One of River Oaks’ most illustrious and recognizable palaces is off the market. The estate once owned by the late Baron Ricky di Portanova and Baroness Alessandra di Portanova at 2115 River Oaks Blvd. has been sold, according to Nancy Almodovar, CEO of Nan and Company Properties Christie’s International Real Estate.
Listed for $16 million, the property was under contract in less than a month.
Dubbing the home a palace isn’t hyperbole. The Neoclassical estate sits on a 43,973-square-foot lot in the tony River Oaks Country Club Estate neighborhood; the home itself boasts 21,500 square feet. No detail was spared in the most recent renovation that cost the previous owners some $7 million.
Perhaps the palace’s biggest conversational piece is the massive, indoor pool area, spanning 12,000 square feet and enclosed with a glass panel ceiling, ornate chandeliers, and multiple entertaining areas.
Opulent details include marble floors and elaborate moldings with gold accents, a mahogany-paneled library, gourmet kitchen, gym with spa, and home theater.
A master suite, one of seven bedrooms, includes a private balcony overlooking the interior party space. The di Portanovas added a two-bedroom guest suite where a parade of Hollywood stars bunked during Houston visits, CultureMap noted in 2014.
To that end, the home was the site of myriad parties starring movie stars, authors, and millionaires from across the globe. Sir Roger Moore, then starring as James Bond, once dropped in by helicopter while models in catsuits rappelled down the side of the house.
The baron and baroness, who made their fortune through oil, were recognized throughout the country for their over-the-top parties for which bottomless Dom Perignon and Cuban cigars were the norm, Shelby Hodge noted.
Baron Di Portanova arrived in Houston in the early 1960s from Rome to claim his inheritance as the grandson of Hugh Roy Cullen, CultureMap previously reported. The larger-than-life jetsetter once noted that the best things in life were '”sun, sex, and spaghetti.”