29 November 2010

Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Part II

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Villa Tre Ville:  located in the hillside next to Positano, Italy.   The property has 4 villas, stacked one on top of the other.  You can see the villas on the left side of the picture.

The two Amalfi Coast resorts Villa Tre Ville and Li Galli share many things.   Both are former luxury villas near Positano that were once owned by famous artists.   Li Galli, was owned, of course, by the dancer Rudolf Nureyev, while Villa Tre Ville was home to the movie and opera director Franco Zeffirelli.   Zeffirelli had bought his property from a Russian writer, Mikhail Semenov, who had purchased the property in the 20’s.   These two properties are now forever linked in other ways than their geography -  both are owned by the Italian hotelier Giovanni Russo.  And both these once private houses are now luxury rentals.   During the 35 years that Zeffirelli owned Villa Tre Ville, he hosted such famous guests as Leonard Bernstein, Maria Callas, Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minnelli, Elton John and Laurence Olivier.   Although a prolific opera director, Zeffirelli is perhaps best known for his 1968 movie version of Romeo and Juliet.    When Zeffirelli owned Villa Tre Ville, it was comprised of three separate villas hanging off  the rocky hillside.   Climbing up from one house to another began to be too much for the aging Zeffirelli, and it was for this reason that he sold the property to Russo.    His biographer, David Sweetman, recalled a meeting at Villa Tre Ville:  "It took hours [to get there.] The taxi bill was unreal, but eventually we arrived at the top of this little winding road. And there was just a gate, and I had to go down all these bloody stairs to the villa.  Eventually, some ancient servant let me in, and I was shown on to this opera set. I've never seen anything like it. It seemed, just possibly, the most beautiful place on Earth."  

Things are different today.  One of the first changes Russo made was to add a much needed elevator inside the rock – a feat that involved 12 donkeys and a crew of stone masons who used old fashioned pickaxes.   The estate now has four villas instead of three, with a total of 15 rooms  – all of which have been totally redesigned and updated by Russo.   As at Li Galli, prices are steep.  In season a room can cost up to $8,000 a night, although smaller suites are much less. And as at Li Galli, all the fruits and vegetables come from the estate, while fresh fish come from the bordering sea. Throughout the property there are  private gardens and winding paths that link the acreage together.   All the villas have terraces, some of which are shaded under flowering pergolas, while others are open to the beautiful sea views.   Throughout, there quiet places for guests  to sit and drink in the atmosphere.   And, as at Li Galli, if the guests desire more excitement and shopping,  there is a boat that taxis to and from Positano.    

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Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet, 1968. 

His most famous movie starred the 15 year old Olivia Hussey and 17 year old Leonard Whiting.  Zeffirelli was praised for hiring actors that were almost the true ages of Shakespeare's characters.  Hussey was not allowed to attend the London premier because of the nudity in the movie.  Ironically, the nudity she was barred from seeing was her own!

PROPERTY

The four villas, one on top of the other.

Although Russo made many changes, he tried to maintain the original atmosphere found when the property was a private estate.   In the Zeffirelli suite, the same furniture that he used is there today, including the mother of pearl bedroom set which the director brought over from Syria.   Some of his original papers and books remain on the property.   In one suite, an old bread oven was turned into a cavernous shower.  Russo hopes to keep the literary and ballet world a part of his properties.  Recently  he hosted opera star Andrea Bocelli and artist Julian Schnabel at Villa Tre Ville.  Schnabel even added his finishing touch a fresco on the property.    Visitors come from all over the coast:  at night, large yachts pull up to the property, depositing guests to eat at the restaurant, The Pergola, dining on the beautiful candle lit terraces. 

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The town of Positano – Villa Tre Ville over looks this beautiful view. 

The beauty of the property lies not only within the villas, but also in the views and landscape.  There are many flowering bordered pathways that connect the villas.  Pergolas are covered in green vines and bright bougainvillea.   The terraces overlook the many lawns and gardens that lead down to the sea. The architect Fausta Gaetani, a frequent guest of Zeffirelli’s,  was hired by Russo to renovate the property.

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   A charming wood boat, the San Ferdinando zips back and forth to the town of Positano.  A limousine is also available. 

