than 280 people died in August 2016 when a powerful earthquake hit several towns in the central part of the peninsula, with Amatrice, in Lazio region, being the town worst affected.

The woman, whose identity has not been revealed yet, was the winner of an auction that took place on fund-raising website Charity Stars.

"Win the rare opportunity to have a business lunch with Silvio Berlusconi at his residence in Arcore [northern Italy," read the advertisement on the charity website.

"Known for being a communications genius and popular politician, he's one of the pillars of Italian politics and society."

Berlusconi, who served as prime minister four times, said on his official Facebook page he was happy to take part in the initiative.

"I have decided to participate in these auctions... because I believe each of us must do everything possible to help fellow citizens in difficulty," The Cavaliere (Cavalier),as he is known in Italy, said.

"I will be really happy to get to know and to lunch with a generous, sensitive benefactor," he said.