When an oil tycoon falls in love with a sweet spot in Bel Air you know that sparks are going to fly and there is a chance that Rome will be built in a day. One glance at 1244 Moraga Drive tells this very tale. Howard B. Keck’s 14,000 square foot estate sits stashed away behind the wrought iron gates of one of Bel Airs most prestigious communities – and finally the grand villa is up for sale.

On paper a 4-bedroom villa with 9 bathrooms may sound modest, but this Italian piece de resistance is anything but. As soon as you catch sight of the rustic ochre estate with its wraparound patio, charming verandah and terracotta tiles – you are whisked to European coastlines or the rolling hills of ancient Tuscany.

Even the landscape surrounding Moraga Drive is reminiscent of Italian fairytales – shades of spruce and four acres of space stretch across the double lot –  a rarity in this highly coveted part of the world.

The grounds surrounding the villa are perfectly strollable, boasting vivid shades of green and formal spots for al-fresco resting. The fuss free pool flanked by a pretty pool house offers a perfect space for mid afternoon plunges to escape the Californian heat and with an extra bedroom and two bathrooms it’s a great extra guest space.

The curtained verandah is another feature highlight –  cream colors and glass with informal dining features immediately makes you dream of midnight cocktails and star gazing. The motor court outside boasts space for ten cars; a fact that is sure to pique the interest of any classical car collector.

Back into the main villa and the most striking feature can be found in the soaring ceilings and medley of formal yet comfortable spaces. Parquet floors, glittering chandeliers and heavy wood fireplaces set the scene for elegant suppers in the dining room.

The formal living room also captures that unique blend of formal comfort in a space where rich art adorns the generous walls, a grand piano glistens in the corner, and plush fall down sofas marry period pieces.

Arched windows and carved doorways lead seamlessly from room to room, creating a sense of open breezy space very much in line with California cool. The pale palette colors edged with heavy polished wood also brings that classy European flair into the medley – most apparent in the beautifully constructed office and library.

The large master suite all dressed in white with four poster bed and fireplace conjures up the perfect image of a restful night’s sleep. Large windows invite the sunlight to stream in and the upstairs terrace is an idyllic spot for nursing that morning coffee.

The ultra-private estate is a rare find this side of beautiful Bel Air, the double lot, prestigious placement and unrivaled aesthetic earmarks 1244 Moraga as truly one of a kind. For those who want to embrace La Dolce Vita without leaving California lore behind – we have just found you the very best of both worlds.

Offers at $37,000,000