 

THE PERGOLA:  THE RESTAURANT AT VILLA AZZURRA

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The restaurant is appropriately named, La Pergola.  In warm months, guests sit under the pergola, on colder days – meals are served around an indoor fireplace, exactly where Zeffirelli ate his meals.  The restaurant is located in the Villa Azzurra, as is the Club Lounge

 

 

 

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A recent guest posted his dinner on Flickr.  Is your mouth watering?

 

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Nureyev’s islands Li Galli are seen in the waters off the restaurant's terrace. 

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The tiled kitchen could not be any more charming!  The kitchen which overlooks the sea is open to the guests who want watch the chefs at work.

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Inside the Villa Azzurra – guests eat around the fireplace in cooler months.  The stairs led up to one of the suites.

 

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The fireplace in the Villa Azzurra is surrounded by niches filled with antique pottery.   The mantel is so beautiful!

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A photograph of Zeffirelli standing in front of the pottery niches.  I love his décor and prefer it to today’s decor!!!!!  I wish I could see more of it!

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A close up of the gorgeous glass chandelier in the lobby of the Villa Azzurra. 

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The artist Julian Schnabel recently added his touch to the fresco in the Villa Azzurra lobby.

 

THE CLUB LOUNGE:  VILLA AZZURRA

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The open terrace next to the restaurant is the Club Lounge which serves drinks during the day and early night. 

 

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A corner of the Club Lounge terrace at Villa Azzurra.

SALONE BIANCO AT VILLA BIANCO:

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The bar, Salone Bianco is located at the Villa Bianco.   The interior designer Renzo Mongiardino is responsible for its Moroccan styled interiors. 

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Another part of the Salone Bianco.  I love the white tiled walls.

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Drinks are also served outside the Salone Bianco on the terrace of the Villa Bianco.

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Another picture of the terraces at the Salone Bianco at Villa Bianco, during early dusk.  At the lower level on the right is the entrance to the “Tosca” suite.  The large Villa Bianco is where  Zeffirelli actually lived.

 

THE SUITES:

THE VILLA ROSA:

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The first of the four villas is the pink Villa Rosa, which is highest up on the hill.   It comes with its two suites:  The Bernstein and the Nijinsky Suites.  Most rooms are named after the famous guests that have slept in them. 

 

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The Bernstein suite is all blue and white tiles.   The pattern in the floor tiles looks exactly like a Madeline Weinrib rug. 

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The shower in the Bernstein suite was created out of a former pizza oven.  Amazing!!!

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The second set of rooms, the Nijinski Suite, is done in peaches – dark and light. 

THE VILLA AZZURRA:

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The next villa, Villa Azzurra has three suites.  The restaurant, Pergola, and the lounge, Club Lounge, are also located on this villa’s large terraces

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The first suite, the Downes Suite, is named after the American journalist Donald Downes, a friend of Zeffirelli’s. The suite is decorated in vibrant turquoise blue and white. 

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The Downes suite bathroom has an amazing collection of apothecary jars filled with turquoise colored water.

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The Diaghilev Suite, with its seashell theme,  is named after Sergei Diaghilev, the famous Russian ballet choreographer and founder of the Ballets Russes.    Diaghilev was a frequent guest at Villa Tre Ville.   This suite’s floor is made out of traditional blue and white tiles.

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The bathroom is all white and has a tub that sits underneath a shell niche.  

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The large Massine Suite is named after the ballet dancer Leonide Massine who is the original owner of the nearby Li Galli islands.   This suite is one of my favorites – done in a traditional Italian design style.  

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The bedroom of the Massine Suite.  It’s ceilings are painted and the floors are Majolica tiles.   The bathroom is through the wood door, down a flight of stairs. 

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The Massine Suite’s bathroom is down a small flight of stairs below the suite.   The floor and shower are made of small mosaic tiles. 

THE VILLA BIANCO:

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Villa Bianco is one of the largest villas and is where Zeffirelli stayed.   The Salone Bianco – a club – is also located in this villa.

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An infinity edge swimming pool overlooking the sea is located at the Villa Bianco.  Through the double doors is the Zeffirelli suite.

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The large Zeffirelli suite has three bedrooms, a living room and a dining room.  In the master bedroom, the mother of pearl furniture bought by Zeffirelli in Syria remains just as it was during his time.

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The bedroom that Zeffirelli used.  Beautiful photograph!

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This bedroom located in the Zeffirelli suite has a beautiful tiled floor and fireplace. 

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The fireplace mantel in the Zeffirelli suite.

