This $33 Million SoCal Estate Will Transport You to the Italian Countryside

Looking for a little bit of everything in your home? Well, this sprawling ranch property in southern California’s San Juan Capistrano is sure to satiate an eclectic palate.

Listed for a staggering $33 million, the 1,200-acre spread was first built in 1979 by renowned director Bruce Brown, who directed surfing documentaries including “The Endless Summer” and “On Any Sunday.” In 1994, businessman and former race car driver Dick Marconi purchased the property and spent the next three decades transforming it into a one-of-a-kind Tuscan-inspired village in the heart of Orange County.

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San Juan Capistrano 33201 Ortega Highway
The living room in the main residence offers high ceilings and huge windows.

From the moment you enter the property, everything is over the top. You’ll pass a pair of imposing lion statues and cross an arched stone bridge before reaching the main residence, a 5,048-square-foot Tuscan-inspired villa with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Beyond the front doors, which were sourced from Hearst Castle, there are coffered ceilings, dramatic archways, several stone fireplaces, and stonework using rocks sourced directly from the property. Among the myriad creature comforts is a wine and cigar lounge with a temperature-controlled wine storage room. There are beautiful vistas of the lush property from nearly every room as well as from the picturesque loggia.

The ranch also has a separate 2,000-square-foot art studio and a 2,700-square-foot art gallery with museum-quality lighting, where Marconi, an artist who created a technique called color fusion, would hang his paintings. There’s also a private chapel with intricate stonework and vaulted ceilings, as well as a replica of Michelangelo’s “La Pieta” sculpture, seen at the Vatican in Rome. The statue isn’t sold with the property but can be purchased separately.

San Juan Capistrano 33201 Ortega Highway
The swimming pool is surrounded by lush plantings.

There is a village-like constellation of secondary residences and structures around the main house, including a two-story guest house that’s complete with a large gym and an observatory. Spread throughout the ranch, you’ll find a helicopter pad, a wine gazebo, an aviary, a dog kennel, a greenhouse, and not just one but two gun ranges. Marconi, founder of the Marconi Automotive Museum, also made sure to include a car showroom with a 12-car garage for displaying vehicles. There is also a private two-acre lake and four ponds. Marconi is also an avid art collector, so there are dozens of sculptures and art pieces at every turn, and there are extensive equestrian facilities.

Perhaps one of the most distinctive features is the exotic wildlife sanctuary, which Marconi and his wife created after a safari in Africa. The 51-acre sanctuary houses zebras, African antelope, a giraffe, and more. Told you there is a little bit of everything!

San Juan Capistrano 33201 Ortega Highway
Among the 1,200-acre estate’s many unusual features is a private chapel.

Incredible landscaping flanks each winding stone walkway through the property, making you feel ensconced in nature, and Marconi sourced several statues, lemon trees, and olive trees from Southern Italy to give the home an authentic feel. Should you want to handcraft your own limoncello or olive oil, there are more than 23,000 lemon trees and 1,200 olive trees throughout the property. Above all, the home is ideal for privacy-seeking individuals hoping to create a one-of-a-kind family legacy compound with just about every amenity under the sun and, hence, few recreational reasons to leave the property.

Ben Bacal and Suzanna Abovyan of Revel Real Estate are the listing agents for the property.

Click here for more photos of 33201 Ortega Highway.

San Juan Capistrano 33201 Ortega Highway
San Juan Capistrano 33201 Ortega Highway

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