Villa Gaiola

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Sleeps: 12 Bedrooms: 6 Bathrooms: 6

Overview

Pool Villa/House
Wow Factor
Heritage Collection
Pets on Request
Walk to Village Laptop Friendly Workspace

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Whether you have seen it in pictures, or observed it as a wide-eyed tourist from a hydrofoil, riding the waves of the Tyrrhenian Sea from over a thousand feet beneath, nothing can adequately prepare you for the sublime and spectacular majesty of Villa Gaiola. Tour guides on day cruises running from Sorrento to Capri introduce it to their passengers as a matter of natural reflex, causing all on board to crane their necks while fixating on this supremely elegant and intriguingly proportioned palazzo. Viewed from the sea, the six-bedroomed Villa Gaiola gives the illusion of defying gravity, appearing to cling to the face of a dizzyingly high cliff. 

The villa is only reachable by foot, its gate just a ten-minute walk along narrow footpaths from Ravello’s central piazza, at the end of Via dei Fusco. Even from here, Villa Gaiola remains coyly shrouded in its six acres of gardens, with olive and lemon trees just beyond the iron gates. Clusters of blue hydrangea sit alongside a chestnut grove, before an allée of cypress trees guides you to the grand reveal, at the bottom of a flight of steps. As you enter the forecourt, the curvaceous Amalfi coastline, burnished cobalt Mediterranean waters and the beaches of Minori explode into view – along with the magnificent stucco and concrete fortress that is Villa Gaiola, hewn into the mountainside. At once, the optical illusion is broken, the magician’s secret revealed - to the disappointment of absolutely nobody.  

The villa’s thirteen-year build was completed in 1927, becoming the home of Lucille Beckett - daughter of Ernest William Becket, Lord Grimthorpe. However, it is neither Lucille nor Ernest who are mentioned by tour guides to their awe-struck passengers, but the man who became owner of the villa in 1972, the legendary novelist, playwright and essayist – Gore Vidal. 

A writer as elegant as the villa itself, Vidal was understandably besotted by this paradisiacal residence, from where he penned some of his greatest books, starting with Burr in 1973. Vidal and his partner, Howard Austen, set about embellishing further on Villa Gaiola’s beauty, adding more species of flowers, grasses and shrubs to its seven levels of terraced gardens, which cascade in dramatic fashion down six acres of mountainside. The addition of the swimming pool, coinciding with the release of Vidal’s novel Lincoln, was made in 1984, marble paved terrace and all. Today, the giant oblong pool is complemented by a charming kitchenette, perfect for preparing a romantic alfresco supper.

Upon viewing the property and passing through its mosaic tiled and terracotta hallway, Vidal had already decided to complete the purchase. He was instantly enamoured by the classical Roman floor plan, a sequence of rooms opening off the long halls of the ground floor. The villa was subject to a painstaking renovation in 2016, which resulted in refinished flooring, the installation of frescoes for the twenty-six-foot high ceilings, and the addition of a glorious array of antiques and contemporary Italian masterpieces. All but one of the ground floor rooms were repurposed, now comprising sitting rooms, a winter living room with a working fireplace, and one for the summer, which opens to a panoramic sea view terrace.

Respectfully left untouched during the refurbishment, was Vidal’s rococo study, or ‘studio’ as he called it. In a building comprised of arches, curves and varying heights of almost organic nature, this room, birthplace of so much of Vidal’s genius output, is a geometric anomaly – a ‘perfect cube’. Still in situ, facing the fireplace, is the suede beige chesterfield from which Vidal would hold court, tumbler of Macallan 12 in hand, his guests in the adjacent club chairs. The fireplace is itself adorned with two framed versions of Vidal’s 1976 appearance on Time magazine’s cover, an honour he shared with both his father and grandfather. Vidal’s vintage globe remains too, alongside his chestnut desk, upon which he would type up his manuscripts.

Also retained and lovingly restored, are the main architectural elements and feature pieces of the original build, such as barrel-vaulted ceilings, designed to keep the house cool in the heat of Amalfian summers, the huge tufa stone mantelpieces, colourful floor tiling, and the ornate grillwork on the arched doors and windows. There is a beautiful wooden bar too, a nod to the Vidalian ritual of finishing work at 4pm, upon which time cocktail hour would begin…concluding after midnight!   

