Up in the hills in the tiny town of Angwin (Napa County, population 3,050 or so) you’ll find this four bed, four and a half bath, 4,800 square foot Italian-style house whose original owners thought so much of it that they gave it the nickname "La Vita Bella," literally "life is beautiful."
Now beauty comes with a price tag: $3.5 million for the circa 2007 property at 543 White Cottage Road, now on the market for the first time. It took six years to build the place after an $850,000 land sale in 2001 ($1.1 million after inflation). Angwin sits on Howell Mountain, overlooking the Napa Valley, about 30 miles east of Santa Rosa. Plump Jack's CADE Estate Winery is a few blocks away from the house.
Although it’s technically 6,200 miles off the mark to be an "authentic Italian estate," as it’s advertised, the house does spread the polenta pretty thick, with the clay tile roof (notice the copper gutters), Tuscan barn doors, olive trees on the grounds, and irregular stone façade on the guest house.
The oven hood in the kitchen is hand painted. The iron railing on the stairwell was hand forged. The limestone tiles throughout are not antique, but have been tumbled and treated to give the impression of age. American Canyon-based Napa Valley Cast Stone did the entryway.
Even the wet bar sink is brass with a hammered nickel finish on it. The master bathroom features a singular "snail shower" design (the name references its pinwheel shape ala a snail’s shell. Why it’s not just called a pinwheel shower instead is anybody’s guess).
Homes in Napa County have hit all-time highs, with a median price of $630,000 (about half of San Francisco’s). After 83 days, this house is still the most expensive Angwin listing that’s not a winery.