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Love’s Garden

James Andrew on the grounds of the Parco dei Principi Hotel.

James Andrew on the grounds of the Parco dei Principi Hotel.

We spent our last evening in Sorrento exploring the lush grounds of the Parco dei Principi. The gardens are filled with exotic and rare plantings, some of which were placed here as early as the 19th century. Ponti deliberately left many of the historical architectural elements intact as well, exhibiting his deep appreciation for what has come before. Here you’ll find cobble stone walkways, a temple to Venus – and what would a garden be without a bridge dedicated to love as well! – In fact coming to this enchanted place gives one the feeling of falling madly in love – that very moment deliciously distilled – living, yet somehow perfectly suspended in time.

Parco dei Principi Bridge of Love.

Parco dei Principi Bridge of Love.

On our pre-dinner stroll (top), I’ve stopped to pose. I’m wearing a royal blue cotton sateen jacket by Gucci, Tom Ford shirt with french cuffs in pink and white plaid cotton, Seaman Schepps cuff links are silver pearls with pale blue sapphires, “blue jeans” blue leather belt with silver buckle by Hermes, pink silk pocket square by Charvet, white jeans by Uniglo, navy suede Gucci loafers, Cartier “Tank Divan” from Raj Tolaram and my fragrance is Creed Zest Mandarine Pamplemousse.

Amalfi’s Acqua Santa

James Andrew - Gio Ponti pool

James Andrew - Gio Ponti salt water pool

Truly a cathedral to the elements, one cannot help but feel Ponti’s reverence for nature at Parco dei Principi – and perhaps above all the elements there, it is water that reigns quite supreme.

The salt water pool.

The private beach.

The salt water pool.

The private beach.

One might choose to self-baptise in the bracing ocean pool via a descent by stair or elevator – (and we do recommend a bite at the sea level restaurant whilst there).







James Andrew - Gio Ponti pool

Gio Ponti pool

Ponti pool.

detail

Or if, on the other hand, one seeks another sort of water experience altogether – then one might choose to plunge off of the sculptural diving platform into the garden salt water pool which Ponti describes in his characteristically poetic fashion as a “…mirror of water for woodland nymphs.” And of course as with any world class hotel, an army of impeccable staff seamlessly facilitates the experience.





Posing on the practically made-for-modeling diving platform I’m sporting a Ponti-like Mediterranean blue speedo by Frankie Morello at Behavior NYC, KVA sunglassses and Anthelios Sunscreen.

Sorrentine Dining

James Andrew at Parco dei Principi.

James Andrew at Parco dei Principi.

Details.

Details.

As the old Italian proverb goes, “rice is born in water and must die in wine.” And you must surely know by now, we at WIJW? are sensitive to cultural commandments, especially when they involve a good bottle of wine! Needless to say dining options abound on the Amalfi Coast, and we spent much of our stay devouring one spectacular Sorrentine dish after another at the super chic Gio Ponti restaurant at the Parco dei Principi as well as in the historic district at the wonderful La Antica Trattoria. A refreshing bottle of my favorite Italian Rosé facilitated our gustatory explorations quite nicely, and we happily manged to conclude more than one of our meals with generous portions of the most divine “fragoline di bosco” wild strawberries.

Gio Ponti restaurant.

Gio Ponti restaurant.

The well dressed table.

The well dressed table.

The Italians have such a flair for understated elegance, and this was nicely apparent in the lovely table settings – fine linen napkins, and proper silverware! Dining here is a true celebration.



Luckily for me, dressing well in Italy is more oft than not rewarded by preferential treatment when it comes to getting seated at a fine restaurant! I’m pictured above dressed for dinner wearing a Tom Ford “Spencer” sport jacket in rose silk linen basket weave and pale blue cotton french cuff shirt with contrast white collar, Seaman Schepps silver pearl with pale blue sapphire cuff links, Turnbull and Asser retro print silk pocket square in blues and white, Diesel white skinny jeans, Gucci silver chain link belt and navy suede loafers, Cartier “Tank” Divan” from Raj Tolaram and my fragrance is the impossibly fresh Creed Bois de Cedrat.