The six lavish and characterful suites, which have welcomed guests such as Mick and Bianca Jagger, Andy Warhol and Tennessee Williams, among many other luminaries, are of course finished to the highest standard throughout. Each of the bedrooms are equipped with large smart televisions, king-size beds with headboards crafted from fine leather or fabric, along with exquisite ornamentation. Superior Italian styling is showcased in each suite - floors are made with fine antique ceramic from nearby Vietri, while the fitted bespoke wardrobes come courtesy of local artisans. The Serenity suite’s Jacuzzi and the astonishing vistas from Ecstasy’s windows have to be seen to be believed, and not just in the bedroom. A wonderful sea view can be enjoyed from the bathroom’s rose window, perhaps installed to give guests a reason to step out of the incredible chromotherapy shower.

Villa Gaiola is the very quintessence of luxury, a work of architectural genius, the embodiment of tranquillity. To those passing by off the shores of the Amalfi Coast, it looks impossible. As the former home of a writer who was also one-of-a-kind, its uniqueness and beauty make the most perfect and beautiful sense.

You will be just a ten-minute walk away from the Duomo Square in the centre of Ravello, a clifftop jewel of the Amalfi Coast. You will find superb shopping here, as well as a wealth of fantastic eateries and a vibrant street market on a Tuesday morning. 

Oliver Approved

What you should know…

  • The villa is only accessible by foot, just ten minutes from the centre of Ravello.
  • Due to the seven levels of terraced garden, this villa is not suitable for those with mobility issues.
  • The office room of Gore Vidal closed to the public, used only as museum. 
  • The rooms, all located in the main building, are distributed on different levels and can only be reached by using stairs.
  • Villa Gaiola is a historical-cultural property subject to protections and constraints and is not equipped with an elevator system, nor can it be equipped with it.
  • The villa’s private swimming pool isn’t fenced, so children should always be supervised when outdoors.
  • Child supervision is mandatory especially in the outdoor areas/garden.
  • Weddings, stag/hen parties and any special events are on request only and subject to prior arrangement with the owner and additional charges.
  • Kitchen facilities for use of staff only.

Property Features

Private Pool Wi-Fi/Internet Air-Con Laptop Friendly Workspace Washing Machine Safety Deposit Box Hairdryer Smart TV Working Fireplace/Woodburner Heating Seaview

Villa Interior(950sqm)

Lower Ground Level 

- Audacity Suite – King-size bed, en-suite bathroom with shower, mosaic tiled floor, living room
Lower ground floor
- Inspiration Suite - Four-poster king-size bed, en-suite bathroom with bathtub and separate shower, living room with original fireplace, mosaic tiled floor, small veranda
- Serenity Suite - King-size bed, en-suite bathroom with shower, mosaic tiled floor, large panoramic veranda with Jacuzzi

Ground Floor

- Entrance hall
- Gore Vidal’s preserved studio
- Sitting rooms
- Living room with working fireplace, fresco ceilings
- Lounge with bar
- Living room with private terrace and panoramic sea views
- Kitchen facilities for use of staff only

First Floor

- Desire Suite -  Four-poster king-size bed, en-suite bathroom with shower, ceramic tiled floor, fireplace and access to 1,000 square foot panoramic terrace
- Curiosity Suite - King-size bed, en-suite bathroom with shower, ceramic tiled floor, access to 1,000 square foot panoramic terrace
- Ecstasy Suite – King-size bed, en-suite bathroom with shower, ceramic tiled floor, small panoramic terrace
- Access to private terrace with solarium, outdoor shower

External suite(external spiral stair case down 33 steps)

- Studio suite- with king-size bed and en-suite bathroom with shower cubicle
- Air conditioning and refrigerator

Outside Grounds(25,000sqm)

- Swimming pool (15.5m x 5.5m, 2.70m depth) set on a marvel paved terrace
- Self-catering kitchenette
- Two guest bathrooms
- Panoramic terraces
- Private park and garden

Facilities

- Wi-Fi
- Air conditioning
- Heating
- Grand piano
- Original artworks
- Frescoed ceilings
- Smart 4K televisions in all bedrooms
- Chromotherapy showers
- Safe for laptop 
- Minibar in all bedrooms
- Telephone in all bedrooms
- Jacuzzi
- Hairdryers
- Laundry facilities

Location

About the surrounding area of Villa Gaiola
Walk to Village Walking/Hiking Paths Outstanding Landscapes Outdoor Pursuit & Activities Tourist Towns & Villages Historical Sites
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Ten minutes on foot will bring you to the central square of the gorgeous clifftop town of Ravello, known as the ‘Balcony of the Amalfi Coast’. A long-standing refuge of artists, musicians and authors over the last two centuries, Ravello hosts a range of cultural events throughout the year, including the Ravello Festival. This open-air event takes place at Villa Rufolo throughout July and August, with atmospheric musical performances set against the spectacular backdrop of the Gulf of Salerno. Michelin-starred restaurants share piazzas with trattorias and pizzerias, offering visitors a wealth of enticing dining options in between taking in the breath-taking architecture and enjoying some of the best shopping along the Amalfi Coast.

