Villa CAMELIA

Overview

This property, situated waterfront on the Island of Capri, stands out for its unique history, location, and internal decor. Villa Camelia lays directly seaside, right above the shore line, immersed in a vast area of gardens and terraces. The property is built above the former villa Palatium or The Palace by the Sea, of Roman Emperor Tiberius. From the terrace of the property, one’s eyes are captured by a superb view out on to the Peninsula of Sorrento, Mount Vesuvius, and the Bay of Naples. On the opposite side of the property, the view expands towards the hillside of Monte Solaro and the bright white Fenicia stairs of Villa San Michele, just where Anacapri village begins. The Villa Camelia complex consists of two connecting buildings, extending over two floors. An easy, panoramic, and comfortable pedestrian path of about 150 steps leads from the garden down to the sea, passing through a pleasant, shaded wooded area filled with olive trees and Mediterranean herbs. The path leads to a private sundeck, platform, and boat dock.

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The Villa Camelia complex consists of two connecting buildings, extending over two floors.  The first area, referred to as The Landlords Residence blends naturally into the Saloni al Mare  or Lounges on the Sea, consisting of large, common areas where all the villas guests can unite.  Wide lounges with marble floors, vaulted ceilings, antique crystal lamps, important pieces of antique furniture, and renowned works of art reflect the owner’s sophisticated taste as a true art lover and expert.

GROUND FLOOR

The elegant entrance door welcomes guests into the main hall.  A warm welcome is given by the elegant and majestic hall lined with a black and white marble floor and lined with decorative mirrors.  A modern art sculpture reflects the mixture of antique and modern, which characterize the setting of the entire villa. Antique mirrors with crystal wall lamps create a lovely contrast between modern and antique, as seen throughout the entire property.  Upon walking through the hall, one enters into the living area furnished with marble tables.  Sofas and various pockets for reading and relaxation, all arranged around the large fireplace, allows you to enjoy important pieces of history and art such as the one-of-a-kind mosaics hanging on the walls depicting the era of Roman Pompei.  A corridor with a glass-door opening on to the left side, towards a terrace area behind the villa, takes you to the lemon trees from where you can enjoy a view out onto the hillside.  The left side of the corridor leads to the bedroom and kitchen areas. One of the most pleasant areas of the villa is the large, circular shaped, elegant library.  Here, you truly feel like you are immersed in a special atmosphere which characterizes the villa’s history.  The warm colours of the entire area is a contrast against the black marble floor.  The library boasts a relaxation area comfortably furnished with sofas, benches with cushions, couches, and as marble topped table.  A great selection of books are at guest’s disposal and the oriental carpet collects the colours which characterize the library. The ambient is furnished with built-in marble columns, 2 large antique terracotta vases, antique mirrors, and a large marble fireplace  that completes its aristocratic style and creates a space dedicated to reading.  The room also boasts several balcony areas which opens out to the back of the villa. Five steps down from the main level is a corridor which leads to five of the nine double bedrooms.  These five, double bedrooms all enjoy important antiques and accent pieces, such as large, Chinese porcelain vases, fragments of antique Roman statues, and mosaic decor set into the marble floor and antique mirrors. One of them, in particular Alfredo Suite, boasts wrought-iron, baldachin bed and important paintings of modern art and all enjoy the comfort of en-suite, hand tiled bathrooms with towel dryers, hairdryers, and a bathtub. Rose – First bedroom: Located four steps up from the main corridor, the first bedroom is a double with double bed and terracotta tiled floor.  The room is furnished with two wood benches, a wardrobe, and a writing desk with chair; en-suite bathroom with white tiles and shower box. Flora – Second bedroom: French bed with hand painted wall décor by a well known Italian Artist, tiled floor, and built-in wardrobe; en-suite bathroom with white tiles and bathtub. Bianca – Third bedroom: Baldachin wrought-iron double bed, terracotta tile floors, and a wardrobe.  Access from the bedroom through a set of French doors out to a small courtyard.  En-suite bathroom with an open shower. Alexandre – Fourth bedroom: Iron double bed, tile floors and wardrobe.  Access from the bedroom through French doors out to a small courtyard.  En-suite bathroom with shower box. Marie – Fifth bedroom: Baldachin wrought-iron double bed and wardrobe.  Access from the bedroom through a French door out to a small courtyard.  Small en-suite bathroom with shower. The end of the corridor brings you, to the left, to a natural, stone wall, once part of an authentic Anglo-French fort.  On the left side lays a sliding glass door leading out to a courtyard with potted greenery and six white columns.  Three steps up lies the service area with the laundry. The end of the corridor, to the right, leads to the main dining room.   To enter the dining room means to enter one of the most elegant common areas in the entire villa.  The bright and full of natural light dining room encompasses the villas indoor dining area.  As soon as you enter, your sight is captured by a Lapis Lazuli octagonal table, seating 8.  Marble columns, beautiful paintings, crystal lamps, one working fireplace, and a large glass door with an enchanting sea view fill this elegant space.  Two French doors open onto a terrace facing directly above the sea, while a door leads to the living room which does not lack style and atmosphere.  Newly redecorated in minimalist-decor the living room boasts vaulted ceilings with stucco decor, black and white marble floors, beautiful candelabra and a crystal lamp.  Sofas and armchairs and glass tables make for comfortable seating in front of the fireplace, while two large windows with great sea views and two French doors open out onto the terrace.  Beautiful paintings, pieces of modern art and a large, grand piano complete the decor of this prestigious living area. To the right hand lies a traditional, industrial kitchen, laid out over two areas.  The first area enjoys a sink,  a six range stove top, large oven, microwave oven, work table, refrigerator and freezer, and an electrical coffee machine.  The second area enjoys a double-sink and a dishwasher. The garden lays right out side the kitchen.

