Bellevue Syrene 1820

The breezy terrace overlooking the sea, adorned with wisteria and climbing plants, shaded by a portico supported by Ionic columns, which the English collector William Waldorf Astor designed at the beginning of the 20th century, taking as a model the Pompeian house of the Vettii, would suffice to crown the “Bellevue Syrene” as the prince of Sorrento’s hospitality: the belvedere embraces a sublime panorama, almost an epiphany of perfect Beauty, the correspondence, in a radiant, distant blue, of the Gulf of Naples, Vesuvius, islands. But this Relais & Chateux boutique hotel, opened in 1820 in a beautiful eighteenth-century villa, built on the ruins of an Augustan domus, is much more. The historic residence, which the latest restoration has enameled with a shiny, but respectful, contemporary aura, epitomizes ancient architecture, Vanvitellian neoclassicism, a certain trace of Neapolitan Baroque and Rococo with thoughtful eclecticism. An alabaster glow, mixed with Tyrrhenian breezes, illuminates the interiors, real art galleries, like the suites, each different from the other. The private cove, reachable by lift or through the Roman galleries carved into the cliff, and the delicious culinary offer, only increase the charm of a place where, as legend has it, the sirens would really seem to live in.