Debra and Patricia Johnson - 05/09/2015
Sept 2015 - Just returned from this fabulous little gem. Wonderful views, great food, great service, wonderful friendly staff, lovely room with a fabulous balcony and only a 20 minute walk of Sorrento. Lovely places to eat nearby if your wanting a quiet night but with great atmosphere. Its a peace of heaven with a lovely little restaurant ...
The history of Villa Garden dates back to the end of last century when our great-grandfather, Agostino Gargiulo, had a “dream”. He bought this splendid Villa on the Belvedere of Cape San Francesco.
On the same magnificent spot which 2000 years before had been chosen by the ancient Romans for the construction of a large "domus maritima".
Traces of the original roman structures can still be seen along the coast. Most remarkable is the nympheum dug out of the rocks below, which was used by the Romans as fish nursery.
Towards the end of the 16th century, with the arrival of the Capuchin Monks, the grounds became the orchard of the Convent and housed a Chapel dedicated to the Vergin of Portosalvo. During the night the monks used to leave a lamp on in the Chapel, this served as a guide to the seamen of the Bay of Naples.
During the day the monks enjoyed the stunning panorama which encompasses the entire Bay of Naples, with the majestic Vesuvius, the picturesque villages dotted along the coast kissed by the sea and the gentle hills of the Peninsula of Sorrento covered with orange, lemon and olive groves.
The great European painters of the 17th and 18th century have immortalized those moments and those places in paintings of rare beauty, which show the charm of one of the most painted Belvedere in Italy.
In 1871, with Rome becaming Capital of the Kingdom of United Italy, many properties belonging to the Church, including the Belvedere of Cape San Francesco, were confiscated and assigned to the local Municipalities.
At that time Agostino Gargiulo was running a factory for the production of "riggiole", the famous decorated tiles used to pave monasteries and prestigious properties belonging to nobility and other well-to-do local personalities.
More and more visitors came to admire the Peninsula of Sorrento and this gave Agostino Gargiulo, a man of great intuition, the idea of buying this splendid Villa at Cape San Francesco from the Municipality.
At the same time he converted his tiles factory into an ice producing factory.
This precious refrigerant was on great demand from the local hotels and restaurants.
After the course of the two world wars and Agostino Gargiulo’s death, it was his son Roberto who pursued his father’s dream. Unfortunately destiny was not his ally and he died young and his wife, the charismatic Donna Carmela Gargiulo, better known as “Carmela of the ice”, took the business over.
The factory produced 50 Kgs ice-slabs which were carried on donkey-drawn-carts driven by 2 children, Agostino and Giuseppina: Roberto and Donna Carmela’s children.
It was with this means of transport that the precious ice, wrapped in canvas and hay, reached Port of Sorrento to be loaded on ferryboats going to Capri, Ischia and Naples.
With the advent and wide diffusion of modern electric machinary for the ice roduction, Donna Carmela decided to sell the factory and invest in the complete restauration of the beautiful Villa inherited from her husband Roberto.
This was how Villa Garden became a Hotel for the first time.
Donna Carmela’s wonderful light blue eyes were full of determination and in the following years she built a lovely swimming pool in the garden and a restaurant directly overlooking the sea.
Her children, Agostino and Giuseppina Gargiulo, together with their spouses Donata and Peppe, joined the business started by Donna Carmela and added more amenities to the structure, hence today Villa Garden offers its Guests the most modern comforts, caring service, delicious food, finely furnished rooms and a delightful mediterranean garden.
But the most precious gift which the present owners have given to their children is the Art of Hospitality, intended as the ability of making visitors from all over the World, who with their presence give pride and prosperity to this land, feel at home in Villa Garden.
...and the Dream goes on through Roberto, Gabriella, Paola, Stefania and Barbara.
Villa Garden Hotel - Via N.R. Cappuccini, 7 - 80065 S.Agnello/Sorrento (Na) Italy - Telephone +39 081.8781387 - Fax +39 081.8784192 - email: firstname.lastname@example.org - P.IVA 1244551212JustWeb srl