Driving through the most unspoilt section of the Amalfi Coast, you suddenly catch sight of La Torre. This medieval watchtower dates from the 14th century and is an imposing landmark. With far reaching views over the Mediterranean, it’s located within one of the most extensive private estates near Maiori and Vietri. Completely renovated, it’s a tranquil hideaway that’s a perfect base for exploring the coast.
Arriving at the discreet gateway to the villa, we were warmly welcomed by the estate manager. The first thing that struck me was the sheer size of the grounds. We were driven by golf buggy to La Torre, which has 3 separate charming annexes. Along the way, we passed pine woods, vines and picturesque gardens with wooden sculptures.
The bedrooms themselves have many interesting features including traditional tiled floors, a kiln oven in one of the rooms and contemporary artwork by renowned Italian artist Giuseppe Capogrossi in another. Both bedrooms are decorated with attractive antique furniture and yet benefit from air-conditioning.
In addition to the Tower’s bathroom, there’s also an outdoor shower and shady area where you can lie in a hammock and take in those fantastic views. Venture up the stairs and you’ll come to a sun deck – a great place to top up your tan.
Returning inside, you’ll find two cosy living rooms. On the first floor, there are panoramic sea views, a fireplace, TV, stereo and CD player plus a convenient guest bathroom.
On the ground floor, there’s a sizeable entrance/living-room with complimentary wifi. It has access to the outdoor terraces through plate-glass doors, leading down to a separate dining room with more fabulous sea views. There’s also a fully equipped kitchen with dishwasher and larder, although you are unlikely to need it, as the services of a cook and housekeeper are included in your stay.
Outside, there are several shady terraces where you can read a book, enjoy an evening aperitivo or barbeque.
There are a couple of other annexes that can be rented for larger groups of up to 10 people. Each contain an en-suite bedroom, and they’d be perfect for a family with older children or a group, as they all have private outdoor space. Not only that, there’s a separate villa on the estate, of which more later, and it can be rented with La Torre and its annexes, taking the total accommodation to 18 guests.
Guests of La Torre have the exclusive use of two adjacent swimming pools, with a sea view and another hammock for relaxed sunbathing.
The former owner of the villa used to love painting and her studio has been transformed into a gym with all the latest Techno Gym equipment. There’s also a treatment room if you wish to book a massage, facial, manicure or pedicure. The gym is shared with the neighbouring villa, as is the conference room.
We passed the farm along the way, where the animals are extremely well cared for. You’re just as likely to see animals such as this goat roaming freely around other parts of the estate.
Another highlight is the estate’s very own grotto. Nestled deep into the cliff face, it’s accessed by another winding path, that leads you into the grotto itself. I got quite a surprise, seeing a proper stage and chairs, plus a bust of the musician Wagner. Classical music concerts can be staged here upon request.
The chef at La Torre and their colleague at the neighbouring villa are considered to be amongst the best on the Amalfi Coast. Breakfast is a hearty affair with cereal, bread and cooked dishes such as omelette with local ham and cheese. The colourful crockery is all from Vietri sul Mare, a nearby seaside town that is well worth a visit if you are looking for souvenirs.
As for lunch and dinner, need I say anything – these dishes really do all the talking! Whether you’re a meat eater or vegetarian, the chef will rustle up menus that will delight your tastebuds and leave you surprisingly slim, thanks to the use of vegetables such as fresh cherry tomatoes and roasted peppers. I must confess a soft spot for the desserts, the baba au rhum and the homemade ice cream were especially tasty.
CASA L’AMALFI VILLA
The neighbouring villa, Casa L’Amalfi, is a short walk down from La Torre. It’s completely private and not overlooked by The Tower or any other properties. The stunning outdoor terrace makes the perfect setting for an intimate wedding party or holiday with a group of friends…
Despite the tranquility of the Tower, it’s only 5 kilometers from the town of Maiori, 6 kilometers from Minori and 9.6 kilometers from Amalfi. Panorama Beach is 5 kilometers away, and Naples International Airport is a short 66 kilometer drive. For other ideas of what to see nearby, check out my guide to the 5 Unmissable Places to Visit on the Amalfi Coast. There are also lots of suggestions in the guide book provided at the property, and the estate manager will come up with an itinerary tailored to your preferences. Hiring a private boat is a great way to see the coast in style and you can actually embark directly from Casa L’Amalfi’s dock.
La Torre is ideal if you are looking for a totally relaxing way to enjoy the Amalfi Coast, far from the crowds. With delicious home cooked meals, all mod cons and a real feeling of spaciousness, it’s a fantastic home away from home.
We stayed as guests of La Torre for the purposes of this review