SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Palazzo Riggi is one of the most unique and extravagant properties in Saratoga Springs. It’s a mansion that everyone seems to be talking about, and NEWS10’s Anya Tucker shares a virtual tour (see video) of the palatial estate.
Swiping through the photographs on the property’s listing, the mansion seems more like a fantastic, whimsical museum than a home. There’s the foyer with hand painted frescos on the ceiling. The winding custom staircase leading to bedrooms upstairs; each one with its own theme. There are custom kitchens with 24-carat gold dipped fixtures. A bowling alley with lanes that roll into the mouth of a lion. A home movie theatre with red seats and leopard print carpeting and a state-of-the-art sound system.
Sound like a lot? Well, there’s more. Much more.
There’s the sitting room adorned with portraits of dogs on the walls. There’s also a well-appointed backyard complete with fountains, waterfalls and in-ground pool. It all seems like something that Navin Johnson, the main character in Steve Martin’s movie “The Jerk,” would definitely write home about. If you’ve seen the rags to riches back to rags film, you know what we are talking about. (And if you haven’t, do yourself a favor and see it. It’s a classic.)
“I truly, and without exaggeration, have never seen anything like it,” said Justin Mc Giver, a licensed real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway-Adirondack Premier Properties & Adirondack Realty. He is the listing agent for Palazzo Riggi, the palatial 22,000-square foot estate on North Broadway. It is owned by socialite Michele Riggi, and McGiver says it was built and designed according to her exact specifications.
“For instance, there’s a Balinese spa. And again, artisans from Bali came over to thatch the roof in the Balinese spa.” He says the rooms were inspired by Riggi’s travels and also includes an English-style pub in the basement that was lowered in by a crane as the home was being constructed.
There are also reminders of Riggi’s love of animals throughout the home. She is widely known for her philanthropy and for her dozens of adopted shelter dogs. Riggi’s bedroom is outfitted with wood framed doggie beds with stairs for the pooches to amble into bed. She also has a veterinary/grooming room so her pets can receive in-home care.
McGiver says that after Riggi’s husband passed away, and with her adult children out of the house, she felt it was time to downsize and placed the property on the market at nearly $18 million. After a wealthy scrap business owner backed out of a potential purchase, the listing price was lowered to $12 million, and McGiver says they have been contacted by others interested in the property. He says the calls are mostly coming in from people outside the country.
Anya asked McGiver who might be the perfect match for this home. “The perfect match, I think, would just specifically be someone who aligned with and appreciate Michele‘s vision and decoration style for the home. It’s lavish and amazing.”
It’s definitely not for those of us with champagne fantasies and a beer budget, though.
McGiver is also the listing agent for Riggi’s estate in Lake Placid. That property is on the market for $15 million. It comes complete with underground tunnels and an elaborate treehouse. It is perhaps even more grand than Palazzo Riggi, if that’s even possible.