Writer Gore Vidal famously owned this gravity-defying villa in Ravello, along Italy’s Amalfi Coast. The gem perched precipitously on 1,000 foot cliff, above the Tyrrhenian Sea, has come up for sale.
The 6.5-acre estate was first visited by Vidal in 1948, with his pal Tennessee Williams. He bought the property in 1972 and made it his full-time home in 1993. He regularly entertained his famous friends, including Greta Garbo, Lauren Bacall, Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon, Andy Warhol and even Hillary Clinton. In 2004, when it became too difficult for Vidal to navigate the different levels, he sold it to a local hotelier, and moved back to LA to his 20s Mediterranean in Outpost Estates.
Named, La Rondinaia, was designed with a classical Roman floor plan — a series of rooms that open off long halls — with barrel vaulted ceilings, carved limestone fireplaces, and exuberantly colorful tile floors. Built around 1930 for a wealthy English banker, it features arched windows with ornate grillwork that frame incedible sea views, and French doors open to wrought iron railed balconies and terra cotta tiled terraces that seem to hover over the cliff. There are generously proportioned entertaining spaces, six bedrooms and seven bathrooms in 10,500 square feet spread over four floors. Outside shaded pathways wind between lemon and olive groves, grape arbors, and extensive mature gardens, a swimming pool with pool house and sauna that was added by Vidal in the 80s. It can all be yours for around $21 million.