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Also in Villa Bianco are two more suites: the Callas suite was named after the most famous guest ever to stay – Maria Callas, the opera singer. 

 

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The Tosca Suite is the last suite in the Villa Bianco.   What a headboard!!!!  I really like this bedroom a lot with the crisp blue and white fabrics. 

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Close up of the sunburst headboard in the Tosca suite.

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The Tosca has its own balcony overlooking the sea.

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And there is also a small hot tub in the private garden that the Tosca suite shares with the Callas suite.  I think I would pick this suite with its own private gardens!

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But, the Tosca bathroom takes the cake.   The shower is completely open to the balcony and the view.  And notice the window behind the sink – with just an antique mirror on the sill.  Beautiful!!!

 

The Villa Tre Pina:

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The last villa, the Villa Tre Pini, has five large suites.  When Zeffirelli owned the property, there were only three villas, but another – this villa – was added to the property by Russo.     Here the Romeo and Juliet is done in reds and pinks.  This suite has the best view of the La Galli islands, once owned by Nureyev, but now owned by Russo.

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 The Aida Suite is all blues and whites. 

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The shower at the Aida suite has beautiful Carrara marble. 

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The Turnadot suite is in blues and greens.   Its bathroom is also all Carrara marble. 

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The Carmen Suite is oranges with red.    Each room has its own flat screen tv. 

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I love the Carmen headboard fabric and notice the Italian lamps and lampshades.  So cute!!!!

 

 

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And last, the Norma Suite is reds and grays with playful stripes. 

The Bay and Gardens:

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The swimming area is down a few flights of stairs.  Zeffirelli says he sold the property because his knees couldn’t take it anymore.   One of the first things Russo did when he bought the villas was install an elevator .  There is no actual beach here – just steps leading into the water.

 

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Nice.  Bring me an apple martini please!

 

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Off the swimming area, is the boat dock. 

 

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There are pathways leading throughout the property.  This one, leading to the boat dock,  is under a pergola covered in vines. 

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The walkway in front of the Villa Bianco. 

 

 

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Flowers next to the brick walkway leading up the Villa Bianco.

 

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This terrace at the Villa Bianco is one of the prettiest on the property.  The pergola is so beautiful. 

 

 

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The view from Positano looking at the Villa Tre Ville, encircled in white.

 

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If you are interested in seeing how the villas looked before the remodeling, go HERE for the original sales brochure prior to when Russo purchased the villas.  At that time, there were only three villas.  I love the way Zeffirelli decorated the villas and wish they still looked that way!!  But, it’s a hotel now, not a home.    To read the Villa Tre Ville web site, go HERE.

 

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Can you guess who these two are:  Yes!  It’s Romeo and Juliet all grown up.  Juliet, Olivia Hussey, looks exactly the same!!!  That’s Leonard Whiting who played Romeo. 

 

 

BIG GIVEAWAY ON THE SKIRTED ROUNDTABLE!!!!!

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We are having a really big giveaway on the Skirted Roundtable.  So run over to that blog, www.skirtedroundtable.blogspot.com and check it out!!!!!  Hurry!!!!

 

 

AND FINALLY, A NEW BLOG DESIGN!!!

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As you can probably notice, I have changed my blog after all this time.   For the past year, I have played around with different styles and even hired a few blog designers to create something new, but nothing really “sent” me.   When I was doing the chandelier giveaway, I fell madly in love with Julie Neill’s new web site HERE and contacted her designer, Nancy Morgan of Morgan Web Design HERE.  Within a day or two I had a working template that I really liked and felt that Nancy immediately understood what I wanted – something chic, something clean, something simple!   I highly recommend her if you are needing a web or blog designer!!!!  We still have a few tweeks to work out here and there, but I was so excited to show it off, I went LIVE a tad early!!!   Thanks Nancy for all your hard work.

77 comments:

  1. wow, Joni, you've done it again....a very superb article with amazing photos....love all the terraces coming off the rooms and restaurants...great post..maureen

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  2. Joni,
    As usual, the post is absolutely stunning. I especially love the table for two with the white tablecloth and stripe upholstered chair cushions.
    Thank you for sharing so much beauty.
    Teresa

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  3. So many breathtaking photos! Really appreciate all you do to create such wonderful posts. I have a fascination with smaller islands (solely via armchair traveling), so really enjoyed the post on Nureyev's islands. Bess

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  4. Those villas/rooms are out of this world! I've never seen anything like it.

