This vast house on an ancient Roman site with big terraced garden and space for 18, in the city, near the sea, is a grand yet homely delight
Living on the site of a 2000-year-old Roman villa, you will sense the city’s powerful layers of history. In the lovely terraced gardens, artefacts, stone walls and mosaic floors peep out of the pavement; in the house, two ancient Egyptian columns with Roman capitals grace the salon. The ‘modern’ house, much transformed over its six centuries, was a cardinal’s hunting lodge in the 1780s and is now a luminous, much-loved family house full of beautiful memories with space for up to twenty. Marina, who lives mostly in London, grew up here and hopes to be around when you arrive; otherwise delightful Stefania will show you the ropes. There are two huge, grand living rooms – fireplaces, chandeliers, giant mirrors, tapestries, period portraits – and a big well-fitted kitchen with the original flavour of antique pieces, wooden tables and painted tiles - the actual cooking is done in another area. Each bedroom is different, some vast and grand-style, others more modest, all comfortable, and the seven bathrooms, though not super-modern, are perfectly good. Among the greenery, you are in Rome and near the sea. Glorious.