Everyone needs a taste of Italy at least once a year and Sant Agnello Village, a residential area of Sorrento, is a treat whatever the weather. With Naples, Capri and the entire Amalfi coast easily accessible from this spot is the perfect base for experimenting with authentic Italian cuisine and immersing yourself in a lifestyle of gelato, olive oil and stunning scenery.
I told you already in my last post that I tasted this part of Italy at the end of June 2012. So, today I wanted to write about this beautiful village, very close to the heart of Sorrento, where we based ourselves purely because I found a luxurious hotel with amazing views over to Vesuvius. You must know that many of the other towns like Positano or Capri Island are quite expensive during high summer season.
In this enchanting village aristocrats and intellectuals built villas by the terrace overlooking the bay of Naples. The town is inviting for long, quiet and peaceful holidays, offering any comforts with its vast range of accommodations. It’s pleasant to walk around in the historical center to discover beautiful gardens, panoramic points, old churches and lemon grooves.
Located in an oasis of quiet in Sant Agnello The Grand Hotel La Pace was perfect.
At half coast between the sea and the hill, dominates from a suggestive panoramic position the characteristic area of Sant Agnello. Located in a residential area, at 1200 meters from the center of Sorrento, the hotel appears upon the enchanting Naples bay and of the Vesuvius and offers it’s guests an ideal stay for a complete relax. The Grand Hotel La Pace has been built combining extraordinary ideas from the past historic luxury and today’s contemporary amenities. When you first step into the magnificent lobby, with its grand scale, you might think you’ve been transported back to the 20th Century, when great Hotels were built with marble and stone, not glass and steel. But you’ll quickly realize that you’re in the midst of a modern hotel with innovative services and conveniences that make it a prototype for the 21st Century. Indeed, a hotel for the ages. The hotel offered us a well decorated and spacious room with a terrace garden that overlooked the pool and the mountains.
There is nothing understated about The Grand Hotel La Pace. From her magnificent marble entrance hall to sweeping staircases and lavish architectural detail, this is a grand dame of hotels standing proudly over her heritage. A welcoming atmosphere is evident, with friendly service from helpful staff and live music entertaining guests a couple of times a week. The hotel offers easy access to all the attractions of the area and after a sightseeing day, you can enjoy a rejuvenating treatment at Hotel La Pace wellness center, or sip a cocktail in the elegant lounge. The panoramic sun terrace with views sweeping across the Bay of Naples to Mount Vesuvius is also an ideal spot for some serious chilling out. Located in the charming village of Sant Agnello, it is a pleasant half-hour walk to the center of Sorrento, or you can be there in a jiffy courtesy of the free shuttle bus service offered by the hotel.
Located between Sorrento and Piano di Sorrento, Sant Agnello Village is a quieter and more economic alternative to staying in the centre of Sorrento to which it is connected by regular buses along Corso Italia from Piazza Tasso. A residential center where the princess of Europe built fabulous villas over the course of the centuries. The area was inhabited since ancient times and the history of the town is closely linked to that of the nearby “Surrentum”, which became a Roman “municipium” in 89 B.C. and Sant Agnello developed and became a resort and residential area for noble patricians attracted by the mild climate and beautiful scenery. The town acquired its own autonomy only in 1866.
In the piazza of the same namesake is the splendid Church of Sant Agnello (XVII century), built in Baroque style, preceded by an impressive staircase which leads into the churchyard; it presents a Latin cross plan with three arch ways surmounted by as many domes, a wooden engraved ceiling and three paintings prepared by the artist Joseph Mancinelli and completed, in 1873, by his son Gustavo. The church was built with the contribution of the believers, who for that reason still today have the privilege of electing directly their Parish priest. The square has been created at the beginning of the twentieth century after the filling of a deep valley that extended from the Pecoriello Gulf to the current city center.
To the left side is Italia Street, also called the “Sorrentina” which leads directly to Sorrento, Meta di Sorrento and Piano di Sorrento. The main road heading towards the coast is Via Crawford named after the American author Francis Marion Crawford (1854-1909)who lived here for the last twenty years of his life. Near the cliff top is a Capuchin church and monastery (1586).
Also you can not miss Villa Crawford, situated close to the beach of Marinella from where it is possible to admire breathtaking views over the bay and the nearby islands. Originally built as a farmhouse surrounded by a lush Mediterranean garden, it was transformed into a manor by the American writer Francis Marion Crawford, who moved here in 1885. Located just beyond the terrace overlooking the beach of Marinella is the Tenuta of Cocumella, today home of one of the oldest hotels in Sant Agnello. Built in the XVI century, it was a Jesuit residence, which later became a boarding school, an orphanage and a school. Transformed into a hotel, it remembers very important clients, such as: Lord Byron, Crawford and The Duke of Wellington.
Views from Sant Agnello‘s cliffs are as dramatic as those from Sorrento and the typical beach area is reached by steep steps or escalator. Next to the Cocumella Hotel you can access the Marinella Beach which is one of the main seaside attractions of Sant Agnello Village. It is very easy to reach it by walk or by an elevator.
Our first night there we took a walk through the narrow streets of this enchanting village looking for a good restaurant to eat. There are restaurants and bars around Piazza Sant Agnello and near the coast which has great views. We choose to try the famous italian pizza that night and it was absolutely delicious. From the restaurant terrace I saw the most spectacular sunset of my life. And I fell in love hopelessly with this romantic spot in Sorrentine Peninsula. Words are useless in front of this beauty of nature.
Sant Agnello is a really lovely place to stay particularly if you would like a break from the past pace and the crowds. The place it can not be described in words! You must see it with your own eyes once in a lifetime!
Enjoy the great views and sacrifice a padlock to declare your undying love!