Hot House: 229 South Exeter Street, Baltimore MD 21202

Four-story, brick, Federal-style townhouse, circa 1900 with two outdoor terraces, penthouse sunroom and an elevator to all floors. 2007 luxury renovation, 2012 expansion with center skylight. Three bedrooms, 3.5 baths over 3, 750 sq. ft., with additional finished basement. Nine-foot ceilings, marble entrance hall, hardwood floors throughout. Custom wood moldings and trim, marble floors and countertops. Large living room at main level, large second-floor family room and gourmet open-plan kitchen with French doors to balcony, marble counters, Wolf range, Sub-Zero fridge. Master bedroom has a private entrance, custom double closets. Top-floor studio w/three double French doors, teak decking, panoramic city views. Custom lighting and whole house audio, security systems. Two-car garage on secured, gated alley: $1,985,000

What: This house went on the market last April at $2.395M. It didn’t sell, and in December they tried again at $1.985M. It is still the most expensive listing (possibly ever) in Little Italy, and may still have room to drop, price-wise. Nevertheless, it has a lot to recommend, starting with a bench outside the front door dedicated to the late Thomas D’Alesandro Jr, a former Mayor of Baltimore, and ending with stunning south and west views over the city from the top-floor studio. A large skylight lets light into rooms in the center of the house that would otherwise be dark and warms a main-floor atrium with a door that leads to the garage. It has four fireplaces and a lot of high-end finishes and millwork that help to justify the price.

Where: S. Exeter Street is in the heart of Little Italy, between Fells Point and Harbor East. This house is next door to St. Leo The Great, a neighborhood landmark since 1880 and a vibrant Roman Catholic parish that serves as a center for the local Italian community. Last Sunday, the street was packed for a spaghetti dinner at the church. On nearby Albemarle Street, Tommy D’Alesandro Jr. raised his daughter, Nancy Pelosi, and his son Tommy III, who would also become the mayor of Baltimore. At least ten Italian restaurants sit within a short walk, and the bocce court over on Stiles Street is well-used. In the summer, Little Italy hosts an outdoor movie festival.

Why: Sitting on the bench, in the sunshine, greeting the locals.

Why Not: Church events mean insane parking situations on the street (but happily, you’ll have your spots).

Would Suit: The Godfather.

NB: A house across the street, at 226 S. Exeter, was the house where Janine (Jennifer Connelly) and Ben (Bradley Cooper) lived in the great, but critically under-appreciated 2009 romcom, “She’s Just Not That Into You.”