With her oldest of four daughters off at college and her deported and newly minted ex-husband out of the picture (but still trying to stay pop culturally relevant while living in Italy), “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice has put her giant Towaco, N.J., mansion on the market at just under $2.5 million.
This in not the first time Giudice has attempted to sell the leafy 3.75-acre suburban spread that’s about 25 miles (and at least and hour’s drive) northeast of Midtown Manhattan in affluent Morris County. In 2010, shortly after she was launched into Bravolebrity-dom and the year after they filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy with almost $11 million in debt, the estate popped up for sale at almost $4 million. The palatial pad came back up for sale, again at almost $4 million, just before they were each sentenced to federal prison on bank, mail, wire and bankruptcy convictions in 2014, and the price dropped to slightly less than $3 million before it was pulled from the market in 2015.
The erstwhile Giudice’s acquired the property in late 2001 for $530,000 and proceeded to design and build the super-sized family house of their conspicuously glitzy dreams, which was completed in 2008. Now listed with Michelle Pais at Signature Realty, the roughly 10,000-square-foot behemoth has six bedrooms, including a main floor guest suite, and five-and-a-half bathrooms. Fancifully curlicued wrought iron gates hung between lantern-topped stone pillars swing open to a long, red-gravel driveway that circles up around a clover-shaped planter in front the hulking mansion that loosely references the French Normandy style. A turret tops a double-height entrance portico that frames the artistically custom (and exceedingly heavy) front doors, and a grand porte-cochère is tacked on to one end of the red-roofed mansion.
Guests are greeted with smack-you-across-the-face nouveau-riche grandeur upon entering the house through the double-height foyer that features a black marble floor, a gilt-trimmed Cinderella staircase and a Suburu-sized crystal chandelier hanging from the coffered ceiling. Despite the outsized personality of its owner and its cavernous proportions, gigantic fireplace, pilaster-accented walls and sparkly if arguably under-sized chandelier (not to mention the huge Buddha statue in the corner and a grand piano in another corner), the living room is still somehow empty seeming and without much pizzazz. The formal dining room is equally dull despite its baronial proportion, inlaid herringbone-pattern wood floor and intricately embellished fireplace.
Besides the foyer, the colossal eat-in kitchen, with its boldly mottled granite countertops and carved wood cabinetry, might be the most familiar room to RHONJ watchers. It’s here, around the huge island snack bar and in the adjoining dining area, with its spiraled Corinthian columns and wedding cake ceiling moldings, where family and friends frequently gathered and Teresa’s late father, Giacinto Gorga, was often seen cooking up some sort of authentic Italian deliciousness.
The second-floor family room, which opens to the swimming pool, is commodious enough to comfortably accommodate a TV-watching lounge, a dry bar, a pool table and a professional poker table. Also upstairs are three three ample guest or family bedrooms along with a Marie-Antoinette-worthy master suite. The ballroom-sized bedroom has a fireplace and spacious lounge, there are three walk-in closets and the lavish bathroom is sheathed entirely in rust colored marble and festooned with gilt-trimmed mirrors and a faux-gold Louis-the-somehing-ish-style hair and makeup desk below a tiny television mounted to the wall.
Out back, set against gently curved stone walls and a thick forest of mature trees, is a simple but rather fetching and newly installed swimming pool. Bravo hounds will recall the pool was built by an undeniably hunky and flirty pool contractor friend of Teresa, who also happens to be the best mate of her RHONJ cast mate and brother, Joe Gorga. It’s such a verdant, peaceful looking oasis, you’d never suspect there’s a heavily traveled six-lane freeway just beyond the trees.
Where the table-turning reality TV veteran, fitness competitor and New York Times bestselling cookbook author plans to move isn’t known, but given her deep roots in the area it seems doubtful she’ll move far.
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