FIRST FLOOR

The first floor and its four luxurious suites can be reached from either the hall, the main corridor, or from the garden.  15 steps lead from the hall along a marble staircase up to the first two suites. Violetta – The master Suite: The large, contemporary suite boasts two wide, panoramic windows overlooking the garden, offering its guests an amazing sea view.  A Baldachin double bed, chaise lounge, small table, writing desk with chair, and working fireplace add to the vaulted ceiling, large mirror, antique furniture, and crystal lamp which complete the elegance of the master suite.  The suite boasts a large, en-suite bathroom with walls in mother of pearl, marble floors, and a bathtub adorned by red marble. Alfredo – Second Suite: Reachable up 19 steps from the garden, lies the second suite with a double bed.  Two French doors facing the garden offer unique sea views and the suite boasts dark red, marble floors, vaulted ceilings, crystal lamps, and a writing desk. There is a private, external bathroom with access from the wardrobe area of the suite.  The bath enjoys white hand-made tile floors and a large  shower. Margherita – Third Suite: Accessible up 19 steps from the courtyard, the third suite enjoys a small living area with terracotta tile floors, 2 sofas, and several couches.  There is a window facing the courtyard and vaulted ceilings abound, while a crystal lamp, ample closet and en-suite bathroom with white tile floors and shower box finish the decor. Duval – Fourth Suite: Accessible up 25 steps from the ground floor lies the fourth suite featuring a small living area with sofa and  writing desk.  There is a bedroom with a Baldachin double bed, an authentic, antique stove with ceramic tiles, imported from Germany.  A window in the suite faces the lovely lemon grove behind of the house.  There is a built-in wardrobe and a black and white marble bathroom four steps up and boasting a bathtub and a large mirror.

THE GARDEN, BOAT PIER, & PRIVATE SEA ACCESS

The entrance to the villa leads, on one side, directly into the immaculate, private garden.  To the left lies the main entrance escorting you in to a majestic hall.  To the right lies the wide, English garden with paved alleyways groomed with natural stone and stone sculptures.  The gardens scenery changes according to  the season and the area abounds with pine, oak, & palm trees, Magnolia, palm trees, Camelie, and flower beds; a lemon groove and large terracotta pots are planted with flowers.  The garden also boasts great external lighting and an audio system.  A second level of of the garden holds a lovely vegetable garden offering villa guests the best of the seasons fresh vegetables, matured naturally under the Mediterranean Sun; tomatoes, eggplants, courgettes, fresh herbs, basil, and hot peppers to name just a few. A lovely area in the garden is the large, marble paved terrace facing the sea and offering the best views out onto the bay of Naples.  The terrace is furnished with iron cast tables, lounge chairs, and benches where guests can enjoy the silent sounds of the sea below and listen with pleasure to the boats silently passing by the waterfront from the Grotta Azzurra.  Here one can truly admire the wonders of nature while enjoying its peace and quiet.  A large round table with chairs and a second, rectangular table with chars, as well as several smaller tables with chairs and benches make up super comfortable garden seating areas and more than enough space for outdoor dining for the largest of groups.  An easy, panoramic, and comfortable pedestrian path of about 150 steps leads from the garden down to the sea, passing through a pleasant, shaded wooded area filled with olive trees and Mediterranean herbs.  The path leads to a private sundeck, platform, and boat dock.  The area is furnished with lounge chairs, umbrellas, & beach towels and cold drinks and snacks can be stocked in the refrigerator and kitchenette located at sea level.  Staff can serve lunch here as well.  

