VILLA ASTOR Paradise Restored on the Amalfi Coast is a book for lovers of art, romance, style and travel. A book you can read or a coffee table book you can dip in and out of. With stunning photography and a style of writing then lets you drift away… you will soon be feeling you are looking out to sea and entranced by not only the beautiful architecture but the style and manners of a generation we do not see so often today.
When Gentlemans Butler talks about sensuality and elegance as barometers for luxury Villa Astor and its role of leading and supporting characters is certainly a period drama I was enthralled by as it certainly lures one to Italy and with headings such as William Waldorf Astor “Supersnob” you may want a visit to your tailor afterwards.
Introduction by The Right Honourable the Lord Astor of Hever
Text by Curt DiCamillo, Suzanne Tise-Isoré, Alexandra Campbell and Rita Vessichelli Pane
Photography by Eric Sander
Published by Flammarion | May 2017 Hardback with jacket £40 | 280 pages 240 colour illustrations | ISBN 978-2-08-137592-5
The opening passage from the book flap gives the feeling of drifting away in a house of beauties looking over the romantic and dreamlike coastline “On a narrow, shaded street leading to the Marina Grande in the Italian seaside resort of Sorrento, the songs of hundreds of birds fill the air above an immense and luxuriant garden enclosed behind high walls….”
This volume showcases the legendary Italian villa that William Waldorf Astor exquisitely curated as a masterpiece of art, architecture, and design.
Dominating the Bay of Naples in the charming town of Sorrento, with spectacular views of Mount Vesuvius, Villa Astor is an Italian landmark with a rich history dating back to the Roman Empire. American businessman, collector, and politician William Waldorf Astor—founder of the legendary Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York— fell in love with Italy during his time as American Ambassador in Rome. He purchased the villa that now bears his name and turned it into a paradise of art, beauty, architecture, and exquisite gardens. The eccentric, extravagant, and discerning art lover spent a decade restoring and decorating the house and gardens with an outstanding collection of classical artefacts.
After Astor’s death in 1919, the villa changed hands. It was recently acquired by new owners, who have restored the villa and gardens to their former splendour with the talented French decorator Jacques Garcia.
This volume traces the splendid history of a legendary house, garden, and art collection, and the extraordinary life of one of the world’s most enigmatic tycoons.
The Right Honourable the Lord Astor of Hever is the great-grandson of William Waldorf Astor and a member of the House of Lords. He was Defence Minister from 2010–2015.
Curt DiCamillo is a Boston-based architectural historian and an authority on the British country house.
Eric Sander’s photographs have appeared in Smithsonian, Life, Time, Newsweek, Le Figaro Magazine, and in numerous books including A Day at Château de Fontainebleau (Flammarion, 2015).