A terrace overlooking the sea
The most striking feature of Villa Le Gradelle on the island of Capri is its terrace. Spectacular and unique, it is the real highlight of a building that stands at the foot of a jagged cliff dominated by the Hermitage of Santa Maria di Cetrella. The villa itself, set in a secluded position reached by a picturesque path with stepped sections that the locals refer to as „Il Passetiello“, is immersed in the Mediterranean vegetation and represents the highest point of a three-tiered sloping construction, a white parallelepiped whose stark, linear forms are softened by large arched French windows. Inside it features an open plan living and dining area, another small sitting room, a well-equipped kitchen, two double bedrooms (one with an ensuite) and two bathrooms. It is furnished tastefully in the colours and bright, minimalist style typical of the island of Capri, mostly carried out by skilled local craftsmen.
The terrace itself accounts for 90% of the villa’s appeal and is the real focal point of domestic life on which all the rooms appear to converge. It offers breathtaking 180-degree views of Marina Piccola, the sculptural sea stacks, the distant coastline glistening in the hazy mist and the boundless sea, a poem of crystalline blues mottled here and there with the colours of boats, their wavy white trails shimmering in the ever-changing sunlight. No photograph can do justice to the sheer magic and emotion of this view. By day, it is bathed in the colours and light of a scene immortalised by the great Neapolitan landscape painter Giacinto Gigante (1806-1876), while at dusk its sense of drama and romanticism evokes a vision by the legendary symbolist painter Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach (1851-1913), a German by birth but a citizen of Capri in spirit and sentiment. Equipped with high-quality outdoor furniture, loungers, a large wooden dining table and ornamental plants and flowers, it is an open-air lounge for dining under the stars, immersed in the salty scents of the sea and the sweet fragrances of the vegetation.
The paving merits a special mention as it is the real decorative highlight of this open-air space. The original decayed reddish-coloured tiles were removed and replaced with porcelain slabs from the Sensi collection designed for Florim by Matteo Thun & Partners. Made from over 90% natural raw materials and up to 41% recycled materials, these ultra-hard-wearing slabs were chosen in a White Lithos finish that evokes the neutral colours and grainy textures of the earth and blends in harmoniously with the natural surroundings, further enhancing the villa’s overall appeal.