A San Antonio woman who went on to become an Italian princess is fighting for her right to stay in the Italian villa she’s lived in for more than 13 years.
Princess Rita Jenrette Boncompagni Ludovisi lives in Casino dell’Aurora in central Rome. The estate is also sometimes referred to as Villa Aurora.
Rita, a former actress, writer and television journalist, shared the home with her late husband Prince Nicolò von Boncompagni Ludovisi, whom she wed in 2009.
Prince Nicolò, who had three sons from a previous marriage, died in 2018 and gave Rita the right to live in Villa Aurora for the rest of her life, according to the New York Post.
However, the late prince’s sons dispute this and have been tied up in a legal battle with Rita since Prince Nicolò’s death.
A court in Rome served an eviction notice to the princess in January, notifying her that she had 60 days to vacate the property after part of an outside wall of the residence collapsed, forcing the closure of a nearby street, Reuters reported.
Rita was reportedly “stunned” but the Post wrote that the princess and her three stepsons recently agreed to put the villa up for sale. It’s the fifth time the villa has been on the market after previously failing to sell at auction.
The Antigone Journal reported that the home’s initial asking price was €471 million in January 2022. That translates to more than $509 million.
Part of the estate’s intrigue is a baroque mural valued at more than $325 million. It’s said to be the only known mural painted by Italian renaissance master Caravaggio.
The home itself sits inside a walled 2-acre enclave in an area that was once owned by Julius Caesar, the Antigone Journal reported.
“I intend to vigorously defend my right of use” Princess Rita told the Guardian. “I’m trying not to be bitter, but it’s difficult.”
According to the late prince’s will, Rita and her three stepsons will get equal shares of the proceeds once the estate is sold.
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