A U.S.-born princess is promoting her sixteenth century Italian villa, adorned by Caravaggio, for greater than $300 million

Rome — A house match for a princess is available on the market in Italy — all you want is the funds of a billionaire. Valued at greater than half a billion {dollars}, the sixteenth century “Villa Aurora” property is among the many most costly properties on the market on the planet. However you have not misplaced your probability: It did not promote at public sale on Tuesday.

The villa comes with uncommon classical artwork masterpieces, and so many rooms that the present proprietor hasn’t even bothered to rely them. Newsplaneta Information correspondent Chris Livesay bought a tour, and he bought to satisfy the real-life American-born princess who’s prepared to maneuver out.

It is bought the makings of a fairy story: A prince marries a lady from Texas, makes her a princess, and offers her a fort with artwork just about spilling out of its home windows — all of it priceless.

Effectively, nearly priceless.

Any Rome villa is certain to fetch a princely sum, however for many years, Villa Aurora has really been house to a princess. As Livesay found, Her Serene Highness the Principessa Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi, often is the most colourful murals in the home.

Rita Jenrette, a former Republican Nationwide Committee staffer, together with her husband, Rep. John Jenrette Jr., D-S.C., in 1976. 

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“One of many individuals from the Louvre was right here… and she or he stated, ‘Now we have certainly one of these on the Louvre, however that is in a lot better form,'” she recounted to Livesay as she confirmed off a few of her villa’s art work.

You may know the princess higher as Rita Jenrette. In 1980, the Texas woman married South Carolina Congressman John Jenrette, proper across the identical time he was convicted of fraud. The subsequent yr, as her marriage was crumbling, she threw gasoline on the fiery scandal by posing for Playboy.  

She finally discovered her footing in Manhattan actual property, serving to Donald Trump dealer his buy of the Common Motors constructing in 1998.

It was throughout that interval that she met her second husband — a direct descendent of Pope Gregory XIII, Prince Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi.

Interviewed by “Newsplaneta Sunday Morning” in 2017, the prince described assembly Jenrette as “a second I might always remember.”

Principessa Rita


The prince died in 2018, sparking a bitter inheritance dispute between his youngsters from a earlier marriage, and Princess Rita — one which she says makes the HBO collection “Succession” look tame by comparability.

“Are you kidding me? That is kid’s play in comparison with what I had been by,” she stated of the TV drama.

Unable to resolve the dispute, a courtroom ordered the villa to be auctioned off, leaving half the revenue to the sons, and half to the principessa. The opening bid: about $400 million. It failed to succeed in that originally, so now it is up for public sale beginning at 20% much less — round $320 million — nonetheless making it one of the costly properties available on the market worldwide.

For that price ticket, you may count on a swimming pool or a tennis courtroom. However no. Right here, you may must accept a Renaissance masterpiece. The sprawling ceiling fresco was carried out by none apart from Caravaggio, a storied Italian painter who died greater than 400 years in the past.  

“It is known as ‘Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto,'” the princess advised Livesay of her house’s most well-known murals. “It is the one ceiling portray he ever did.”

Caravaggio’s ceiling portray on the Villa Aurora.

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Princess Rita stated the worth of the Caravaggio authentic alone was estimated at about $350 million.

“So, an individual is getting an excellent deal” when the they purchase her home, stated the princess.  

Throw in a number of historic Roman busts, and even a sculpture by Michelangelo, and the extraordinary worth of Villa Aurora is evident to see.

Principessa Rita advised Livesay that when she moved into the property nearly 20 years in the past, it was in shambles. However she made it her life mission to resurrect it, even main excursions of the villa.

Now, with all of the historical past, it looks like a museum — however it’s greater than that.

“This was a house,” she stated. “My coronary heart will at all times be right here… I really feel an important accountability. A part of it’ll at all times be in my coronary heart. At all times, endlessly.”

The previous Rita Jenrette stated she had fulfilled a lifelong dream when she married an Italian prince.

Newsplaneta Information

The princess continues to be deciding what to do with the following chapter of her life, after the home sells. She stated the brand new proprietor must be somebody like Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk to afford the treasure trove — which can nonetheless have some lurking inside, undiscovered.

Galileo as soon as gazed on the stars from her rooftop, and the princess is satisfied that two of his telescopes are nonetheless hiding within the ceiling.

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