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LA MORTELLA GARDENS

James Andrew, La Mortella Gardens - photo Scott McBee

James Andrew, La Mortella Gardens - photo Scott McBee

With only two days in Ischia there was not much time to explore many of its incredible sites and attractions. However, after a recommendation from our our super chic friend Antonio Sersale, a visit to La Mortella Gardens was clearly a must. Designed by the legendary Russel Page (my favorite landscape architect of all time) in consort with Lady Walton, wife of composer William Walton, this miraculous garden has developed and matured over fifty years and is now comprised of thousands of exotic plantings.

La Mortella Gardens

La Mortella Gardens

I’ve always felt that a garden is best enjoyed at the end of the day, and La Mortella provided us with the most perfectly cool and fantastical place to contemplate our heavenly day of luxury at the Mezzatorre.

La Mortella Gardens

La Mortella Gardens

Had we more time we would have loved to visit many more of Ischia’s sights, including the town of Saint Angelo and the Aragonese Castle, Lacco Ameno, one of the earliest Greek colonies in the west; The Archaeological Museum of Pithecusa and the Museum of Saint Restituta too; The thermal water parks and beaches: Poseidon Garden, Negombo, Parco Termale Castiglione, Tropical, Aphrodite and O’ Vagnitiello and the Carribean-like Maronti beach will all have to wait for our return as well. The list goes on and on….Needless to say we’re already planning our next visit to Ischia. The marvelous Hotel Mezzatorre, of course will continue to be our favored base of operations!

La Mortella Gardens

La Mortella Gardens

I’m pictured dressed in white, enjoying a late afternoon visit to La Mortella gardens. I’m sporting a white cotton voile safari style shirt by Gucci, slim white cotton cargo pant by Uniglo, braided white leather flip flops by Schettino di Capri, white rope belt by Orlebar Brown, Tom Ford “Miguel” sunglasses in white and straw hat with black grosgrain ribbon trim from India Hicks’ Sugar Mill, vintage Rolex watch, my fragrance is Tom Ford Neroli Portofino.

ARRIVEDERCI CAPRI

James Andrew Capri - photo Scot McBee

James Andrew Capri - photo Scot McBee

Our last night in Capri found me a bit melancholy. I was excited about our next leg in Ischia, but the five sublime days we had spent in Capri just went by so quickly. I do hope our posts have demontrated some tiny degree of the deep love we have for this magical island of Capri! If you havn’t been, try to go yourself, and we are sure you’ll return again and again just as we have! That being said, we’re already in the process of planning a return vacation with friends and fans next September 2013—why not join us!

Savoring my favorite walk along via Tragara before what turned out to be the most superb dinner at restaurant Edode.

I’m dressed in a Tom Ford “Wetherby” suit in ocean blue wool silk linen melange, royal blue & white cotton silk polka dot print pointed classic collar French cuff shirt, navy and white silk dot pocket square and ivory suede loafers, vintage pearl and sapphire cuff links, vintage Rolex watch, and my fragrance is Creed Original Cologne.

Capri—Off the Beaten Track

James Andrew, Capri — photo Scott McBee

James Andrew, Capri — photo Scott McBee

I would certainly have been content to spend our whole holiday in Capri luxuriating seaside at La Fontelina beach club, however there are quite a few other marvelous sites to see on this island paradise.

McBee, loving all things Classical, had a keen interest in exploring the ancient ruins of Villa Jovis, the magnificent island residence of Roman emperor Tiberius. Getting there is about a 40 minute walk from Capri town up some narrow steep and winding little streets.

View from Astarita Park

View from Astarita Park

Astarita Park lies just before the Villa Jovis, and it’s the perfect place to catch one’s breath—that is, just as one loses it (one’s breath) again upon seeing the spectacular views this little park has to offer. The ruins of Villa Jovis are equally engaging, and one can’t help but be awed by the history of Capri and the powerful allure it’s had over the centuries.

Down a rather treacherous path from here is the amazing Villa Lysis, designed at the beginning of the 20th century in a Neo-Classical/Art Nouveau style by the artist and architect Edouard Chimot for Baron Jacques d’Adelsward-Fersen who has quite an engaging history himself!

Villa Lysis

Villa Lysis

Fersen, said to be a descendant of Count Axel von Fersen, Marie Antoinette’s Swedish lover, fled Paris following a number of sex scandals, and took refuge in Capri. He met and fell madly in love with a 14 year old Roman boy, Nino Cesarini, there and kept him as his “secretary,” while paying homage to him through photos, paintings and sculpture. 

Nino Cesarini

Nino Cesarini

Sadly in 1923, Fersen died of an overdose of opium mixed with a cocktail of Crystal champagne laced with cocaine. 

Fersen left Villa Lysis to Cesarini who subsequently sold it to Fersen’s sister. For many years the villa remained derilect and only recently has it been restored and opened to visitors. 

Villa Lysis was certainly a must see for us with its beauty and wild history. Apparently the villa is for sale now, any takers? I’d love to help with the continued restoration and decoration!

Grand Staircase - Villa Lysis

Grand Staircase - Villa Lysis

Dressed (top) for our adventure, I’m sporting an indigo paisley batik print shirt by Rag & Bone, white cotton slim short by Mario Matteo, navy suede Gucci loafers, vintage Rolex watch,  straw hat with black grosgrain ribbon trim from India Hicks’ Sugar Mill, Tom Ford “Miguel” sunglasses in white, my fragrance is Tom Ford Neroli Portofino.