    Lovin your new blog header and design too.
    xo~
    T

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  5. I think the setting and the grounds are gorgeous but I just can't get into the decor. I'd love to get my hands on this place, I'd gut it and start over.

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  6. So much beauty. I am speechless.

    So sorry that Schnabel could not refrain from leaving his mark.

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  7. How in the world are you doing it? You are absolutely amazing!
    I so enjoyed reading all about this lovely estate , its history and the glorious present state and design.
    It is adorable and reminded me in so many ways of the Italy I just visited in the summer. The beauty of it all...
    Thanks for all this!

    Victoria

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  8. Aaaahh My husband and I JUST spent our honeymoon in Positano in September. We stayed to the North of Villa Tre Ville but we did get to sneak in for a peak - it was absolutely breathtaking! Maybe we'll stay there for our 10 year anniversary! Great post!

    Melissa

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  9. Ahh, ooh and more ahhs to you and your new blog look...what a mouthwatering post!
    pve

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  10. Could you please put the old header back up and the background color? But I am pleased with the selection of the adds, and they appeal to me. I try to look at all of them.

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  11. This is the best blog post I've seen all week. I need to visit these places. Amazingly beautiful images!!

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  12. When I was a teenager, I saw Romeo and Juliet and loved that movie so much! It was a huge influence on me. I can't believe how good Olivia Hussey looks! She hasn't changed much at all. But Romeo.....not so much.
    We just got back from Italy, but didn't make it to the Amalfi. It is definitely on my bucket list! Seeing all the wonderful and huge photos of Zeffirelli's villa though, I feel like I went there. I would love to sit on those chaise lounge chairs and have a martini with you! Doesn't it make you wonder why we live in the U.S? Thanks for sharing--you always inspire me!

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  13. What a wonderful post... must look again!! And, the new design allows for BIG photos.... perfect!

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  14. BTW, I love your new blog design. It looks fabulous!

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  15. What a great giveaway! If I win, I would use the money to go toward the Rela Gleason leather settee. It has such beautiful clean lines, but is warm. I would put it in our library.

    Stacie
    csfalls@sbcglobal.net

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  16. Your comment on Romeo was so unnecessary and in such poor taste. There seems to be no restraint on the internet with the unkind things people say. Think what you like but he or someone who loves him might read that hurtful commentary. I think you would not like it if someone commented on your husband, children, or yourself like that and that you might try to protect them from reading it.

    I think he is still very handsome, just older now.

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  17. Oh my, I knew I needed to get away, but these images are killing me. I've never seen such a beautiful place. On another note, I really like your new blog design. I'm in the market and am going to contact her tomorrow. Yours looks fabulous! I think you achieved your goals.

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  18. So lovely -- I just read about this in Vogue and was dying to see more photos! Thanks for posting them. I'm ready for a vacation!

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  19. Joni...this was like a mini vacation...fun! Love all the blue hour pics...gorgeous!

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  20. Love, love the new look Joni.......Time for me to do that as well....xv

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  21. Mercy. You have time to present such beautiful detailed articles as this and revamp the blog design as well. Amazing!

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  22. Wow! What a fabulous post, so detailed with gorgeous images. You transported me to the other side of the world where one can relax, enjoy the weather and scenery and decor (all while I am sitting in my Australian living room). Also, love the new look, well done!

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  23. I suppose change is refreshing, but I prefer the intimate at home feel of your old website. The new site while using some of your former images has taken on a commercial look and the ads are very distracting when navigating to post by other bloggers. In short, the look lacks "richness".

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  24. Joni, The header looks fab! I love it! Its hard to get a look that feels right and I think your designer nailed it. Love the gold lettering.

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  25. I LOVE this post! Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us! I need to go off to work--I am so looking forward to reading this tonight!

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  26. Incredible- such beauty. The wealthy and famous really do have the world at their fingertips, but you have at least opened the door for a peek.

    Your photos are always so crisp and clear. Reading your blog is an addiction I must satisfy throughout the day. I don't know how you do it, Joni, but you are blog queen.

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  27. Amazing post...thanks for sharing. Hard to believe people live their daily lives there! Love that chandelier also!!

