This splendid structure, set within a vast municipal park overlooking the sea, is perched on a picturesque tuffaceous cliff.
It offers a truly breathtaking vantage point with views of the Gulf of Naples. The villa, designated as a national museum, follows a neoclassical architectural style, featuring two floors and a rectangular layout. Unfortunately, parts of the villa collapsed following the earthquake of 1980.
Villa Fondi De Sangro, a magnificent estate of historical significance, was commissioned in 1840 by Prince of Fondi, Don Giovanni Andrea De Sangro. It stands as an exquisite architectural masterpiece adorned with elaborate stucco work, charming majolica tiles, and captivating frescoes. Inside, you can still behold a classic Vanvitellian-style staircase leading to the upper levels.
This splendid structure, nestled on a striking tufaceous cliff and boasting a spectacular vantage point overlooking the sea, offers a truly marvelous belvedere with sweeping views of the Gulf of Naples. Villa Fondi, designated a national museum, showcases neoclassical architectural design over two rectangular floors, albeit some parts suffered damage during the earthquake of 1980.
Acquired by the Municipality of Piano di Sorrento, the villa has been meticulously restored, preserving the intact portions and reconstructing those that were damaged. Today, it serves as a multifunctional venue, housing the George Vallet Territorial Archaeological Museum of the Sorrentine Peninsula, which houses artifacts dating from the 2nd millennium BC to the Roman era. Of particular interest is the park, representing the typical gardens of the mid-19th century, featuring a rich and diverse collection of botanical species.
Reconstructing the original garden layout from 1875 cadastral documents, it becomes evident that there have been no significant alterations over time. Truly new elements include a valuable Roman mosaic nymph, originally from Marina della Lobra, and a structure constructed to the southwest housing the emergency exit for the conference room and restroom facilities.
The ancient greenhouse has been transformed into a bar area. The only new avenue is the one that encloses the existing paths and leads to the Roman nymph. The rest of the garden has remained largely intact with two distinct sections. The smaller eastern section features a layout of various flowerbeds, while the larger western section is characterized by two orthogonal avenues and a rotated layout with four distinct plots of land used for tree cultivation, housing around two hundred and fifty predominantly olive trees, palms, and a monumental pine tree approximately two hundred years old. Additionally, you can find camellias, gardenias, bird-of-paradise flowers, oleanders, magnolias, banana trees, carob trees, holm oaks, cypresses, yews, and strawberry trees, among others. This remarkable diversity contributes to making it one of the most beautiful gardens in the region, comparable to Villa Lucia in Castellammare di Stabia, Ravello’s Villa Rufolo, and the Naples Botanical Garden.
An intriguing feature is the belvedere, with its majolica pavement adorned with rose petal motifs and a small octagonal gazebo with a cupola, maiolica-clad, positioned to the east of the park.