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La Dolce Vita

James Andrew at La Posta Vecchia.

James Andrew at La Posta Vecchia.

Alas, we’ve reached the end of our Italian holiday, but I’m so glad to have been able to capture some of its essence and serve it here at WIJW – and we’d be pleased to think that it has provided you with a cooling dose of escapism during these occasionally oppressive summer days.

WIJW has opened so many doors for me. It’s been a constant catalyst to explore and actualize many of my dreams, and it is my hope that WIJW readers will find themselves inspired to create some rather fantastic realities for themselves as well. At the very least we do try to be informative and hopefully entertaining!

So here’s to the good life and the continued unfolding of more life affirming over-the-top fabulousness!

Celebrating our last evening in Italy, I’m pictured (top) on a pre-dinner stroll around the grounds of the magnificent La Posta Vecchia wearing a white cotton pique suit by Gucci, Tom Ford midnight cotton dotted herringbone print shirt, silver chain link belt and navy suede loafers both by Gucci, Cartier “Tank Divan” from Raj Tolaram and my fragrance is Creed Zeste Madarine Pamplemousse.

La Posta Vecchia

La Posta Vecchia.

La Posta Vecchia.

Not wanting to lose the composure we had gained during our blissful stay at Le Sirenuse, we opted to spend our last night closer to the Rome airport rather than leave Positano in a pre-dawn frenzy. I’d always been curious to explore the hotel La Posta Vecchia and it’s located on the Tyrrenean sea just thirty minutes from the airport, so it promised to be an ideal and relaxed way to return home.

La Posta Vecchia was built in 1640 by Prince Orsini above the ruins of two imperial Roman villas, and was used for centuries as a resting point for esteemed guests en route to Rome. Unfortunately by the year 1918 it had fallen into a state of disrepair. Thankfully in 1960 Jean Paul Getty acquired the property from Prince Odescalchi. Getty embarked on a massive renovation and restoration of this spectacular seaside palazzo, engaging the services of Frederico Zeri, the highly regarded curator of The Getty Museum to decorate it with the best 17th century furniture, paintings, and tapestries. While digging to build a pool, they unearthed the aforementioned Roman ruins and further construction had to be stopped. Getty, still wanting a pool, decided to install one indoors, and subsequently found the remains of an even more spectacular villa. – And so by happenstance, La Posta Vecchia had become a veritable private Pompei with priceless mosaics and ancient architectural details.

Happily the present owner acquired the property with much of the Getty contents still in place (although the phone booth Getty required his guests to use is no longer a feature), and I heartily enjoyed playing the modern day tycoon as we strolled the extensive gardens and supped on the seaside terrace at the restaurant Cesar. As an added and unexpected pleasure we had been upgraded to the very palatial “Castello” suite – a remarkable corner room with four windows facing the sea.

Getty once described this place as a “serene and heavenly home,” and I’m glad to say that a stay at La Posta Vecchia still offers these very same qualities.

I’m pictured (top) in our super chic Castello suite wearing the palest pink cotton safari shirt and python belt both by Gucci, shorts by Our Legacy 1980-81 in hemp, cotton, and silk, ivory suede loafers by Tom Ford, sunglasses by Gucci, Cartier “Tank Divan” from Raj Tolaram and bringing a bit of Le Sirenuse along with me, my fragrance is Paestum Rose.

Le Sirenuse

James Andrew at Le Sirenuse.

James Andrew at Le Sirenuse.

When I travel, I always search for accommodations that will capture the essence of a region. Having been to Le Sirenuse, I’ll now simply always equate the Amalfi coast with this most perfect of hotels. Le Sirenuse is in fact quite possibly the finest hotel that I’ve ever been to. And you needn’t only take my word for it – Le Sirenuse rates among Europe’s best hotels, and continues to draw in an ever impressive array of famous guests who most certainly share my opinion.

Le Sirenuse hotel.

Le Sirenuse hotel.

Le Sirenuse was originally built in the 18th century for the Marchese Sersale as a family palazzo. Upon opening its doors to the public in 1951, it quickly became one of the most glamorous hotels on the Amalfi Coast. Everything here is highly considered – the antique furniture, fine cotton and linen fabrics, and the art – all chosen with a chic sensibility and awareness of place – a refined honesty and heightened attention to detail very much in keeping with the property’s aristocratic legacy.

The Sersale family crest.

The Sersale family crest.

Of course Le Sirenuse is a hotel, and as such it is equipped with absolutely all of the amenities befitting a world class establishment. These include a spa, the renowned restaurant La Sponda, a spectacular swimming pool with truly transcendent views of the coast and the Mediterranean sea beyond, etc. etc. And you may recall we used the word “immaculate” in our last Sirenuse post? Yes, this is an exceptionally pristine hotel, and it comes as no surprise that Antonio Sersale calls himself a maintenance maniac. Of course we were more than happy to gain from Sersale’s singularly beneficial affliction!



Oh and when you go to Le Sirenuse, do venture to Carla Sersale’s super chic Emporio Le SIrenuse! Be sure to pick up several of the Sersale Eau d’Italie scents. Inpsired by the fragrant Mediterranean, the Paestum Rose became my scent of choice for the remainder of our holiday. One hint of it now plunges me into the most delicious of reveries.

Left to right. Antonio Sersale, James Andrew, and Carla Sersale.

Left to right. Antonio Sersale, James Andrew, and Carla Sersale.

When all is said, it really is the Sersales that create the magic in Le Sirenuse. McBee and I did have the privilege to dine at La Sponda with the exceptionally creative husband and wife team, and over a magnificent eight course meal we shared thoughts on many fronts – from ideas regarding opportunities in hotelier consulting (we’d certainly take the Sersale’s invaluable advice on this subject) to ventures in creative writing. Indeed, we hear there is a new Sersale blog in the works! We’ll of course be sure to keep you apprised.

We are gushing on a bit here, we know, and we make no excuses – you see, its just that we’re suffering from a sweet but terribly painful love hangover since our return to NYC – with the only possibility for relief being in a swift return to the heavenly realm of Le Sirenuse!

I’m pictured (top) at La Sponda sporting a royal blue cotton sateen jacket , medallion print cotton pant in blues and turquoise, brown leather sandals and a python belt all by Gucci, Turnbull and Asser turquoise and white herringbone cotton shirt with contrast white collar and french cuffs, Seaman ScheppsCharvet, Cartier “Tank Divan” from Raj Tolaram.