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  28. OK - so many things to love here today!! LOVE the new header - so elegant and clean yet still expresses your aesthetic. And the post - the Amalfi coast has been one of my dream vacations for years - but Villa Tre Ville is in a league by itself - definitely one of the most beautiful places to stay I have ever seen. And lastly, a small but important tidbit, I love how the comment box is separate from the blog - so you can look at the post while writing - so very helpful! Great job on all fronts.

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  29. Dear dear Joni - this is without a doubt my favorite post, by anyone, in ages, since you have combined so many wonderful photos with design ideas I will want to go back to again and again!!! Headboards, pillows, tiled walls and floors, lampshades, rustic garden pergolas, the couch in the Romeo & Juliet suite...WOW!

    Your quote says it all: It truly is "just possibly, the most beautiful place on Earth".

    Thank you!

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  30. Lovely post...For those who might actually want to experience something close in beauty and views....may not be as private or so glamorous but a less expensive alternative (still hardly cheap)...do check out Hotel Santa Caterina in Amalfi...very similar feel and actually attainable for those of us who are not boldface names and stars: http://www.hotelsantacaterina.it/en/index

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  31. Love your new blog design but please don't go to high tech and lose all the warmth of it being you. Love this post I keep telling the husband we're retiring to Italy, I just love Italy!

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  32. Have long enjoyed your blog but was sad to read your crass comment regarding Mr. Whiting. It is unfortunate he may one day Google himself (as most famous persons do)and stumble upon your hurtful and unecessary comment; not the southern charm To which most of us are accustomed. Shame on you. Would you like comments on how you look compaared to your youthful peak? I'm sure he wasn't posing with his former leading lady to subject to a peanut gallery. Please, it takes no extra effort to be kind.

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  33. Sorry for the typos -- posted in haste.

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  34. you did it again! Took us on another fantastic trip. I tried to surprise my hubby and book it for Christmas... but alas they were full at the inn! dang...

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  35. Joni In love with this post and I adore Italy!!

    A great new blog design!!

    Come and Enter my $200 giveaway from Fifi Flowers!
    xoxo

    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  36. I wonder who took all those wonderful photos....they are obviously done by a professional....do you know?

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  37. Europe is so beautiful. Wonderful images.

    I have to say I prefer your previous header and blog format. This one has a very slick, commercial look and feel. I liked the soft romantic feel of the other which seemed very suitable for your content.

    Commercialism is very tiring and wears on the spirit.

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  38. Oh my, oh my, oh me!!!
    Could it be that you've outdone even Joni here?!
    Seriously, this is like something otherworldy and too good to handle!
    Keep up the great trix ;)
    Alcira

    nerochronicles.com

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  39. Makes me feel like going on a long, long holiday in Italy !! lovely .....

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  40. the views, the kitchen, the pizza oven shower! oh my.

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  41. I once had the great fortune to visit the Amalfi coast, and actually dined at Le Pergola. What a wonderful experience, and how exciting to see pictures of that beautiful place on my favorite design blog. Wonderful post, Joni.

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  42. The first time I remember seeing Positano was in the movie Only You. I cried it was so beautiful. Have never been there myself but it shot to my top 10 list! Your new look is great, but I am missing your blog roll. I love to visit you and then jump to many of the others. Is that off your page for good? Thanks as always for a wonderful blog. I learn and copy and dream, all from you!

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  43. I could stay in any of the rooms and be thrilled to bits. So gorgeous! Joni, I hope they give you a suite for at least the weekend for giving them such good publicity -- I am serious! Seeing places on your website makes me want to go there, while seeing them on the sterile, official hotel websites usually does not.

    Liked the old Cote de Texas, but also like the new. Simple is nice, and Nancy did a very good job.

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  44. GASPING over those white chevron floors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    No, SERIOUSLY!!!!!!

    There are so many elements that I like in this post, but that in particular, took my breath away.

    As usual, you give SO much to us--and your research blows me away every time. Thank you :)

    xoxo,

    Andrea

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  45. If simplicity was the object, then your web designer failed to deliver. The site looks busy and disorganized. It looks less like a design blog and more like a retail website. Your decision to take on advertising makes the site look tacky. If you look around at other sites, most of the ones with advertising are also the ones whose sites are the least visibly appealing. While I am not addressing content in the least and I am certain that content will remain a constant, the site is no longer particularly pretty to look at.

