The Amalfi Coast

Prestige issue 267, October 2015

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The Hotel Villa Cimbrone located on the heights of Ravello overlooking the sea. © Prestige © Hotel Villa Cimbrone

Villa Cimbrone

The site as well as the name of Villa Cimbrone, have ancient and historical roots. The property on which stands the Villa, called «Cimbronium» originally belonged to the noble family of Accongiaioco. Although endowed with a natural beauty, the place lacked artistic elements likely to develop it. In 1904, the British Lord Ernest William Bercket bought the property. Landscaping lush gardens filled with statues, small temples, fountains and caves, he transformed this residence in an architectural ensemble that we admire today. A mix of styles and periods, ethnic and cultural elements, ancient pieces and souvenirs from exotic travels. The villa transformed into a hotel, has hosted over the years, famous personalities from the arts and sciences, politicians, aristocrats, like DH Lawrence, Keynes, Crick, Piaget, Eliot, Moore, Virginia Woolf, the Duke and the Duchess of Kent, Winston Churchill, the Agnelli family and Clinton, among others. At the entrance, the famous star Ava Gardner honored the scene with her precious testimony, while Greta Garbo and Leopold Stokowski have lived a sweet romance.

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The Terrace of Infinity. Sprinkled with ancient sculptures, it offers panoramic sea views, beautiful breathtaking, «the most beautiful in the world». © Prestige © Hotel Villa Cimbrone

Ravello is a town and municipality of Salerno, Italy. From its splendid isolation in Campania rock perched on the rocky outcrop overlooking the Gulf of Salerno, overlooking the Amalfi Coast, Ravello is a jewel of ancient and picturesque beauties that make its reputation. Dominating much of the Corniche, Ravello is rich in important monuments to visit, including the famous Villa Cimbrone, the Cathedral, Villa Rufolo, the churches of San Giovanni del Toro and Santa Maria Gradillo. Between the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries, Ravello was the favorite city of many men of letters and artists, including Richard Wagner, who drew his inspiration from this city to compose his best music, eternal works. Since 1952, the Festival of Ravello, one of the oldest in Italy, hosts every summer musical and artistic performances, and a Wagner concert season pays tribute to the famous musician.

As one of the first and most noble cities of the Kingdom of Naples, Ravello is able to satisfy the desires of all the tourists who walk through its winding and narrow streets. The city not only spreads the joy around it, but also provides a great happiness for many couples from around the world in this picturesque place to celebrate their wedding, an original and charming wedding. Because in Ravello,  everything exudes beauty, freshness, craftsmanship, flavored drinks … These are drawn from local productions and highly traditional. Another happiness also to enjoy in this enchanting city, small shops and street markets that abound, but most memorable dining experience of a very fresh cuisine, flavored, authentic and passionate, served in typical restaurants of the region.


The Auditorium. By the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. © Prestige


In the recent past, it was at the heart of a powerful maritime empire. Today Positano is a refined resort in the heart of the Amalfi Coast. Like Amalfi, Positano was once considered as the most expert city in nautical arts, given the large number of ships and sailors from these regions. The long isolation of the Amalfi Corniche, that was reachable up to the last century, mainly by sea, has helped maintaining many traditions at the architectural level. Positano, with Mediterranean charm, is the most popular and the most fabulous of the Italian coast. In a wonderful pastel gradient, white, pink and ocher historic houses, in the Moorish-style are built on the sides of steep slopes, on the cliff that plunges directly into the blue waters of the Mediterranean. On this land of sirens and lemon trees, tourism is the central element of the economy. Its gray sandy beaches extend between masses of rocks, and its luxury shops and restaurants coexist with churches, museums and archaeological sites. And for gourmet tourists, the trip could not be complete without a boat trip towards La Conca del Sogno, restaurant ten minutes from Positano, famous for its fish and fresh seafood. A real treat for both yacht owners who come to eat and tourists who benefit graciously, from a transportation on a boat. The trip is well worth a visit.


Positano View of the sea. Legend says that Positano was founded by Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, out of love for his nymph Pasitea. And history has witnessed the passage of Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans in Positano. © Prestige


Capri, an ancient history and natural beauty … A prodigious white rock covered with vineyards and pine trees and set on a deep blue jewel, the Mediterranean. Capri, the romantic island above all, nestled in the Gulf of Naples, with steep shores and dug with caves including the famous Grotta Azzurra, is a favorite destination of international tourism. Naples, Sorrento, Amalfi or Positano, a romantic yacht or hydrofoil escape, and you’re in Capri, located opposite the Sorrento peninsula, an area of ​​10km2 and a coastal perimeter of 17km around, home to 7270 inhabitants. Its climate is mild, pleasant and clean and bright landscape. On long roads lined with villas belonging to the Italian aristocracy, lush gardens and dazzling white homes, the magic of Capri operates. Its caves of different colors, red grotto, green grotto, dark grotto, white cave, but also its chic boutiques and jet-set, make all its reputation. The flora, one of the richest in Italy, gives the island a smiling aspect even in cold seasons. Similarly terrestrial wildlife has many migratory birds including the great albatross seagulls. Unlike other islands in the Gulf of Naples, Capri is not of volcanic but sedimentary origin, formed of limestone from the Cretaceous and to a lesser extent, layers of the Eocene. No, in Capri, it’s not over. It is a love that lasts indefinitely.


The tourists cross under this mythical rock with their boat. © Prestige


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