Written By Katrina Israel The Amalfi Coast in the summer time always offers a mesmerizing landscape of oversized lemons resting by the roadside, spaghetti vongole fueled long lunches, and postcard perfect rocky cliff tops that drop off to the deep blue Mediterranean Sea.
But if you’re looking to bypass the overflow of tourist buses negotiating the hairpin turns of Positano, keep driving a few more bays around to the quiet town of Praiano, and its hidden treasure: the family run hotel Ca’P’a – Casa Privata.
This boutique property, which can also be rented as a fully staffed villa, was first discovered as an old ruin from the sea, by famed Austrian architects Laurids Ortner and Angela Hareiter who instantly saw its unique charm, and set about lovingly restoring the property and its extensive waterfront land.
As a guest here, you soon appreciate what Casa Privata stands for – cultivated privacy – elegantly alluding to the privilege of having this breathtaking piece of Amalfi coastline all to yourself. Accessed by a series of limestone steps at the bottom of the garden, the stunning cliff-face has been calved out to facilitate several sun bed platforms, enticing you to dive into the twinkling aqua water below.
Inside, Ca’ P’a offers four beautifully restored double rooms with en suites and views of the sea, as well as two sizable suites. Decorated with earthen hues and traditional Italian Monastic touches, each room features original frescos, protected from the streaming sunlight by billowing muslin curtains.
From the villa’s third floor balcony you can view the property’s 5000 square meters of sculpted hedge gardens, olive and lemon groves, fountains and stone benches that have been expertly designed by award-winning Belgian landscape architect Jacques Wirtz to act as an extension of the house. Not forgetting that this working estate also grows the majority of the herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables used in the kitchen, with alfresco Italian meals served daily under the vegetative central pagoda.