Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

A Taste of Italian Film's 'Dolce Vita' ; Seafront Villa Showcases Art Nouveau Flourishes and a Rooftop Terrace

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

A Taste of Italian Film's 'Dolce Vita' ; Seafront Villa Showcases Art Nouveau Flourishes and a Rooftop Terrace

Article excerpt

An Art Nouveau-style villa on the Tuscan coast has the kind of flair that drew directors and stars to the area in the 1960s.

It is often called the "pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea," and the writer Luigi Pirandello described it as a "veritable paradise." But to film buffs, the village of Castiglioncello, on the gold coast of Tuscany just south of Livorno, is inextricably linked to the "dolce vita" of the Italian cinema's glory days.

In the 1960s -- attracted by the village's temperate climate, sheltered bays, pristine water and lush vegetation -- top film writers, directors and actors, including Marcello Mastroianni and Alberto Sordi, lived or vacationed here in gracious Art Nouveau- style villas.

Since then, many of the properties have been divided into apartments. But one of the three original villas on the Baia di Caletta, or Cove Bay, has remained intact and now is on the market for EUR 2.75 million, or $3.44 million.

The house has panoramic views of the sea and the Castiglioncello promontory, and has direct access to a small public beach but is within walking distance of the village's center square. Its three floors total 450 square meters, or 4,843 square feet. The 800- square-meter gated garden, with native Tuscan trees and plants, has stone benches and an ornamental fountain.

Two reception rooms, a dining room, two kitchens, four bedrooms and four baths, arranged over two floors, make up the main part of the property. Staff quarters in the basement have living and dining rooms, a kitchen, two bedrooms and two baths, as well as a large storage room.

The villa takes advantage of its location, having a large raised area on the seafront with a balustrade that is suitable for entertaining. There is a 150-square-meter roof terrace that "is very unusual for a house of that period," Riccardo Fargion, an agent with Punto Casa Real Estate, said as he pointed to nearby villas with classic slanted tile roofs. …

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