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Two Porticoed Roman Villas Duke it Out in the Deathcage

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Imagine you have around $10M to spend on a home and you've narrowed it down to two beautiful villas outside of Italy's Eternal City: one a heart-stutteringly idyllic spread surrounded by olive trees and ancient history, the other an open lakeshore estate as crisp and pristine as a sip of spring water. So how do you choose? The answer is simple: you shove them into a metaphorical cage and let them battle it out until one emerges victorious. Yep, that's right: it's time for a Real Estate Deathmatch.




Left: Historic Villa in Archaeological Park; right: Seaside Villa Near Sabaudia Beach

Here are two homes just outside of Rome, one an estate sitting on a national park dotted with ancient monuments and lavender fields, the other an open-air palazzo embraced by hillside and perched above a lake. Both have an indoor-outdoor feel and stunning views. There's much to consider, but before studying the photos of yet another pair of dueling houses, here's a side-by-side stats comparison:


? Option number one is part of Appia Antica Archaeological Park, a publicly maintained bit of land with ancient tombs, monuments, and 100-year-old olive trees. Another bonus: the park, a scant five miles from Rome's city center, boasts the world's oldest paved road. The estate itself includes a 6,200-square-foot villa, a separate 1,200-square-foot guesthouse, and an atelier. The five-bedroom home boasts a wine cellar, a staff room, a conservatory, and—the clincher?—artist's studio with a sunroof. It all rings in at $10.554M.


? Though much further from the city center, contender numero due also has something of a historic past: the six-bedroom villa by Sabaudia beach was (according to the brokerbabble) once the summer home of Pope Pius XII, who reigned from 1939 to 1958. The house offers up airy interiors, a sprawling outdoor terrace with lake views, an outdoor pool, and a "suggestive indoor pool." Also included: a steam bath, staff quarters, and marble floors. The expanse of gorgeous free-flow estate is up for $8.575M, a considerable $1.979M less than its competitor.

Poll results

· Historical Villa in Archaeological Park, Rome, Italy [Sotheby's Realty]
· Seaside villa in Sabaudia, Rome, Italy [Sotheby's Realty]
· All Real Estate Deathmatches [Curbed National]