|The recovery and management by the Vuilleumiers||| Print ||
Since the 1960s, the enthusiastic dedication and “loving intelligence” – to quote the words of Domenico De Masi, President of the Ravello Foundation – of the Vuilleumier family has allowed Villa Cimbrone to regain its magnificence, both as a historical place and as a botanical garden.
The successful project to recover, conserve and protect one of the most important cultural heritage sites in Campania springs from a bold idea by Marco Vuilleumier at the end of the 1960s, which has been pursued with great determination.
Villa Cimbrone had experienced a period of decline around the time of the Second World War. As the owners were English, during the conflict it was seized by the Italian State and for almost a decade it was totally abandoned. The unchecked growth of trees and lack of management of the systems had seriously impaired the views featured in the original design.
Step by step, with the aid of valuable suggestions from internationally renowned expert landscapers and botanists, the Vuilleumiers have worked to return the gardens to their glorious original state. Today the restoration project is largely complete, thanks in particular to the devotion of Prof. Arch. Alberto White, the precious contributions of Prof. Thomas Wright, the agronomist Federico Weber and the hard work of Pietro Amato, part of the fourth generation of gardeners in the Amato family.
Another important recovery and restoration project in recent years has involved the Palazzo, which was paying the harmful and dangerous consequences of a number of overlapping structural works being added over the centuries, often with poor quality materials.
During the restoration and renovation, great passion for the history of these places and painstaking professional care have ensured that the atmosphere of the old aristocratic residence has remained intact. This has all led to the creation of a small but prestigious Hotel de Charme inside the old villa, allowing the rooms and gardens to continue to be enjoyed in their original manner. The delightful bedrooms with exquisite antique Vietri flooring, the frescoed halls and the warm stone fireplaces still welcome illustrious figures. Amidst the wonders of the Mediterranean, they come looking for an exclusive place, invigorating tranquillity and unparalleled beauty.
While it cannot count on the support of State funds, Villa Cimbrone is a significant example of how it is possible in Italy, with the right amount of passion and intelligence and a constructive relationship with the authorities, to privately manage a monumental site of public interest in a praiseworthy manner, treating it like a part of the national heritage.