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Villa Della Pergola

March 9, 2017 Luxury Hotels No Comments Email Email

THE RETREAT

Set in lovely gardens (22.000 square meters) , Villa della Pergola, Villino della Pergola and Casa del Sole are all elegant masterpieces of architecture that date from the end of the nineteenth century overlooking the Gulf of Alassio  .

After its winter closing, Villa della Pergola is reopening on the 7th April: a perfect where guests staying can feel completely at home in any of its twelve suites, each different from the other, and each dedicated to characters who have stayed at Villa della Pergola or who have been part of the aristocratic British colony that took up residence at Alassio. Villa della pergola is open until the end of October.

The building have a quite unique history that is in fact intimately bound up with this English community that chose to stay on this coast in the years between 1800 and 1900 as one of their favourite wintering holiday spots.

The Villa and the garden were originally the idea of the Scottish General William Montagu Scott Mc Murdo in 1875. In the early years of the twentieth century the grounds and the Villa della Pergola passed into the hands of Virginia Woolf’s cousin Sir Walter Hamilton Dalrymple.

In 1922 the new owner Daniel Hanbury, second-born of Thomas, designer and owner the celebrated Hanbury gardens of La Mortola, Ventimiglia, began the work of developing the collections of plants in the grounds, drawing on the resources of the family’s own botanical gardens.

For a while the gardens were largely abandoned and so deteriorated. In 2006 a string of friends guided by Silvia and Antonio Ricci, always well aware of the story of these lands and eager to safeguard, protect and restore the landscape, purchased the property at auction to save it from the developers. 

The two villas (that is the Villa and the Villino della Pergola), that were lovingly restored by the architect Ettore Mocchetti, replicate the English Victorian residences to be found in India and in Malaysia with studiously selected furnishings and an elegant collection of Victorian and Edwardian watercolours and paintings that reflect the good taste of the fin de siécle.

In a secluded corner of the luxuriant garden stands the Casa del Sole, which owes it name to its fortunate position which ensures it is constantly flooded by natural light. The Casa del Sole was the preferred setting for the relaxing afternoon teas for the Dalrymple family and later for the Hanburys, both previous owners of Villa della Pergola.

Villa della Pergola has just been selected to be part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the exclusive club including small independent hotels. Hotels have been carefully selected to celebrate their unique characteristics and high standard.

For information and booking:

Villa della Pergola, via Privata Montagu 9, 17021 Alassio (Savona – Italy)

Ph. +39.0182.646130 – Ph.+39.0182.646140 – info@villadellapergola.com www.villadellapergola.com

THE RESTAURANT

Enjoy lunch or dinner with views over the Gulf of Alassio, there among the lovely colours of Villa della Pergola. This chance should be taken to visit Ristorante NOVE, run by chef Giorgio Servetto, with its highest quality foods sourced from authentic produce of this area, and the great importance it places on seasonal freshness. In the same spirit of authenticity the chef and his team pick citrus fruits, aromatic herbs, and edible flowers from the gardens of Villa della Pergola to produce the dishes they then offer up to the guests.

NOVE was inaugurated just a year ago and within a few months had already began receiving serious recognition, including “two hats” from the Espresso guide, second place for the restaurants of Liguria as well as entering Italy’s top fifty list and earning  “two forks” from the Gambero Rosso guide.

New this season for NOVE are the “Cene quattro mani” or the “four hands dinners”: soirées from the Chef Giorgio Servetto in cooperation with Michelin-star chefs.

The initiative will bring together some of the best chefs in and from Liguria, bound as they are by friendship, sometimes very long friendships, with chef Servetto. The idea is the result of a wish to learn from each other, bringing together different ideas and approaches to their cuisine.

The objective is to raise awareness of and a passion for quality cooking with dishes with the personal touch and created using excellent quality products.

Upcoming “Cene quattro mani” events will be:

Friday 17th March: chef Giorgio Servetto with chef Andrea Sarri (one Michelin star) of Ristorante Sarri in Imperia;

In May: chef Giorgio Servetto with chef Giuseppe Ricchebuono (one Michelin star) of Ristorante Vescovado in Noli.

These events will be followed by others, with more Michelin-star chefs in July, August and September at dates that are currently being organised.

Information and reservations:

Ristorante Nove via Privata Montagu 9, 17021 Alassio (Savona)

info@noveristorante.it; www.noveristorante.it.

THE GARDENS

Guests of the relais can go on a journey of discovery of the Gardens of Villa della Pergola. These were created at the end of the nineteenth century and are a rare example of the English garden in Italy. Painstaking restoration by the landscape architect Paolo Pejrone, we can now enjoy the unique experience of a walk through typical Mediterranean plants that grow side by side with rare exotic flora. The gardens are also the home to botanical collections of importance such as that of the agapanthus, with 400 specimens here, a unique sight in Europe in terms both of scale and importance, as well as a collection of 28 varieties of wisteria and citrus trees.

The grounds are open to the public every weekend from 25th March to the end of October, with guided tours that can be booked in advance. Only group bookings can be made for weekdays.

For information, opening times, prices and bookings consult: www.giardinidivilladellapergola.com info@giardinidivilladellapergola.com +39 0182/646130

THE FLOWERINGS

The splendid Villa del Pergola gardens bloom afresh every season with different species with the passing of the months.

In March and April, the wisteria explode into colour on the pergolas that have given their name to the Villa. The collection consists of no less than 28 varieties, with their different forms and colours (which include the likes of Wisteria brachybotrys “Shiro Kapitan Fuji”, Wisteria floribunda “Burford”, Wisteria floribunda “New Blue Fountain”, Wisteria floribunda “Nishiki”, Wisteria floribunda “Lilac Rose”, Wisteria floribunda “White Blue Eye”, Wisteria sinensis “Jako”, Wisteria macrostachya “Clara Mack” and the Wisteria “Nana”). These highly perfumed flowers were much loved by the Hanbury family that owned Villa della Pergola for nearly the whole of the twentieth century. In the years after the Second World War Ruth Hanbury used to organise the “Wisteria festival” during its flowering period, an event that was regularly attended by writers, journalists and elderly officials of the British Empire.

In June and July the gardens of Villa della Pergola bloom in the deep and light blues and whites of the flowering Agapanthus which form swathes of rich colour like the waves of the sea. The collection of these is quite unique in Europe, both in terms of numbers and of species, with over 4000 different varieties to be found here. The plant originally came from southern Africa, with the first Agapanthus introduced to Villa della Pergola by the early English owners at the end of the nineteenth century. In 2006, with the restoration of the garden –  a large collection of new species was created.

July is the month that sees the lotus flowers open, wonderful water plants grown in tubs retrieved from ancient cisterns that were used to collect rainwater for the irrigation of the grounds. The whole system was expertly restored to operational condition again in 2006 and now serves the whole garden with water.

The summer months are the ideal time for strolling through the gardens against the backdrop of the colours of Mediterranean and tropical vegetation. At this time the solanum and the trumpet vines are in flower while the water lilies appear in the fountains and rockery pools. The brilliantly coloured African and American hibiscus then flower alongside the blue plumbago and it is also the time of the maximum splendour of the Mediterranean scrub and olive trees.

The Gardens also host an interesting collection of citrus plants that blooms in the late summer and early autumn.

Seasonal flowerings:

April: wisteria, spiraea and iris

May: roses and Mediterranean scrub

June-July: agapanthus, hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ and “quercifolia”, solanum, bignonia and plumbago

July:  lotuses and waterlilies

August-September: olives, citruses, hibiscus and Mediterranean scrub

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