Newspaper article International New York Times

Along a Byway on the Italian Riviera ; Away from the Resorts, Restored Villa Is Short Walk from Fishing Village

Newspaper article International New York Times

Along a Byway on the Italian Riviera ; Away from the Resorts, Restored Villa Is Short Walk from Fishing Village

Article excerpt

Less than a 15-minute drive from the glitz of famous resorts is a meticulously restored villa in a small town that still has the feel of an old fishing village.

From Greta Garbo and Frank Sinatra to Steven Spielberg and Beyonce, celebrities have been captivated by the picturesque little harbors that dot the shores of the Italian Riviera, stretching along the northwest coast of Italy in the Liguria region.

Less than a 15-minute drive from the glitz of famous resorts like Portofino and Rapallo is a small town that still has the feel of an old fishing village.

"Camogli is a pearl, a small paradise. There isn't the luxury of Portofino. Life here is calm," said Bianca Tumiati, whose meticulously restored villa of 433 square meters, or 4,660 square feet, is on the market for 2 million euros, or $2.2 million, down from EUR 3.5 million, when it was first listed a year ago.

The property, a short walk from the little port's center and its seaside promenade lined with brightly painted houses, was built in 1925 for the head of a large manufacturer of fishing nets who was also Camogli's chief magistrate.

Mrs. Tumiati bought the house in 2002, attracted by the size of both the town -- "human," she said -- and the villa -- "the right dimension for a family." She spent five years restoring it carefully. "Even in the choice of materials," she said, "we have tried not to change the character of the original house."

The exterior, in the Art Nouveau style that Italians call Liberty, has not been altered, but an interior wall was moved and some ceilings dropped to accommodate such amenities as an elevator, air-conditioning, intercom and security alarm systems, a remote- control electronic damper box and a home theater.

The house has four stories, with three bedrooms and four baths with vibrant-colored tiles. The elevator gives access to a basement gym, Turkish bath, shower, laundry room and two-car garage. There is a loft on the third level, while a turret at the top is reached via a small wooden staircase. …

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