FEATURES & AMENITIES
  • Air condition ( Bedrooms, bathrooms on the first floor, library, living room, dining room ).
  • Heating ( Bedrooms, bathrooms, library, living room and dining room ).
  • Wi-Fi in the villa and on the outdoor terrace
  • Hairdryer (all bedrooms)
  • Satellite TV
  • SKY
  • DVD
  • Telephone with land line
  • Laundry facilities.
  • Fully equipped kitchen.
  • Outdoor lightning and audio system.
  • Private sea access
  • Swimming pool ( 1.30 x 8 x 4 meters ) Furnished poolside area
  • Immaculate gardens
  • Outdoor dining area
  • Jacuzzi at the Sea level
  • Boat dock
SERVICES INCLUDED IN THE RENTAL RATE (STAFF SERVICE)
  • Villa manager: 8 hours per day
  • Cook: one meal per day ( lunch or dinner )
  • Two waiters/cooking assistants: one meal per day (lunch or dinner)
  • Two maids: each working 10 hours per day
  • Housekeeper: taking care of bed/bath linen
  • Beach side attendant: 7 hours per day
  • Gardener and pool care taker
  • Daily continental breakfast is included in the rental rate.
  • Consumptions: AC/Heating, water, electricity, gas
  • Bed linen in changes twice per week.
  • Bath linen is changed daily
NOT INCLUDED IN THE RENTAL RATE
  • Grocery service/villa pre-stocking:
  • Extra cleaning service
  • Laundry/ironing service
  • Porter service

Access:  The villa is easily reached by a walking path of 150 meters. 

HISTORICAL OUTLINES

This amazing villa, built during the second half of the 18th Century on the remains of an Anglo-English fort, was initially inhabited by an infamous Hungarian painter, who built the property on top of the ruins of a Roman Palace.  Subsequently, the property was bought by a famous French painter who hosted many renowned musicians and composers in his home.  According to legend, the composer Bizet, while vacationing here, remained so inspired by the sounds of the sea that he composed one of his most famous pieces of work, the Opera Carmen.  The property then passed to a famous foreign Countess, Mona Strader Bismarck, in the mid 20th Century.

COUNTESS MONA STRADER BISMARCK (1899 Louisville, USA – 1983 Paris, France)

The Countess Mona Bismarck (born Mona Strader) was one of the leading lights in international society during the 19th Century.  She married five times during her life and each marriage propelled her upwards in social hierarchy. Mona Bismarck was famous for her beauty, her blonde, silver hair, and sparkling blue yes.  She had a unique, impeccable sense of fashion and in 1933 was declared “the best dressed woman in the world”.  Known for her elegant style, she loved to dress in Lanvin, Chanel, Vionnet, and especially Balenciaga, her favourite designer.  Her magnificent homes & outfits where documented in magazines such as Vogue.  Today, some of her dresses are exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MOMA) in New York.  Her lifestyle was glamorous; even Salvador Dali was so attracted by her beauty that he painted her portrait. In 1926, her third marriage wed her to the 24-year old multi-millionaire, Sir Harrison Williams, President of the colossal corporation, American Telegraph and Telecom Company.  Sir Harrison, at the time, was known as the richest man in America.  Immediately following their wedding, the couple embarked on a cruise around the world on their magnificent yacht, The Warrior.  Cruising the Bay of Naples, Mona discovered the Island of Capri in the early 30’s and found the home she had always dreamed of.  Its secluded position, stunning views, and vast gardens made it so appealing to her, that the couple bought it on the spot to add to their property portfolios in New York, Palm Springs, and Paris; but the Countess spent the entire Spring and Summers on Capri. During her years on Capri, the Countess managed to unite the most influential, international socialites.  Her inner circle and close friends were the most famous and influential of European nobility, politicians, artists, designers, writers, and so on; The Windsors, Princess Grace of Monaco, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, George H.W. Bush ( at the time of his 1980 Presidential Campaign) Aristotle Onassis, Greta Garbo, Paul Newmann, & Tennesse Williams, just to name a few. After the death of her husband, Sir Harrison, in 1953, she shocked high society by announcing her marriage to one of her deceased husband’s friends, Albert Edzard Bismarck, nephew of the German Chancellor, who offered her the title of Countess. The Count had often been a guest at the villa and used to work as a secretary for Harrison Williams.  Once the Countess decided to leave the U.S.A. definitively, she transferred her entire collection of furniture and paintings to her villa in Capri. As a professional decorator, Sir Bismarck contributed greatly to the layout of the villa and its surrounding garden by creating alleyways, terraces facing the Sea, rose and vine covered pergolas, as well as an English garden.  Their combined sense of beauty with her passion for gardening was ideal and she worked day after day beside her gardener with her golden scissors in hand – a present from Aristotle Onassis.  Desiring vastness, the Countess purchased most of the nearby properties, allowing her to enlarge the gardens and create a large swimming pool. While the Countess was snobbish and hostile towards the local inhabitants of Capri, her husband was generous and amused by entertaining the island’s residents.  The property became an important role in the social life of the island. When Count Bismarck died in 1971, after 15 years of marriage, Mona married her fifth husband, a young doctor by the name of Umberto De Martino.  After her death in the early 80’s, her furniture and art collection was sold at auction by Sotheby’s and earnings used to create the Bismarck Foundation in Paris – a cultural centre created to honour music and art.

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