The Good Life

Palazzo Sasso, Ravello, Italy

By Larry Olmsted | From William Shatner, Sept/Oct 2006
Palazzo Sasso, Ravello, Italy

Ravello is closer to heaven than it is to the shore," claimed André Gide, the Nobel laureate in literature. The author Gore Vidal was so taken with the setting that he moved in (his hillside villa just sold for over $17 million). Ravello, the smallest, quaintest and most exclusive of the triumvirate of glorious towns that make the Amalfi Coast Italy's romantic best, has this effect on people. From postcard-perfect views of the azure waters of the Mediterranean to medieval hill towns and cliff-top villas, the region enjoys one of the most stunning and dramatic settings on earth. Steep hillsides are terraced with endless vineyards, gardens and orchards, broken by the occasional castle ruins or ancient stone walls. For Amalfi's hospitality and culinary best, look no further than Palazzo Sasso.

The small luxury hotel fits the town like a glove: Ravello blissfully lacks the souvenir shops and day tourists that inundate the region. As a result, such visiting dignitaries as Humphrey Bogart, Jacqueline Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower and Placido Domingo have made this serene town, perched 1,000 feet above the Gulf of Salerno, their escapist haven. Palazzo Sasso, just steps from Ravello's Duomo and central piazza, is the place to experience the magic. The stunning structure began life as a royal palace more than 800 years ago, and since 1997, when it was turned into a luxury hotel, Palazzo Sasso has offered accommodations fit for royalty.

The hotel has just 43 rooms, including two oversized, decadent VIP suites equipped with private whirlpool baths and terraces, but even the smallest rooms boast multifunction showers with waterfalls and massage jets and amenities that include Bulgari toiletries and a choice of silk, linen or cotton sheets. Guests can enjoy a lavish, fully equipped spa, a gorgeous blue-tile pool with one of the best views on earth, and a rooftop solarium with hot tubs and sweeping vistas of the coastline. The season runs from March to October and the rooms from $360 to $2,400 a night.

Perhaps the marquee attraction at Palazzo Sasso is Rossellini's, the most-revered restaurant on the Amalfi Coast and the only two-star Michelin eatery in this part of Italy. Diners who opt to eat on the sunny outdoor patio are rewarded with world-class food and an equally charming view that takes in the coast, hillside gardens, lemon groves and even a coastal watchtower erected by the Knights of Malta in the twelfth century. Centuries-old cobblestone walkways lead from the hotel down the mountain to the sea, and everywhere you look is a tempting attraction. But despite the many beckoning charms of the Amalfi region, once you have settled into the heaven that is Palazzo Sasso, it is hard to leave.

Call 800-225-4255 or visit www.sanctuare.com.

Places Good Life Guide

More in The Good Life

See all
Baseball At 150: Five Problems

Baseball At 150: Five Problems

Major league baseball turned 150 years old this year. But the game is far from perfect.

Oct 15, 2019
Smoke The Cigar of the Year for a Good Cause

Smoke The Cigar of the Year for a Good Cause

Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, the maker of Cigar Aficionado’s Cigar of the Year, will be in New York City …

Sep 24, 2019
Babe Ruth Sets Yet Another Record With $5.6 Million Jersey Sale

Babe Ruth Sets Yet Another Record With $5.6 Million Jersey Sale

Babe Ruth's New York Yankees road jersey, dated between 1928 and 1930, sold at auction for $5.64 …

Aug 22, 2019
Car-Themed Watch Auction For Monterey Car Week

Car-Themed Watch Auction For Monterey Car Week

Bidding for Watches Online: The Driver’s Collection will open on August 14 and run through August 20.

Aug 14, 2019
End-of-Summer Mixing With Vodka

End-of-Summer Mixing With Vodka

Mixing it up with vodka.

Jul 2, 2019
Dukes Hotel: The World’s Best Martini?

Dukes Hotel: The World’s Best Martini?

A look at how the bar inside Dukes Hotel crafts its signature Martini.

Jun 28, 2019