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March 2nd, 2022 at 11:00 am

Exterior of Villa Marconi home with water feature and manicured lawns.

In 1994, Dick Marconi, the world’s largest manufacturer of supplements, weight-loss products, and custom-made vitamins, visited this property on a private road at the intersection of Orange, San Diego, and Riverside counties, and announced, “I feel at home here. I want to live here! I envision a little Tuscany village.” Marconi met with his architect to share his vision, and within weeks, the work had begun on Villa Marconi.

Exterior view of garage and statue

Now the luxurious property on 1,225 acres at 39250 Ortega Highway in San Juan Capistrano is offered for $22,950,000 through agent Jody Neal in our Goleta office.

The 5,084-square-foot four-bedroom, three-bedroom main house was built in 1979 by famous filmmaker Bruce Brown (“The Endless Summer”). It was an old pioneer’s homestead surrounded by cattle pastures and prickly pear cactus.

Located seven miles northeast of historic San Juan Capistrano, the estate rests quietly across from the forever-preserved, open cattle ranges of Rancho Mission Viejo on a private road.

Aerial view of the fruit trees and hills in the background

Exotic animals, organic lemon, and olive trees at Villa Marconi

A 51-acre exotic-animal preserve with giraffe, zebra, antelopes, and several other animals is just one of the property’s many exceptional features. 23,000 certified organic lemon trees and 1,000 olive trees imported from Pistoia, Italy, provide the only obvious landmarks to find this impossibly opulent and luxurious Tuscan-style villa.

The villa is totally off-grid and rests in a lush valley at the heart of the Ranch. A lion-guarded entry portal leads across the stone-arched bridge past Lago di Cigno (Swan Lake) to the main house.

Interior of wine tasting room

Panoramic lake views

The single story main house with a light-filled logia offers splendid panoramic lake views. The large primary suite overlooking Lago di Cigno connects to the opulent master bath with step-up tub and large walk-in shower. A second, pool-view master bedroom sits on the other side of the house.

Guest rooms off the logia give everyone privacy and comfort. Additional rooms include a den (“man cave”/trophy room), a laundry room, and an extra walk-in closet. Central air conditioning and heat provide comfort throughout the residence.

In the large chef’s kitchen, high-end appliances include a Viking range and oven, and a Sub-Zero double refrigerator. Across the breezeway, through doors from Hearst Castle, the wine-tasting room features temperature-controlled wine storage and a cigar-smoke ventilation system.

View of pool and statue at Villa Marconi

Full kitchen in pool area

The swimming pool area is serviced by a full, indoor kitchen with a vintage Wolf stove and three private bathroom stalls and showers. Mountain views abound.

Next to the main residence, a 2,112-square-foot office, museum, and chapel offer a unique workspace and a worship space with a full-size replica of “La Pietá,” Michelangelo’s sculpture displayed at St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican. Marconi commissioned the 10,000-pound statue from the same artisans who repaired the original sculpture located at the Vatican. (Statue not included in sale but may be purchased separately.)

Many other rare and valuable statues included in the sale are:

2,000-square-foot+ artist studio

Those who want even more art can create their own in the 2,000-square-foot-plus artist studio with vaulted ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light. Art can be showcased in the 2,175-square-foot art gallery with museum-quality halogen track lighting.

An equestrian center features a four-stall barn with an office, bathroom, and trophy room. Horses can be trained in the riding arena or ridden for miles on trails and roads across the Ranch.

Equestrians can also travel through the olive orchard to the animal preserve. The home’s sale includes the elegant giraffe, the dozen grazing zebra, six African antelope, a shy kudu, and a few Andean llama. Two wise desert tortoises stroll slowly down by the barn.

Riders also can take their horse to go fishing below to the private, two-acre lake with bass and catfish, or ride to the high point of the property for views of the Pacific Ocean, Santa Catalina Island, and the Newport Coast. Firearm owners can true their aim at the law enforcement-quality rifle range.

Aerial view of the home, fruit trees, and surroundings at Villa Marconi

About listing agent Jody Neal

Jody’s expertise in closing complicated and unique real estate transactions makes him the perfect choice for clients with those specific needs. From the largest commercial agricultural operation to the smallest family home, Jody’s flexibility and clear insight make him the ideal agent of choice in this market.

Jody’s broad, lengthy and diverse experience in small business, finance, and charity organizations allows him to clearly understand clients’ needs and how to meet them. He is a problem-solver, a doer and a go-getter. Contact him today to learn more about Villa Marconi.

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