With its classical proportions and period charm, this early-19th-century Federal mansion — One of the oldest houses in Brooklyn Heights — inspired Truman Capote’s essay A House on the Heights. South-facing windows flood the parlour and dining room with light, while the contemporary kitchen offers a bay window and breakfast nook. Five bedrooms, a study, and a dressing room occupy the upper floors. The garden level features a large den, a guest bedroom, and wine room.
A beautifully restored waterfront landholding on Sydney’s North Shore, Vailele once had Treasure Island novelist Robert Louis Stevenson as a guest. Featuring six bedrooms, its appointments also include a cedar-panelled billiards room, a music room, theatre, wine room, and wet bar. Vailele’s parklike grounds include a heated pool and spa, entertaining terraces, a cabana with full kitchen, gazebo, children’s playhouse, and a charming guest cottage.
A Grade I historic estate overlooking Grape Bay, Bellevue is an 1870s-vintage classic that was renovated in 2000. The elegant colonial-style main house is complemented by a two-story guest cottage, which is said to have been a writing refuge for playwrights Eugene O’Neill and Sir Terence Rattigan. The main residence hosts six bedrooms, four bathrooms, and lavish living spaces including a wood-panelled library, games room, and south-facing verandah. Five landscaped acres, with a tennis court, pool, and beach access, add to the grandeur.
Roy Rowan (1920–2016), foreign correspondent for LIFE magazine and author of 10 books over a 70-year writing career, purchased this 8.7-acre, three-bedroom retreat on idyllic Block Island over 30 years ago. With 180-degree views of Montauk Light, the North Lighthouse, and the Newport Bridge, residents can walk along their own private trails to the beach or fish in their own private pond. The deck allows for great entertaining or a secluded spot to relax and enjoy the Atlantic Ocean views. Rowan’s books include Surfcaster’s Quest, about fishing on Block Island while summering at the property.
This magnificent 17th-century villa in the medieval hamlet of Pescia was the childhood home of Carlo Lorenzini, best known by his pen name, Carlo Collodi. It was here in 1881 that he wrote the classic children’s fairytale, The Adventures of Pinocchio. The palatial 32,636 square-foot, five-story main residence, accessed via a grand staircase, is adorned with magnificent Rococo details including frescoes and marble sculptures. The grounds comprise 30 acres of parkland, woods, olive grove and a butterfly house.