Villa Tre Ville, Positano, ITALY
OVERLOOKING the Tyrrhenian Sea on a private stretch of Italy's Amalfi Coast, the former home of world-renowned opera and film director, Franco Zefirelli, is bringing a touch of Hollywood glamour to the world of private villas.
Bought in the 1920s by Russian writer Mikhail Semenov and later taken over by Zefirelli, Villa Tre Ville has long been a destination for denizens of the creative world. Dancers, musicians, painters, intellectuals and artists have all been known to lounge on the property's private beach, and Zefirelli is known to have conceived some of his greatest works of theatre while in residence. Excuse us for name dropping, but some of the biggest names in Hollywood history have visited Villa Tre Ville as guests of the legendary film-maker including Elizabeth Taylor (and all her husbands), Leonard Bernstein, Laurence Olivier, Maria Callas, Liza Minelli and Elton John.
Located near Positano, Villa Tre Ville has four individual homes, three original and one built by Zefirelli himself. Currently operated as a boutique hotel, the villas have recently undergone significant renovations and the entire property is now open for private rental.
Excuse us for name dropping, but some of the biggest names in Hollywood history have visited Villa Tre Ville...
Architect Fausta Gaetani, who is a personal friend of Zefirelli, and current custodian Giovanni Russo, have worked hard to maintain the estate's artistic legacy, with each of the 15 suites contained within the villas dedicated to a special guest that has left his or her mark in the history of the place. No detail has been left to chance, and the villas are flawlessly decorated with original antiques and art made by local craftsmen.
Set into a cliff, the property is criss-crossed by pathways and stone steps, and guests can wander through the vine-laden pergolas or explore the vegetable gardens at their leisure. Down by the sea, a private stone jetty allows easy boat access to Positano for those who want to explore the famously scenic town, and the black and white striped sun loungers provide the perfect place for sun lovers to while away the day. In the restaurant, freshly caught fish is the daily special coupled with local produce - like the olive oil made by Giovanni Russo on his estate in Sorrento - and fruits and vegetables handpicked from the estate's own gardens. With such a beautiful, organic setting, it is little wonder that Villa Tre Ville is a hub of inspiration and relaxation.
Nella Scott 1/6/11
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