Villa Cimbrone Amalfi Coast
Visiting the Amalfi Coast takes people to an especially scenic corner of Italy, with outstanding cuisine, natural beauty and long-established culture. One of the delights of the region is its local sights: the historic villas, the locally owned galleries, and the particularly beautiful places along the coast. The following five local sights ought to lure many people from their Amalfi Coast villas for fulfilling day trips.
Franco Senesi Fine Art
Established in 1999 by Franco Senesi, this gallery of fine art in the town of Positano is a welcoming space for aficionados of contemporary Italian and international art. The Franco Senesi gallery displays solo and group exhibits in a stylish setting. Whether familiar with the artists’ work or new to the gallery’s focus, visitors will enjoy the broad range of the works. Positano itself is a picturesque town, ideal for a day trip from any of the beautiful Amalfi Coast villas.
Grotta dello Smeraldo
The renowned landscape of the region is, of course, the main draw for many people who stay in the Amalfi Coast villas – but even such beauty has its finest jewels. Grotta dello Smeraldo (the ‘Emerald Cave’) is 4 km to the west of the town and accessible from the main road along the coast. It is named for the emerald colour of the water that has partly inundated the cave – it’s a remarkable and unforgettable sight. The stalagmites and stalactites make the cave even more attractive.
In the town of Ravello lies one of the finest Amalfi Coast villas: Villa Rufolo. It was built in the 13th century for the wealthy Rufolo family, and subsequently passed into the hands of the Confalone, Muscettola, d’Afflitto and then the Scotsman Francis Neville Reid in the 19th century. His restoration of the property accounts for its current layout. Rufolo is especially notable for its cascading gardens, which bloom beautifully throughout the year and overlook the sea.
Another splendid residence is Villa Cimbrone, which dates back to at least the 11th century and the ownership of the Acconciajoco family. It has been restored in the 20th century by the Vuilleumier family and now serves as a hotel, with its grounds open to the public. It has lovely gardens and sea views, best seen from the terrace lined with Classical-style busts and statues.
There are times when the Mediterranean weather calls for a day at the beach. For a wonderfully relaxing experience, go swimming in the Bay of Naples then enjoy a hearty meal of locally caught fish. The Marina Grande in Sorrento is near the harbour, in the heart of the town, with pastel-coloured houses and bright boats as a backdrop. Lunch is the morning’s catch, served in any of the many restaurants by the sea.
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