Villa Rosmarino is a beautiful small boutique hotel with stunning views at the foot of Mount Portofino and just above Camogli, one of the most charming fisherman’s villages in Liguria.
How would you describe Eremo in a nutshell?
It’s a magical place. It was originally a hermitage, then a place where people would come to relax and escape the city — you can feel that here.
What was the inspiration/story behind Eremo?
My family has owned land in the hills behind Imperia for generations. They grew olives there to make olive oil and my grandfather used to come there to escape from the city, which (back in the day) was a long trip, but now is just five minutes by car.
One day, they discovered this old building on top of the hill on a section of land that wasn’t theirs. Originally the owners didn’t want to sell, but then, at some point, the property was put up for auction and many people who knew the peace and magic of the place participated.
My family won the auction and started working on it some years later. They already owned an agriturismo (one of the first to be established in Liguria), so they wanted to do something different and more private with the hermitage. My mum, who is an architect, discovered that the structure had been a hermitage in the past. Then, when I began to study design at University, I started working on it too. I considered it a test, or an exercise, since it was my very first project.
How would you describe the atmosphere and design of Eremo?
During the rebuild, we used the same stones and remained faithful to the original plan of the hermitage, even keeping a wall nook where a saint was once housed. We then added the white cube on one side to add more space, bring in light and capture the views. It was intentional to do something completely different and minimalistic, so as not to distract from the old hermitage.
I also worked on the interiors and designed unique gates and chairs for the space. Rather than antique pieces, we chose contemporary decor. We used natural colours and fabrics, as well as highlighting Italian designers that were fundamental for the aesthetic identity of our country.
During this process, we met a lot of people who loved the place and wanted to be involved, including French landscape designer Jean Mus. He gifted the garden to us, using aromatic plants and white and blue flowers that connect to the sky and the surrounding environment.
Is Eremo designed for families, couples or both?
The Hermitage is really designed for adults and we don’t accept children under 16 years of age because there are lots of stairs. It can accommodate a maximum of four people but is more commonly booked by just one or two