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Jan 24, 2022

When the sons of a centuries-old noble Roman family and the American widow of their father, the prince, can't decide who gets to live in the family's priceless villa, a forced auction ensues!

Princess Rita, a glamorous American, has been living in her late husband, Prince Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi's historic family home, Villa Aurora, since they wed over a decade ago. It was the American princess who insisted that the villa, and its priceless art collection, should not be left to languish unseen, but should be restored and made available to the public on a very part time basis.

According to Prince Nicolò's will, although the villa will pass to his sons, his widow has the right to live there for the rest of her life. But the sons don't agree, and now the family feud has led to a forced auction. The only catch is that the starting price is nearly half a billion dollars (perhaps because of the original Caravaggio mural in one of the rooms, not to mention the fact that the villa is located on Via Veneto with its own grounds!).

Tiffany has visited Villa Aurora, and Katy used to go to church with Princess Rita (although she had no idea then who she was!). This week we talk about that magnificent place, our opinion on who has the right to it, the and our speculations on what everyday life would be life living in a veritable museum—with a Caravaggio painting over your head at any time day or night. 

Hear Tiffany's description of Villa Aurora just after visiting on Bittersweet Moment #30: Villa Aurora.

On Episode 218: Postcards, Katy describes seeing Princess Rita shortly after the death of her husband, although at the time of taping, she had no idea who she was.

Find out how the auction went here.


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