Twenty-seven years ago, Bruno Bellati was in Carrickalinga with his wife, Francesca and their two young daughters looking for a holiday home to call their own.
He was looking at properties on the beachfront, but found they were too cramped to suit his family.
“There was a subdivision happening (a bit further up) on the condition they sold more than 80 per cent,” Bruno says. “We put down a deposit and the following year we were told the development was going ahead.”
Bruno purchased two blocks spanning 4-6 Stacey Drive, a private hilltop cul de sac that overlooks the shimmering waters of Carrickalinga.
“I didn’t know which one to build on so I joined them up and got started drawing the plans,” Bruno says.
Bruno hired an architect who brought his vision to life on paper, drafting a grand residence with six bedrooms – each with its own bathroom – a sitting room, a formal dining room, a private study, and an indoor pool and sauna.
“We looked at the plan and I didn’t realise just how big it was until we did an aerial shot,” says Bruno. “I had asked what we were going to cut out, but we didn’t end up cutting anything out.”
The home took five years to build and used 170,000 bricks.
“I thought it would be a good place to come stay as a holiday home, however, it was hard to maintain two houses, so we decided to move and live here full time,” Bruno says. “This year marks 23 years living in the home.”
The grand residence is inspired by Bruno’s passion for history and appreciation of beautiful buildings.
“I have been collecting since the age of nine, starting with stamps and coins,” Bruno says.
“When we got this property, I had cabinets made to display antiques. I designed and ordered four; two in blackwood and two in mahogany. When I went to the factory, I saw there were five of them.
“I told the manufacturer I only wanted four and he said, ‘Yes I know, but I liked them so much I made my own.’”
Intricate leadlight windows are scattered throughout the home, the most exceptional presented splendidly as a skylight in the entrance foyer above a Waterford crystal chandelier.
“All the leadlights I did myself,” Bruno says. “I said to the builder, ‘You better have those windows sized right because I am making the glass to match the drawings.’”
Bruno and Francesca love hosting family and friends for extended durations, so they have ensured that the home has everything needed to entertain.
“It is a place that people can enjoy, and we have everything here,” Bruno says. “You can swim, play tennis and relax.
“Every bedroom has its own balcony. The two at the front see the ocean and the two at the back overlook the hills.
“A lot of the time we just sit out the front of the house and enjoy the view. You can see Kangaroo Island and sometimes cruise ships go past.”
The sweeping views are the property’s most outstanding feature. Bruno says the sunsets are magnificent and you can watch storms roll in over the ocean.
Spending over two decades in the home, Bruno and Francesca are planning to make a move back to the city.
“Do I really want to sell? Yes and no,” Bruno says. “I put a lot of time and passion into the house, but the girls want us to move back into town to be with the grandkids and we want to spend more time with them.”
The sale is being handled by Ross Smith and Anthony Hurl of Giordano and Partners Real Estate.