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  46. Lets take a trip...oh, come on...lets do it! Positano is positively the most beautiful place ever. franki

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  47. Your articles and photos always educate and inspire....I do appreciate the time and effort behind your writing these.
    I really LOVED your old format...couldn't wait each time I visited to see the header with that gorgeous fabric which looked handpainted in such a lovely shade of aqua, as well as the stunning urn, mirror, etc. I agree this is a "streamlined' format.... but now these pictures are so cropped that there is no visul impact left... (really, the very bottom portion of that urn? ) With all due respect, too edited..... and the content portion is very much harsher on the eyes... your previous format was so kind and pleasing. It is not my intention to be hurtful or offensive in my expressions of my preference for the "real Joni'.... but I could truly see no need for anything to be changed.....of course, I will still be a faithful reader.. but you have edited out all that made you a standout..

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  48. Congrats on the new look Joni.

    Now i have to go and tuck myself under a blanket and dream of the Amalfi coast. Great Gallery.

    vie

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  49. Now you really got me going...I am ready to plan my next vacation, Amalfi coast it will have to be.
    Thank you for another fabulous post.

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  50. This must now be the ultimate Honeymoon destination, it's too fabulous and the views of Positano just beg for a water taxi call. Though I loved the Zefirelli home too; it looks casual and lived in and like a place the ultra chic would hang. Sans pretention. Lovely, all.

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  51. Joni,
    Thank you for the vacation. I had a wonderful time.

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  52. Great new look! I was randomly surfing one evening and linked to your site from Color Outside the Lines. After reading for a couple of weeks, I just had to go back to the beginning (May 2007) so I could read every post coming forward in time. (I'm currently in June 2009.) What a truly amazing, lay-friendly education in interior design! Your clients are very fortunate. In fact, we all are. Thank you!

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  53. Happy to see French style taste from a Texan perspective but sad to see southern manners leaving. The unfortunate middleage Romeos among us who may be losing our teenage looks. Your careless comment is hurtful. Most your readers seem willing to overlook. I hope it is not a sign of the new adult community. Please apologize to the actor who offered our world one of the most beautiful of classic movies. I hope his eyes never reach your blog.

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  54. I've been to a few places but not Italy. Well, I drove through once; not sure that counts. I love the photos. Breathtaking! My favorite spot -- anywhere -- is the kitchen, and this one is so fun, so charming. GREAT look, too -- for you, that is. So rich looking. Which is a perfect look, because you fulfill our design "wants" so richly, completely. cheers-s

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  55. Hi, Joni. I'm enjoying the virtual Italian vacation you've been treating us readers to lately, and congratulations on your new blog design! It was a real treat to see Romeo and Juliet all grown up, too -- kind of like rewriting the end of Shakespeare's story with a happy ending where the poor lovesick kids don't have to die! :-)

    Quick OT question: A few posts back you mentioned that you subscribe to some design mags digitally with Zinio. I checked it out and got all excited when I saw that several of my favorite French design magazines are available on Zinio, for way less than what you would pay to have the magazines mailed internationally. But I can't figure out how to save pictures from Zinio magazines; right-click doesn't work and Zinio tech support says it can't be done. The whole reason I subscribe to design magazines is so I can save and file beautiful images as inspiration for future projects. Do you know of a way around this problem, or do I (please God no!) have to print out the pictures one by one and then scan them in?

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  56. Your new look is more commercial looking which says to me it's about time we see "Cote de Texas" the magazine on the news stands.
    I did love love love that pretty blue in your previous look so much that I saved your header. This one does not make me want to save the header but it does make you look evolved.
    Change the backround beige to that pretty blue?

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  57. This is amazing! I know that word is over used, but really... the views inside and out leave me speechless! Thanks for sharing.

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  58. Ok ...so many thoughts.

    First on the post, I loved it and found all of the photos wonderful, interesting and very much a reflection of how I would expect the Villas along the Amalfi coast to look like...but alas, I have never been there. Ironically many people think that Catalina Island in California looks much like this coast line. There... I have been.

    Now to the blog...it's yours! You own it and give it your personal stamp. Change is good, though many can't see that.

    Stay the course...that has been your success Joni

    Warmest wishes for the Holidays!

    Kelley

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  59. Joni

    Love the new "look!" And the article was awesome....made me want to take a trip and maybe never return home :)

    Alex

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  60. This is not your case, but I have been looking at design blogs who advertise and interestingly they are not what I would consider the "go to" blogs for good design, education and resource material. Joni, take a cruise thru blogland and see for yourself that the ads diminish your legitimacy. Redefine your website to at least something in harmony with your old site. A good site doesn't need to "hawk" other people's merchandise.

