The Lemon Grove
The Lemon Grove is a 3 bedroom holiday villa with stunning views of the Amalfi coast from its hill-top setting above Sorrento, close to Pompeii, Capri and Mount Vesuvius.
It’s a very special corner of Italy few people know about — that’s what makes it magical!
This property offers easy COVID-19 cancellation terms:
In case of official travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic or in case of illness of one of the guests, bookings can be cancelled free of charge. If a deposit has been paid in advance, the amount can be used as a voucher in the following 2-3 years.
How would you describe Villa Abruzzo in a nutshell?
Villa Abruzzo is located in the far north of the Italian province of Abruzzo, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards and in close proximity to the Adriatic coast.
Featuring a natural stone façade, the LA mid-century design villa blends in wonderfully with its enchanting and almost untouched natural surroundings, with the large, floor-to-ceiling windows paying additional tribute to this landscape. It is a wonderful retreat to explore this unknown part of Italy – if you can ever leave the villa.
What was the inspiration and story behind Villa Abruzzo?
I’m originally from the Como area in the north of Italy but spent a lot of time in the Abruzzo region when I was a child. My background is in architecture and interior design, with a particular love of the mid-century LA hills style. I spend a couple of months in California every year and decided that I wanted to recreate something similar in Italy. In fact, the area where the villa is located has been nicknamed “Little California”, so it was the perfect place to build a bungalow in the mid-century LA style.
What is it that you love about the LA mid-century style?
I love low buildings with low ceilings and big windows, as well as the use of wood and stone materials in LA mid-century design. The interior design is also based on a few, but exceptionally valuable and distinct materials that exude timeless chic without being overbearing. As I work as an architect, I designed most of the interior pieces and furnishings, so they are highly unique.
Is Villa Abruzzo suitable for families with children?
The villa is not really safeguarded for young children, so I would only recommend families staying if they have newborns (0-1 years old) or older children (8+). When booking, we ask that guests sign a pool contract, as there are no balustrades/fences around it. We welcome small dogs but not big ones as there are too many precious objects that might get damaged.
To you personally, what is so special about Villa Abruzzo?
When you’re staying at Villa Abruzzo, you really don’t know what time, year or even century it is. The surroundings look the same as they did 100 years ago and they will remain like this for many years to come as no one can build in my direct view. I also love that you’re so close to the snow-capped mountains where wild horses roam, as well as being just a short drive from the beach. It’s a very special corner of Italy that few people know about - that's what makes it magical!
The villa is set across two split levels that follow the natural contour of the hills. It’s actually quite hidden and is difficult to see on the approach. I built a road to access the site and created a courtyard parking area with old palm trees that is very cool and fresh on summer days.
The main floor is upstairs and accessed via a wood-panelled corridor that leads to an open-plan living, dining and kitchen area. There are big windows that you can slide open and they reveal a huge terrace, as well as the infinity swimming pool and a summer kitchen. The views from here are incredible, with snow on the mountains until June and amazing sunsets.
The upper level also has two bedrooms with en-suites while there’s a separate guest room and bathroom downstairs for people who want their own space. It’s also here that you’ll find the laundry and a wine cellar.
Aside from the infinity swimming pool, there is also a tennis court in the nearby town if you want to play, as well as a church where guests are welcome. If you’d like meals prepared for you, we have an amazing woman who can come to the villa, with the local specialty being seafood. While there is no air conditioning in the villa (as I don’t really like it), the floors can be cooled using water and every evening there is a refreshing breeze coming from the sea.
We offer a cleaning service every morning to freshen up the house. But this can easily be negotiated if guests would like it less frequently or only at the beginning and end of their stay. I also have a pool guy and a gardener who comes very early in the morning before the heat of the day sets in.
To be honest, once guests arrive, many don’t ever leave the house! If you want to stay close by, you can go walking in the immediate surroundings or tour the wineries by bike. Alternatively, you can head into the mountains to explore the national parks and see the colony of wild horses that migrate from the south to the north during the summer. There’s also a spot in the mountains called Campo Imperatore that looks like Tibet and is ignited by blooming crocus flowers from mid-June to mid-July, attracting people from all over the world.
Villa Abruzzo is just a couple of minutes’ drive from the town of Controguerra where you can go every morning to get a coffee. As you drive across each hill, you’ll discover another town and lots of little alfresco summer restaurants. In 10 minutes you can be at a beach with sun loungers, umbrellas and seafood restaurants or if you drive 30-40 minutes, you’ll discover the wild and beautiful beaches of Reserva Naturale di Punta Aderci (no cars, no restaurants, no sun loungers).
If you want to explore the cities, Rome is 2 hours and 15 minutes away by car while Ancona is less than an hour and Pescara around 45 minutes. There are also many wineries in the surrounding region that you can tour by car or bicycle, with both wine and olive oil tastings on offer.
Now the weather in Italy is very unpredictable — you can get days both good and bad throughout the year. So I only rent the villa between June and autumn as these are the most stable months.
A particularly atmospheric time can be experienced here in the autumn when the otherwise ubiquitous calm gradually gives way to increased activity: it’s harvest time and everybody pitches in! During the day, people are to be found working hard and industriously throughout the vineyards and olive groves. Then, in the evening in the small village centres and country houses, everyone gets together to enjoy their first samples of the fruits of the year and to celebrate the proverbial Italian “Dolce Vita”!
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