Romantic gardens in historic splendour
Perched atop a rocky promontory along the Amalfi Coast, Villa Cimbrone captivates with its 11th century splendour, magnificent sea views and what are arguably the most romantic gardens in Italy.
Villa Cimbrone’s appeal certainly extends beyond its function as a hotel; although its 19 bedrooms with their frescoed ceilings, majolica-tiled floors, stone fireplaces and antiques easily make it one of the loveliest accommodation options in the region.
Villa Cimbrone history
Despite dating back to the 11th century, when it belonged to the aristocratic Acconiajoco family, the villa today is a made up of many salvaged architectural elements from other parts of Italy – the result of an extensive revival project undertaken by Lord Grimthorpe.
The English nobleman, who designed the mechanism of London’s Big Ben, bought the villa in the early 1900s. The villa then enjoyed its heyday in the 1920s when it became a favoured retreat of the Bloomsbury Group and, later, it became the love nest of Greta Garbo and conductor Leopold Stokowski.
Today the hotel, which opened in the 1960s, is still owned by Lord Grimthorpe’s descendants, who work to ensure the atmosphere of the old residence remains. As such, the arched and frescoed spaces of the interiors are decked out in museum-quality antiques.
Villa Cimbrone gardens
Lord Grimthorpe is also to thank for the glorious gardens of Villa Cimbrone. Characterised by the aesthetic concepts of English architects and landscapers of his time, the garden features a variety of ‘episodes’ and trails leading off from the Alley of Immensity.
This luscious central pathway, ablaze with white and blue wisteria in the summer months, leads to the pièce de résistance, a panoramic viewpoint known as the Infinity Terrace where some of the most magnificent views of the Amalfi Coast can be enjoyed alongside marble busts, gentle breezes and floral scents.
Elsewhere in the gardens, among a rich array of native and exotic plants, are a large number of decorative features such as fountains, nymphaea, small temples, pavilions and stone and bronze statues.
Il Flauto di Pan restaurant
Once the sun begins to set, the culinary delights of Villa Cimbrone can be discovered. Refined Mediterranean fare is given a fresh interpretation by the restaurant executive chef, who has earned the eatery a Michelin star.
Expect organic ingredients grown in the villa’s very own gardens mixed with innovative flavours and elements of spicy eastern aromas, all served on a terrace overlooking the Med.
The old cellars with their stone vaults have also been carefully restored and now contain a valuable collection of wines and vintages to be sampled over dinner.
Via Santa Chiara, 26, 84010 Ravello SA, Italy
Show Phone Number+39 089 857459