From Al Pacino's over-the-top villa in Scarface to Tony Soprano's strip club, fictional mob bosses have long revelled in outrageous kitsch. But they have been put in the shade by a real-life mafioso, Nicola Schiavone, whose villa near Naples turned out to be an Aladdin's cave of luxury tackiness when police seized it last week.
Now jailed, the son of the legendary Camorra boss Francesco Schiavone built his dream home behind tall metal gates in Casal di Principe, where officers unearthed kitsch furniture and fittings worth ?300,000 (£240,000), which will be auctioned.
Chaise longues with silver-coloured frames sit arranged before a massive portrait of what appears to be an ancient Roman. On the staircase, avant garde ceiling lights illuminate old-fashioned bannisters and a glass cabinet of religious statues, while the bedroom cupboards are full of shell suit tops featuring coats of arms. One of the five bathrooms features floor-to-ceiling glass mosaics from Murano.
The villa is the flashiest seen locally since another member of the Schiavone family, Walter, ordered an architect to build a replica of the villa featured in Scarface, where Tony Montana dies in a hail of gunfire.
To avoid the same fate, Nicola set up TV cameras around his house, with footage shown on a large screen placed inside an ornate picture frame.
Colonel Roberto Prosperi of the Italian tax police, who ordered the seizure, said: "It was all a bit too much. You can see he felt a bit like god, or Napoleon, whose face actually appears on some of the furniture and in the mosaics." After fearful local removal firms refused to help clear the house, Prosperi called in the army to load up Schiavone's possessions, which included a two metre-wide fuscia-coloured flowerpot. "That is now due to grace the courtyard at Naples courthouse," he said.