Great shopping is one of the hallmarks of the towns and villages along this thirty-four mile stretch of coast. Pastel-coloured buildings adorn the narrow streets, housing beautifully designed stores packed with everything from fine Italian leather bags and stylish clothing, to ceramic art and one of the region’s most famous exports – Limoncello. Made with the freshest Sorrento lemons, this locally produced liqueur is available in its own dedicated stores, in a range of imaginatively designed bottles.

Whether you prefer the traditional local recipe, or artisanal varieties infused with concerto or cicerenella, this is an unmissable treat to enjoy during your stay on the Amalfi Coast. Taking small bottles of Limoncello home as gifts is de rigueur when you visit here, but beware – the bottles’ corks can be a little unpredictable in your luggage - we recommend grabbing some decent tape to seal the bottles before you pack them!

As you would expect, this part of Italy is rightly proud of both its culinary and winemaking heritage. There is no shortage of options when it comes to terrific local restaurants and trattorias, not to mention cookery classes and tasting tours – getting you right to the heart of this region’s passion for food and wine. There are vibrant weekly markets in the towns close by, with Ravello and Sorrento hosting theirs on a Tuesday. These street markets all have their own picturesque backdrops, with crowds gathering at Amalfi’s port on Thursdays treated to an incredible view from the oceanfront path. Those arriving later in the week can gather fantastic ingredients for weekend dinners at Maiori on Friday, as well as having the chance to wander along the promenade and enjoy this pretty harbour town.

You will find plenty of tour operators close by, offering a range of unforgettable experiences. Take a boat cruise over to Capri, with its famous blue grottos and crystalline waters, or head an hour by road to the archaeological marvel that is Pompeii. As well as guided sightseeing tours, many operators offer deluxe packages that include extras, such as snorkelling, lunch and wine tastings, so be sure to shop around to find one that suits you.

Read more about Amalfi Coast

Local Amenities
Nearest Airport Napoli

(62km)

Nearest Airport 2 Roma Fiumicino

(290km)

Nearest Town Amalfi

(7km)

Nearest Town/City Sorrento

(38km)

Nearest Restaurant

(100m)

Nearest Supermarket

(4km)

Nearest Village Ravello

(1km)

Region

The Amalfi Coast's uniqueness lies in its captivating blend of natural splendour, historical sites, and the warm hospitality of its inhabitants. Whether you're exploring ancient cathedrals, relaxing on sun-soaked beaches, or savouring the region's delectable cuisine, the Amalfi Coast is a place where every moment is an unforgettable experience, where the past and present come together in a harmonious symphony of beauty and culture. It is a destination that leaves an indelible mark on the hearts of all who visit, an oasis of wonder on Italy's enchanting shores.

Please be aware that a number of nearby amenities - pharmacies, supermarkets, restaurants, for example - may be closed or have limited opening hours during low season.

 

 

Kids

Best Suited For: All Ages
Ideal for Babies & Toddlers

Nestled amidst the picturesque hills of the Amalfi coast, Villa Gaiola is a dreamy retreat tailor-made for families seeking an unforgettable holiday experience. This charming villa, featured in the heart of Italy, provides an enchanting escape for both parents and children alike.

For families, space and comfort are paramount, and Villa Gaiola delivers on both fronts. With spacious, sunlit rooms and cozy nooks, this villa offers a warm and inviting atmosphere for families to relax and bond. Kids can have their own adventures in the expansive gardens, discovering hidden corners and playing games under the azure Italian sky. The large, private swimming pool promises endless hours of laughter and splashes, providing a refreshing oasis for both little ones and grown-ups.

Beyond the villa's enchanting interiors, the surrounding region is a treasure trove of family-friendly activities. The nearby towns and villages offer charming markets where kids can indulge in delightful gelato and freshly baked treats. Families can embark on leisurely bike rides through rolling vineyards, savoring the sweet scent of grapes in the air. Additionally, the villa's proximity to cultural landmarks like Siena and Florence allows families to embark on educational adventures, exploring historic sites and museums that captivate young minds.

