In pictures: Homes of celebrities and business moguls

An Italian villa once owned by one of Texas’ longest-running royalty families – and decorated by legendary architect William Wendt – is on the market for $9.7m. The five-bedroom home in Rome, Italy, is…

In pictures: Homes of celebrities and business moguls

An Italian villa once owned by one of Texas’ longest-running royalty families – and decorated by legendary architect William Wendt – is on the market for $9.7m.

The five-bedroom home in Rome, Italy, is being auctioned at the end of January and has attracted competing bids from two bidding groups.

Designed by Wendt, an internationally-renowned architect who previously designed Beverly Hills hotels, the villa is expected to draw a competitive bid.

“The charm and confidence of this home – all that California architecture – is something that you just cannot put a price on,” said Darren Eastin, managing director at Michael S. Eastin Real Estate, the firm behind the sale.

Built in 1790, the duplex villa is said to have been a favourite of the Hartlieb, a prominent Texas family – as well as a fixture on the Spanish speaking state’s social scene – who passed it down to their daughter during the late 1980s.

Alex Hartlieb Sr, who died last year, left the property to his grandson, Alex II, who negotiated a $6.3m deal for the 16,000 square-foot home to German entrepreneur Josef Leider. He is currently renovating it.

However, La Manchine, a family trust with a European focus, and pro-Brexit businessman David Coven, a friend of the Hartlieb’s daughter, Josef Hartlieb Jr, decided to sell the property. They already own another 17,000 square-foot villa in Rome.

“The Beverly Hills historical architectural values are important, and in this case, have been protected,” said Darren Eastin.

It is not the first notable property to go on the auction block. In May 2017, a luxurious English country manor, owned by an Australian billionaire in the 1960s, was bought by the co-founder of technology company Tesla and Silicon Valley financier Ron Conway.

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