Newspaper article International New York Times

A Cliffside Villa with Landmark Vistas ; Home on Rocky Perch Has Retained Its Privacy, and Its Spectacular View

Newspaper article International New York Times

A Cliffside Villa with Landmark Vistas ; Home on Rocky Perch Has Retained Its Privacy, and Its Spectacular View

Article excerpt

The Villa L'Eremo, which looks upon the Faraglioni, the towering rock formations that rise from the Mediterranean, is for sale for 9 million euros.

When the Villa L'Eremo was first built, in the 1800s, Capri, now a one-hour ferry ride from Naples, was not the international playground it is today. Then, the villa was so remote it earned the name l'Eremo, the hermitage.

How times have changed. Today the villa is surrounded by neighbors, but still retains a feeling of isolation thanks to its private lawns, gardens and terraces. Built into the side of a cliff, as are many of the houses in Capri, its facade faces out to the turquoise sea and looks down upon a string of exclusive beach clubs and a bay filled with yachts.

It also looks upon the Faraglioni, the towering rock formations that rise from the Mediterranean. The view from the villa is so spectacular it appears as if every postcard ever printed of these Caprese landmarks must have been photographed from the villa's grounds.

The German artist Max Usadel painted the Faraglioni from his terrace when he owned the Villa l'Eremo in the early 1900s. He had purchased it from Eduardo Settanni, the builder of the Hotel Villa Krupp, and later sold it to the mayor of Capri, but not before leaving his mark. Today, some walls are set with fragments of Roman artifacts -- a frieze here, a piece of Corinthian column there -- that the artist found on the grounds, remains from Capri's days as a retreat for the emperor Tiberius.

The 550-square-meter, or 5,920-square-foot, villa is intimate in scale and charming in its details. It has high vaulted ceilings of gold leaf, wood beams and antique doors, some of walnut and others said to be painted in Venice in 1700. Floors are variously of marble, parquet, tile, terrazzo or terra cotta, and a grand expanse of windows takes in the view. …

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