Living in an Italian villa in the rolling hills of Tuscany is a fantasy for many, but not everyone can make the move across the Atlantic. If you’re looking to swap the mundane for la dolce vita without ever having to leave American shores, the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury® program has a collection of listings available that can turn your Tuscan dream into reality right at home.
A Restored Tuscan Manor with a Prohibition Past
Your home journey might start with this thoughtfully reimagined Tuscan manor in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, just 20 miles northwest of Midtown Manhattan. The architectural treasure is priced under $2 million and comes with a unique Prohibition-era history that you can tell your family and friends about for years to come.
Built in 1926 by an Italian immigrant who painstakingly modeled the home after his true love’s family estate in Tuscany, the residence later become known as a speakeasy with secret subterranean entrances and a secret wine room. (It is also rumored to have been a favorite drinking sanctuary for some of the greatest baseball players of all time.) Adorned with cast-in-place concrete ceiling moldings and a fortress-like exterior with concrete plaster walls throughout, the home was built to withstand the test of time.
As listing agent Christine Thares of Coldwell Banker Realty in Ridgewood, NJ, tells it: “The current owners purchased the property in 2018 and subsequently invested over $1 million in improvements. They took special care to maintain the home’s original architectural integrity and pay homage to its 1920s history; there are stories for many of the rooms. It’s one of the most dramatically unique properties I’ve ever seen in my 19 years.”
Surrounded by plantings modeled after the New York Botanical Gardens and the meditative flow of fountains, the five-bedroom residence exudes simple Tuscan elegance with stark-white stucco walls and beautifully restored interiors equipped with every modern amenity, from Bertazzoni appliances to a DCS 6-burner stove in the kitchen to updated technology throughout.
Standout rooms include a barista-style pantry, a garden room, a speakeasy-style wine cellar and a lower level baseball museum. The library – what the seller considers “the most relaxing space” – leads to a secluded terrace where you can hear the faint sounds of the fountains beyond.
Outside, a putting green, pergola for dining al fresco and a stone path reminiscent of the cobblestone paths of the old country amid gardens and grapevines all lend a magical quality to the property. “We’ve hosted many amazing events and the house doesn’t breathe heavy at all, even with 100-plus visitors,” reveals the seller. “Our favorite memory may be the first grapes that grew off the California transplanted vines. That was a very special moment.”
Two California Villas You’ll Never Want to Leave
Architecture inspired by the great Mediterranean traditions has a long, rich history in California – and that’s where we head next for our tour through stateside Tuscan-style listings.
We begin in the Bay Area’s Los Gatos community, where a Tuscan-inspired residence built in only 2006 awaits in a sought-after enclave. Listing agents Alan Feldman and Rebecca Yen Smith of Coldwell Banker Realty in Saratoga call the artfully executed home a “private villa retreat” due to its gated front courtyard. A stone fountain and arched terracotta stone veranda welcome guests inside. Once inside its 3,629 square feet, a grand entry, adorned with dramatic high ceilings, create heightened grandeur. A formal dining room flows seamlessly to an open-concept gourmet kitchen and great room with an atrium-style casual dining area and fireplace. Staying true to the Mediterranean way of living, a covered outdoor space embraces indoor/outdoor entertaining.
Four bedrooms with dedicated ensuite baths, including a desirable ground floor ensuite, provide endless flexibility for accommodating guests, in-laws, etc. Upstairs, a primary suite features a fireplace, walk-in closet, and private balcony. Conveniently, there is also a lower-level bonus room with a bar, pool table, and home theater, plus a detached garage with storage. Situated close to Los Gatos schools, downtown, shops, restaurants, and hiking trails, the residence brings “a luxurious lifestyle and tranquility” into focus in one of Silicon Valley’s most prized addresses, add the listing agents.
Moving south to the cascading hills of Calabasas (about 33 miles northwest of Los Angeles), this 8,562 square-foot villa straordinaria is ideally positioned on an expansive private lot at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in the exclusive Estates at The Oaks.
The nearly one-acre lot could be considered a compound of sorts: “there’s a main house, a beach entry pool and spa with multiple waterfalls, a basketball court, a barbecue center with seating, multiple-covered patios, and a one-bedroom guest house,” according to listing agent Rachella Moghadam of Coldwell Banker Realty in Calabasas.
In the main house, the gourmet kitchen serves as the heart of the home with a large center island opening to the oversized family room with fireplace, plus a sunny breakfast room that flows to an outdoor patio with a fountain. A formal dining room with wine cellar and a living room that adjoins a custom library facilitates seamless living and entertaining, no matter the occasion. An upstairs game room also offers another option for keeping everyone in the house entertained. Meanwhile, the primary suite is retreat personified with a sitting room, private view balcony, dual baths, a steam shower, and large custom closets. Fine wood and stone flooring throughout reflect the impeccable craftsmanship throughout the home. Lush landscaping and mature fruit-bearing trees give the entire property an atmosphere of tranquility. If you’re longing for an L.A.-area escape that makes you feel as if you’ve been transported to Tuscany, then search no more.