One of Montecito's most revered historic estates, ''Sotto Il Monte” captures the essence of Montecito's prestigious history as well as its enduring privacy and solitude. Originally designed in 1927 by renowned architect George Washington Smith, this Italian Renaissance-inspired estate covers nearly 11 acres and boasts more than 18,000 square feet of living space. Both the villa and the immaculate grounds and gardens— designed in 1927 by noted landscape architect A.E. Hanson—have been thoughtfully preserved through the years. The truly impressive estate offers 8 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms in the main residence, a solarium with indoor pool, a 25-meter outdoor pool with 2-story pool pavilion, a tennis court, vast lawns & numerous gardens, a 3-bed/2-bath guest house, a 6-bed staff house, a 4-car garage in the motor court, and a +/- 3,400 sq. ft. climate-controlled collector's garage, originally added by former estate owner and racing champion Andy Granatelli.
Upon entering the main gates, one arrives at the spacious motor court, with its central fountain styled after a fount at Rome’s Villa Medici. Heavy walnut arched doors open to a dramatic 100-foot-long gallery hallway and adjoining galleria featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and doors to eh rear terrace. Floors of inlaid golden travertine are complemented by marble detailing and hand-carved Indiana limestone corbels. A graceful travertine staircase leads upward toward a beautiful frescoed ceiling. Nearby, a fresco-walled elevator—one of 2—also conveys to the second level. The grand and spacious living room and an intimate library both feature mahogany floors, deeply coffered ceilings, handsome stone fireplaces, and French doors leading to “The Great English Lawn." The library’s hand-carved walnut-paneled walls and moldings add to the room’s Old World charm. The villa’s primary bedroom suite, private and luxurious, includes upholstered walls, a tray ceiling with gold leaf crown molding, an inlaid oak floor, and 3 sets of French doors to a courtyard and parterre. Sliding doors lead from the luxurious suite to a nearly 1,600 sq. ft. solarium and indoor pool, with abundant windows showcasing the gardens and dramatic mountain views. The villa’s culinary center hosts, in addition to the chef’s kitchen, a first-class butler’s pantry, a breakfast room, and 2 wine cellars (an elevator leads to the 3rd wine cellar). The nearby staff wing offers 2 bedrooms, baths en suite, an office, an extensive laundry room with commercial-grade appliances, and a cloistered garden. The upper level gallery hallway opens via French doors to an expansive loggia overlooking the terrace, vast gardens, and panoramic mountain vista. There are 3 principal upper level guest suites with dressing rooms and baths en suite, as well as additional versatile suites and rooms.
The numerous exquisite gardens were modeled after the Renaissance gardens of the Villa Gamberaia near Florence, Italy, and offer acres of lush surroundings and peaceful solitude. A 25-meter swimming pool is surrounded by the “Great English Lawn” and adjacent to the pool house. A championship tennis court is built to please the most discerning tennis aficionados. The 2-level pool house features a sunken sports bar and TV area, a double steam shower, a gym, small catering kitchen and laundry room. The estate also provides a comfortable and private 3-bed/2-bath guesthouse and a 6-bedroom staff house. There is a 4-car oversize garage near the motor court, and an approx. 3,400 sq. ft. collector’s garage which can hold up to 24 vehicles. Numerous secondary structures include a greenhouse above a 60,000-gallon water reservoir.
Montecito, adjoining Santa Barbara on California’s Central Coast, has long been and remains a world-class retreat. Sotto Il Monte is convenient to distinctive shopping, dining, pristine beaches, and the Santa Barbara and LAX airports.