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  61. Just started my blog today. Please drop by and see if you like. Keep in mind. This is my first post. I hope to get better. Like you, my hero. myoldhistorichouse.blogspot.com

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  62. How do you do it girl?!!? Beautiful post....I am ready to make my flight plans. And the new blog design is great! I think I will be giving Nancy a call!

    I am off the SRT!

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  63. Dear Joni;
    Just want you to know I couldn't sleep last night...I felt so ROTTEN and MEAN!I have never ,ever, written the first negative word about any blog I've visited before til last night. I would say I don't know what got in to me, but I do.... we'd had a very long day with a close family member at the Dr.s office, and the news was so not good.... the hour was late when I visited you, and I truly was jolted by the new look..... you know how when you're down, you just want to put on your fave old "jammies, and curl up (so to speak) with your favorite things... and get those good vibes going again.... I have to tell you, just opening your home page has always put me in the Bliss state... you know the song, "Anticipation"? Well, you get the idea.... so ....I raced thru the post(yeah, really raced past all that Gorgeousness !) and didn't bother reading much of anyone else's comments.... just wanted you to know how HURT I was....YOU CHANGED MY FAVORITE Header!!!!
    Oh how contrite I am.... after all you've done for me... you've educated me... you've enthralled me, you've made me LAUGH OUT LOUD, LOUDLY....you've entertained like no other...
    So Joni, I take it all back. After all, Do I post this blog, or do you?.... just keep on blogging and I'll adjust to the loss of the old header(Darn, why didn't I think of saving it?) and the new format and I'll work on having a better attitude!
    Gratefully yours,
    aa

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  64. Alice, I just reread your earlier post and I thought it was quite measured. It was also thoughtfully written in detail. The site has undergone a big change and not for the better. One would hardly know a designer is writing it unless you are a regular. It's beginning to look like a travelogue of sorts.

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  65. Alice-relax - I totally forgive you - and i relate!! believe me, I loved my old header too and this has been a real change for me and I drove Nancy crazy and at times just wanted to say forget it and go back to the way it was. but ok - here's the truth. i designed my own blog over 3 years ago. i've rarely changed anything about the blog, and the lettering on the pictures was awful, amateurish. I tried to update it myself, but felt it still needed a tuneup. I tried to keep it in feeling with what it was before, but my left side bar was a total mess and Nancy gave me a professional design that I think is really chic looking. i think the boxes around the left side bar make it neater and easier to read. i love the gold lettering and i love the pictures with the gold look to them. after all, i love gilded french antiques!!!! so relax. change is good. Nancy did a great job in my opinion.

    Anon- I know you have left several comments over and over again (as you are wont to do) but let me explain this to you: I resisted accepting ads for over 3 years. I've watched while almost every other blog took ads, but I never did because i didn't want to be told what to do on my own blog, etc. lijit approached me and i decided to see what it was like to take on sponsors. because trust me, the blog is a lot of work for which i don't make a penny and it helps to be reimbursed for my time just a little. i wont get rich off the ads, but it does lend it some credibility. I've worked long and hard for the blog and the readers and i am not going to feel guilty about this. i have given a lot of people free advertising here and continue to do so, so it all balances out. anon, until you write your own blog and spend 5 to 10 hours a day doing do, plus run a business, please don't judge my choice to take on sponsors. I barely have a life anymore, you just have no clue how much time i spend on research. besides, after all this time, the decision NOT to take ads was the odd one and began to seem pretentious not to do so. I can use help just as much as the next blogger. sorry it bothers you so much.

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  66. Alice, don't worry! all if forgiven!! trust me, I had trouble with the changes too, but it needed to be done, it was very amateurish before and after almost 4 years, it was time for a little face lift.

    anon- i love the multiple messages you have left. until you write your own blog and spend 5 to 10 hours a day doing so, plus running a business, then you might appreciate where i am coming from. most blogs take on sponsors. the ones that don't' with the same level of readership is slim. to not take sponsors at this stage seemed pretentious.

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  73. Loved everything about this post, I would love to visit italy. Also the "humanity asleep" painting was very good.

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  74. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  75. Stunning views! Of my, how magnificent that blue blue blue ocean looks!
    I also adored the gorgeous glass chandelier in the lobby of the Villa Azzurra.

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