Money

This former nunnery in the Hamptons is on the market for $72 million—take a look inside

"Why is no one focusing on the high end?" wondered Cody Vichinsky shortly before striking out with his brother Zachary to start Bespoke Real Estate in 2014. The two men represent only properties worth $10 million or more and, they say, they cleared $400 million last year.

The crown jewel of their collection is Villa Maria, a gussied-up former convent now on sale for the very unchaste price of $72 million. The 20,000-square-foot harbor-front estate spans 15 acres in Water Mill, New York.

Villa Maria, exterior. Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate.
Villa Maria, exterior. Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate.

According to Forbes, the original structure, then known as Red Gables, was erected in 1897. In 1919, a shipping magnate bought the property, doubled its size, added elaborate flourishes and, after changing the color of the roof, re-christened it Grey Gables.

Then, in 1931, the house changed hands again. The Sisters of the Order of St. Dominic of Amityville owned and operated it for 75 years, after which it was ripe for a makeover.

Forbes reports that "[Vince] Camuto and his third wife, Louise, bought Villa Maria in 2005 for $35 million. They spent five years renovating, a project that cost about as much as the home's purchase price, agent Cody Vichinsky estimates." Camuto passed away in 2015.

Villa Maria at nighttime. Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate.
Villa Maria at nighttime. Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate.

There are 11 bedrooms in the palatial main house, including a six-room master suite, and twelve-and-a-half bathrooms. No traces of the abbey remain, though there are still spaces designed to encourage reflection, such as the wood-paneled den.

The den at Villa Maria. Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate.
The den at Villa Maria. Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate.

The interiors are spacious, inviting and well-lit, especially the dining room.

Dining room in Villa Maria. Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate.
Dining room in Villa Maria. Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate.

And the open, airy living room.

The living room at Villa Maria. Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate.
The living room at Villa Maria. Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate.

There's certainly nothing restrained or modest about the climate-controlled wine cellar.

Wine cellar at Villa Maria. Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate.
Wine cellar at Villa Maria. Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate.

The expansive property, complete with manicured gardens and rolling lawns, sits on over 1,000 feet of Mecox Bay, an unimpeded view of which residents can enjoy from the house.

View from Villa Maria. Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate.
View from Villa Maria. Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate.

For relaxation, there's a private, all-weather tennis court on the grounds.

Tennis courts, Villa Maria. Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate.
Tennis courts, Villa Maria. Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate.

A heated swimming pool is served by two pavilions, each of which includes a kitchen and bath.

The pool at Villa Maria. Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate.
The pool at Villa Maria. Courtesy of Bespoke Real Estate.

The one-of-a-kind luxury property also includes a carriage house and a guest cottage/gatehouse.

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