Villa Gaiola, with its idyllic setting and thoughtful amenities, ensures that families can create cherished memories together. From the panoramic views of the Tuscan countryside to the warm ambiance of the villa itself, every moment spent here is an opportunity for families to connect, explore, and embrace the joy of togetherness. It's not just a holiday destination; it's a sanctuary where family dreams come true.

Kids Activities Close-by

  • Kid-friendly excursions
  • Walk to Village
  • Outdoor Pursuit & Activities
  • Tourist Towns & Villages
  • Historical Sites

Services Available

  • Chef/Cook Available
  • Maid Service Included
  • Breakfast Included

Extras

Oliver's Extras

  • Cooking Classes Available
  • Transfers Available
  • Chef/Cook Available
  • Maid Service Included
  • On-Site Concierge
  • Breakfast Included
  • Butler Available

At Oliver’s Travels we pride ourselves on going that little bit further for our guests. From private chefs to babysitters we can help you arrange those little extras that make it a truly memorable holiday. Simply fill in the concierge request form or contact the Oliver’s Concierge Team who will be happy to help. We can typically help you arrange any of the following:

- Maid service/extra cleaning 
- Private chef/cook/catering
- Welcome hamper/pre-stocked fridge
- Local day-trips or tours
- Airport pick-up/drop-off
- Bike hire

Extras included at this property:

- Reception H24
- Maid service
- Change of bed linens every 2 days
- Daily change of bath linen
- Robes, slippers and pool towels
- Daily continental breakfast
- Room service
- Complete courtesy set and bathroom amenities of the brand “Ferragamo”
- Sun creams of the brand “Carthusia”
- Porter service upon arrival and departure

Extras available at this property (payable locally):

- Chef
- Butler
- Full-time on-site concierge
- Activities and excursions
- Laundry service upon request

Please note that all extras are subject to availability and must be requested in advance of the holiday (prices on request). Due to some rural/remote locations, not all services will be available at all properties. However, we will always do our best to fulfil your requests!

Oliver's Travels Chef Service: A Gourmet Dining Experience
Make hosting a memorable dinner party at your villa an absolute breeze with our superb Chef Service. Our chefs will take care of everything for you from start to finish so you can just sit back and enjoy the gastronomic experience. They will bring all the necessary ingredients, cook and serve the food and even clean up afterwards. To find out more visit www.oliverstravels.com/chefs

Terms & Conditions

These terms and conditions may be amended from time to time.

Security deposit €15000 charged to client’s credit card by the owner as a pre-authorisation upon arrival and refunded two weeks after departure, subject to full inspection.
Arrival time 3.00 p.m.
Departure time 11.00 a.m.
Energy costs included? Yes.
Linen & towels included? Yes.
Pets welcome? On request only and with prior agreement with the owner.
Smoking Allowed? No.
End of stay cleaning included? Yes. However, guests are required to leave the accommodation clean, tidy and in the same condition as on their arrival. Any extra cleaning, laundry, maintenance and/or rubbish disposal required will be charged against the security deposit.
Minimum stay 7 nights. All other durations on request.
Tax Italian Visitors Tax payable locally in cash (typically costs €1-€10 per adult per night - please enquire if exact amount is required).
Heating costs included? Yes.
Pool towels included? Yes.
Insurance Guests are required to be in possession of a valid insurance policy, which covers them for cancellations, loss of personal belongings, personal liability and any accidental damage caused during their stay.
Internet access? Wi-Fi internet access included.
Pool opening dates? Please note that pool opening dates are subject to local weather conditions and pool maintenance requirements and that cooler months may not be suitable for swimming.
Changeover day Flexible.
Stag & Hen Do's Allowed? Weddings, stag/hen parties and any special events are on request only and subject to prior arrangement with the owner and additional charges.
Other Ts and Cs Please note that published rates are only valid for the current year. Any bookings for subsequent years will be on request only and correct rates will be confirmed at the time of booking.
Other Ts and Cs Please note that your booking will only be confirmed once we have checked availability with the owner or their property manager.
Other Ts and Cs Due to the seven levels of terraced garden, this villa is not suitable for those with mobility issues.
Other Ts and Cs The villa’s private swimming pool isn’t fenced, so children should always be supervised when outdoors.

