A majestic Italian palace on the beach in Sarasota, Florida, designed to transport its owners back to Renaissance Venice, has just been listed for $19.75 million.
“Serenissima”—that’s Italian for “most serene”—sits at the southern end of the tony Longboat Key Club with 140 feet of white-sand beachfront and spectacular sunset views across the Gulf of Mexico.
Built in 2005, the three-story mansion offers 19,300 square feet of accommodation and comes with six massive ensuite bedrooms, a sprawling waterfront sunroom and a grand salon that’s big enough to throw a party for over 100 guests.
For more cozy dinner parties, guests get entertained in a marble-encrusted dining room with towering vaulted ceilings, huge columns, and on a wall, a hand-painted scene of Venice’s Grand Canal.
Owners Mike and Michele McKee wanted a slice of old Italy for their family compound and commissioned local architect Clifford Scholz of CMSA, and interior designer Fabiola Softas of Anne Folsom Smith Interior Design to create their dream.
The entryway alone is beyond jaw-dropping. Soaring upwards over three levels, it features arched Palladian windows, dramatic columns and stunning inlaid marble floors. The foyer is topped by an enormous circular skylight.
The entry foyer also features one of the home’s two elevators, this one designed like a ornate ‘birdcage’ with gold-painted wrought iron.
The foyer leads to the home’s vast reception room with its towering floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the pool and an ornate carved wood ceiling. At one end is a huge bar looks like it came out of Harry’s Bar at the Cipriani in Venice.
The kitchen enjoys the same waterfront views and again features miles of marble, professional-grade appliances and best-of-the-best cabinetry.
Take the elevator, or ornate marble staircase, up to the second floor and pretty much the entire floor is dedicated to the owner’s living quarters. The his-and-hers master suites have been designed as separate apartments, with spa-like bathrooms and room-sized closets. Huge windows in each bedroom lead out on to oversized terraces. The third floor is dedicated to guest suites.
For movie nights, watching old Federico Fellini classics no doubt, the home comes with a spacious screening room. There’s also a well-stocked library and TV room. For car collectors, beneath the home there’s a fully-finished garage with space for 10 vehicles.
Outside, there’s no shortage of space for lounging on the pool deck, while a boardwalk takes you down to the 10-mile-long sandy beach of Longboat Key. For more energetic activities, the Longboat Key Club with its 45-hole golf courses, tennis courts and marina is a short golf cart ride away.
“This really is a stunning ode to the majesty of Renaissance Venice, and one of the finest homes ever built not just in Sarasota, but all of Florida,” says broker Michael Moulton, of Michael Saunders and Co., which holds the listing.
The property itself has been on and off the market since 2017, when it was first listed for $26.5 million. After a $4 million reduction to $22.5 million last summer, it is now on the market for $19.75 million.