Villa with a view

This Italia-style villa in the heart of upper Malaga Cove is a real-estate dream with a superior locale, European elegance, modern conveniences and amazing panoramas

Written by Wendy Bowman | Photography Courtesy of Larissa Rubijevsky

This sublime home in Palos Verdes Estates is a little like heaven on earth for its charmed owners. To set the scene: They drive up, spot their beautiful tiered garden filled with iceberg roses and olive trees, stride up the stairs past a lovely lion fountain and sashay through a one-of-a-kind front door into their charming holiday villa. After staring at breathtaking ocean, coastline and city views, their heads hit the pillow at the end of another perfect day.

What comes between is just icing on the cake. Upon awaking, their first view is once again that of the enchanting ocean—a trait that almost every room in the home shares. Among the other treats: weekend breakfasts outdoors on the balcony; savoring the heated saltwater fountain lap pool (or sauna and steam room); and dinner outside while watching the sailboat regattas. Not to mention the gorgeous Italian Riviera-like sunsets each and every evening.

“If you’ve been to Lake Como in Italy, it’s almost an exact replica of those villas,” says listing agent Larissa Rubijevsky of RE/MAX Estate Properties of the home. “It’s classic, yet fully equipped with the latest technological advances and loads of custom details. It’s gorgeous inside and out, plus the amazing panoramic views make it a true masterpiece.”

Situated on a private, 14,371-square-foot parcel of land at 800 Via Somonte, in the prestigious and sought-after community of Upper Malaga Cove—within walking distance of the beach, ocean and hiking trails and historic Malaga Cove Plaza—the three-level home was designed in 1998 by renowned Palos Verdes architect George Sweeney and built by Marchal Esfahani in 2001. It underwent a complete rebuild six years ago, with utmost attention paid to ensuring the finest in materials and details—including soaring ceilings, arched windows and doors, Corinthian support columns, stone balustrades, a three-stop elevator and top-of-the-line security system.

Inside, the home offers 6,000 square feet of open living space encompassing five bedrooms (with a sumptuous master retreat boasting a fireplace, two walk-in closets, endless built-ins, a large balcony, and luxurious bath with a sauna, steam room and three vanities); a chef’s kitchen with professional appliances, a large center island and custom cabinetry; a living room with 15-foot beamed ceilings and fireplace; and an office with custom cabinetry. Yet other features include a game room/home theater with a walk-in bar; wine cellar; and an additional kitchen with a craft/ laundry space.

Outdoors, the landscaped backyard is replete with a saltwater lap pool with a water fountain, multiple areas suitable for gardening. Of special note, a massive walled pool courtyard meticulously carved into the hillside by Sweeney brings to mind the central cortiles of Florence villas, complete with extensive view terraces.

Just some of the many special memories the homeowners will take with them? Evenings with a full moon; celebrating the Fourth of July, while watching fireworks burst across the entire L.A. basin and down the coastline; and retreating to the top of the grounds to sit quietly and enjoy a cup of tea and breakfast while watching the hummingbirds fly about ever so peacefully.

“This was our dream home,” says one homeowner, “and we enjoyed every moment.” Heaven on earth, indeed.




Offered at $4,000,000

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