Updated: Dec 3, 2021
Paradise restored on the Amalfi Coast.
One of my favourite accounts belongs to marco_mansi_ and it was Marco who posted the picture that captured my attention. I became utterly besotted with the vignette of the headless sculptures framing an entryway to a balustrade terrace looking out to Mount Vesuvius. In the foreground, a beautifully set table with magnificent tableware and fruits.
Captioned “Villa Astor”, I quickly began searching for more information about this heaven on earth. As I combed through every online page, I discovered that the Villa had an extremely rich past, as rich -one might say- as its former owner, with a heart-warming story about how it was restored to its former glory.
Perched on the cliffside on the Sorrentine Peninsula, overlooking the Bay of Naples, you will find Villa Astor. Built on Roman ruins dating back to 1 A.D, this Neoclassical Villa has some of the finest views in the world and certainly one of Europe’s most beautiful gardens. The Villa was purchased by William Waldorf Astor on the 10th April 1905. At the time, Astor was one of the world’s wealthiest individuals and he was also the American ambassador to Rome. Astor would frequently travel to Sorrento to escape Rome’s summer heat. Whilst in Sorrento, Astor fell in love with the Villa. He purchased it from a Calabrian family of nobility, along with the gardens, fruit and olive orchards, a small vineyard and two grottos.
William Waldorf Astor. Image Courtesy of NY Times
The Roman ruins dating back to 1 A.D