Xerjoff Magazine

La Rondinaia: Splendour on the gulf


La Rondinaia was built in 1927 and in 1972 it became the "buen ritiro" of the famous writer Gore Vidal. Thanks to its beauty it has become over time one of the best places to visit for famous celebrities of the star system. Today it is an elegant Luxury Resort that offers, in addition to unparalleled comfort, an enchanting view of the Gulf of Sorrento.

The charm of a place is not only given by the beauty that it is able to express, but also by the fascinating and rich history that it encloses, this is the case of La Rondinaia. It is a villa immersed in a beautiful park and set among the rocks of Ravello, from which it dominates the Gulf of Sorrento from 400 meters high.

Built in 1927, at the behest of Lucylle, later to become Countess Szecheney, daughter of the English nobleman Ernest William Beckett (Lord Grimthorpe) who also built the adjacent Villa Cimbrone with which La Rondinaia shared the park for a few years. Nicola Mansi from Ravello designed the villa, while the execution of the work was entrusted to Francesco Amato, another Ravellian genius, master builder and stonemason of refined quality. Thanks to its great beauty, the villa soon became an irresistible meeting point for all English people visiting Ravello, but also for film stars, artists, luminaries and dignitaries of all kinds. A true cultural centre, where dance and theatre performances, concerts and seminars took place. In 1972 the villa was sold, becoming for about 33 years the “buen ritiro” of Gore Vidal, a well-known American writer, essayist, playwright and screenwriter, related to the Kennedys. Inspired by the beauty of the place, Vidal wrote part of his books here, while at the same time hosting many celebrities of the star system, including Princess Margaret, Paul Newman, Leonard Bernstein and Mick Jagger. Since it was physically impossible to continue to live in such large and varied spaces, Gore Vidal decided to sell the villa in 2005 and the new owners undertook a demanding renovation of the building and all the surrounding areas, giving it a new destination that was no less prestigious and exclusive than the previous one.

So today La Rondinaia has become an elegant Luxury Resort with an area of about 950 square meters, surrounded by a private garden of 2.5 hectares, enhanced by soothing paths through the trees. Inside you can find lemon groves, olive groves, grape pergolas, a cobalt blue swimming pool, a pool house with sauna and panoramic views. The residence has 6 bedrooms and seven bathrooms; the interiors, subject to a complete and careful restoration, are characterized by vaulted ceilings, arched doors and windows and long tiled corridors leading to spacious rooms with fireplaces, balconies and terraces. All the furnishings, curtains, equipment, etc., of fine workmanship, were made by Italian craftsmen and integrated with some antiques already present in the villa.