Rental Rates

Prices based on an occupancy of 12 people:

Rental period Weekly
Apr 24th 2024 - May 5th 2024 £86,031
May 5th 2024 - May 18th 2024 £75,789
May 18th 2024 - Jun 1st 2024 £91,152
Jun 1st 2024 - Jun 15th 2024 £96,273
Jun 15th 2024 - Aug 3rd 2024 £101,394
Aug 3rd 2024 - Aug 17th 2024 £111,635
Aug 17th 2024 - Sep 14th 2024 £102,418
Sep 14th 2024 - Oct 5th 2024 £91,152
Oct 5th 2024 - Oct 19th 2024 £80,910
Oct 19th 2024 - Nov 2nd 2024 £75,789
Nov 2nd 2024 - Dec 21st 2024 £64,523
Dec 21st 2024 - Dec 30th 2024 £85,007
Dec 30th 2024 - Mar 31st 2025 £68,620
Mar 31st 2025 - Apr 19th 2025 £75,789
Apr 19th 2025 - May 4th 2025 £86,031
May 4th 2025 - May 17th 2025 £75,789
May 17th 2025 - May 31st 2025 £91,152
May 31st 2025 - Jun 14th 2025 £96,273
Jun 14th 2025 - Aug 2nd 2025 £101,394
Aug 2nd 2025 - Aug 16th 2025 £111,635
Aug 16th 2025 - Sep 13th 2025 £102,418
Sep 13th 2025 - Oct 4th 2025 £91,152
Oct 4th 2025 - Oct 18th 2025 £80,910
Oct 18th 2025 - Oct 26th 2025 £75,789

Prices based on an occupancy of 12 people:

Rental period Weekly
Apr 24th 2024 - May 5th 2024 €93,093
May 5th 2024 - May 18th 2024 €82,011
May 18th 2024 - Jun 1st 2024 €98,635
Jun 1st 2024 - Jun 15th 2024 €104,176
Jun 15th 2024 - Aug 3rd 2024 €109,717
Aug 3rd 2024 - Aug 17th 2024 €120,799
Aug 17th 2024 - Sep 14th 2024 €110,825
Sep 14th 2024 - Oct 5th 2024 €98,635
Oct 5th 2024 - Oct 19th 2024 €87,552
Oct 19th 2024 - Nov 2nd 2024 €82,011
Nov 2nd 2024 - Dec 21st 2024 €69,820
Dec 21st 2024 - Dec 30th 2024 €91,985
Dec 30th 2024 - Mar 31st 2025 €74,253
Mar 31st 2025 - Apr 19th 2025 €82,011
Apr 19th 2025 - May 4th 2025 €93,093
May 4th 2025 - May 17th 2025 €82,011
May 17th 2025 - May 31st 2025 €98,635
May 31st 2025 - Jun 14th 2025 €104,176
Jun 14th 2025 - Aug 2nd 2025 €109,717
Aug 2nd 2025 - Aug 16th 2025 €120,799
Aug 16th 2025 - Sep 13th 2025 €110,825
Sep 13th 2025 - Oct 4th 2025 €98,635
Oct 4th 2025 - Oct 18th 2025 €87,552
Oct 18th 2025 - Oct 26th 2025 €82,011

Prices based on an occupancy of 12 people:

Rental period Weekly
Apr 24th 2024 - May 5th 2024 $99,703
May 5th 2024 - May 18th 2024 $87,834
May 18th 2024 - Jun 1st 2024 $105,638
Jun 1st 2024 - Jun 15th 2024 $111,572
Jun 15th 2024 - Aug 3rd 2024 $117,507
Aug 3rd 2024 - Aug 17th 2024 $129,376
Aug 17th 2024 - Sep 14th 2024 $118,694
Sep 14th 2024 - Oct 5th 2024 $105,638
Oct 5th 2024 - Oct 19th 2024 $93,768
Oct 19th 2024 - Nov 2nd 2024 $87,834
Nov 2nd 2024 - Dec 21st 2024 $74,777
Dec 21st 2024 - Dec 30th 2024 $98,516
Dec 30th 2024 - Mar 31st 2025 $79,525
Mar 31st 2025 - Apr 19th 2025 $87,834
Apr 19th 2025 - May 4th 2025 $99,703
May 4th 2025 - May 17th 2025 $87,834
May 17th 2025 - May 31st 2025 $105,638
May 31st 2025 - Jun 14th 2025 $111,572
Jun 14th 2025 - Aug 2nd 2025 $117,507
Aug 2nd 2025 - Aug 16th 2025 $129,376
Aug 16th 2025 - Sep 13th 2025 $118,694
Sep 13th 2025 - Oct 4th 2025 $105,638
Oct 4th 2025 - Oct 18th 2025 $93,768
Oct 18th 2025 - Oct 26th 2025 $87,834

Please note that these prices/rates are a guide only and may not be correct at the current date. For an accurate quote, please enquire.

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