Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi may soon be leaving behind her home in crime-addled San Francisco for a mansion in Rome.
Even if earlier predictions of Republicans taking between 40 and 70 seats in the House of Representatives in the midterm elections are proven to be “irrational exuberance,” as Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) recently put it, the GOP is nevertheless poised to reclaim a majority in the House. This won’t just mean a change in Washington power dynamics, but an ouster for Nancy Pelosi as speaker.
Pelosi is, however, looking to the future and to possible soft landings beyond American shores.
Anonymous sources told Fox News that in the event that Republicans successfully take the gavel, Pelosi wants President Joe Biden to dub her the next U.S. ambassador to Italy. The position, presently vacant, is reportedly being held for the speaker.
Until an announcement is made, chargé d’affaires ad interim Shawn Crowley will continue to run the embassy.
The U.S. embassy to Italy is based in a 15th-century mansion called the Villa Taverna, sitting on seven private acres in the heart of Rome. Pelosi, if appointed, would be surrounded by historical gardens and have a view of a third-century Roman sarcophagus, ancient Egyptian granite columns, a Baroque fountain, and 300-year-old busts of Roman emperors.
Nancy and her husband, Paul, would have access to the Villa Taverna’s three-story, $1.1 million wine cellar, which holds over 5,000 bottles of wine, as well as its private theater, swimming pool, and tennis court.
As she is the first Italian-American to lead the U.S. House, some regard Pelosi’s appointment as fitting or at the very least preordained. Also, the 82-year-old’s exit after the midterm elections may prove politically expedient, providing House Democrats with a less contentious leadership transition.
Pelosi is no stranger to Italian luxury. This summer, after her husband was charged for getting in a car accident after driving drunk, Pelosi vacationed in Italy, just outside Florence. While Americans dealt with skyrocketing gas prices and inflation, she celebrated her birthday at the Aplemare Beach Club in Forte dei Marmi. The resort she and Paul stayed at is reportedly so expensive, prospective patrons need to request a quote regarding prices ahead of attempting to book.
The U.S. embassy would, however, be an upgrade. A 2010 inspector general report estimated the value of the embassy compound and mission residence at between $500 million and over $1 billion.