Exquisite hospitality awaits on the Sorrentine Peninsula, in a charming historical residence from the 1600s. It offers its guests an oasis of tranquillity, well-being and relaxation, providing a breath-taking panorama of Sorrento and Mount Vesuvius. It is also strategically located for visiting Sorrento (10 km), Pompeii (22 km) and Amalfi (40 km).
It is hard to imagine being just a few kilometres away from Sorrento, Pompeii and Amalfi, and still being far from the busy crowds and traffic, but any lingering doubts you may have simply fade away as you approach Astapiana Villa Giusso. Suspended between the sky and the sea, this dwelling from another era, so resonant with the past and yet firmly anchored in the present, evokes a strong desire to feel at peace with oneself and with others through a contemplation of nature and the rediscovery of the rhythms of rural life.
This historical residence from the 1600s, originally a Camaldolese monastery, offers its guests an oasis of tranquillity, well-being and relaxation, providing a breath-taking panorama of Sorrento and the Gulf of Naples.
Visitors are accommodated in six rooms, each furnished with authentic period furniture, and a small independent apartment, ideal for four people. Breakfast is served buffet-style in the ancient majolica-tiled kitchen, where guests can also gather in the evening for a dinner which is characterised by traditional recipes that make good use of the farm's fresh and genuine local products. They can enjoy relaxing on the panoramic terrace, explore the countryside, stroll through the park with its ancient oak trees, or try their hand at walking along the invigorating "life and nature" wellbeing pathway.
Accommodation: The rooms are located in the main building, the large guesthouse or in the adjacent former monks' cells. The ancient guesthouse exudes an atmosphere of times gone by: the rooms, equipped with private bathrooms, have all the charm of past times with their antique furniture and wrought-iron beds. The monks’ cells are in fact small self-contained ‘dépendances’ that have undergone careful restoration and are very welcoming and charming. Additionally, guests staying in these outbuildings have their own external area. For those who wish to spend a week in complete autonomy, the entire cell named "Annunciata" can be reserved. Ideal for four people, it comprises two rooms – San Cesare and Affresco – with one double and one twin room, each with its own bathroom, as well as a lovely kitchenette.
The estate: The Villa Giusso Astapiana complex is a successful model of a settlement that has maintained its harmony with nature and has been developed while respecting the surrounding environment. It is situated 400 metres above sea level, in a splendid natural position dominating the Sorrentine Peninsula. The property consists of several buildings and is surrounded by approximately 15 hectares of land, part of which is dedicated to olive groves, vineyards and vegetable gardens, and part of which is chestnut woodland. Many activities take place on the estate: a very large area is occupied by olive trees, while the vineyards are to be found where the soil is drier. There is also an area dedicated to farmyard animals (chickens, geese and ducks), as well as our two cows, Carolina and Margherita. Visitors are invited to explore the chestnut woods with their designated nature observation sections. Meanwhile, the vegetable gardens, a herb garden and ancient fruit trees (rowan and jujube trees, centuries-old strawberry trees) are to be found in an area closer to the farm buildings and rainwater cisterns.
THE HISTORY OF ASTAPIANA VILLA GIUSSO
Astapiana is mentioned for the first time (under its ancient name of Astichiano) in 1578 by Monsignor Sacra, who, in one of his apostolic reports, lamented the state of ruin in which the ancient small church of S. Maria in Jerusalem, likely of Angevin-Aragonese origin, found itself.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the area of Vico Equense was chosen for the construction of a Camaldolese monastery. In 1604, at the pressing invitation of the Prince of Conca and Lord of Vico Equense, Matteo di Capua, and thanks also to the generous bequest of a certain Cesare Zaffarano, work began on the building and was completed three years later.
Twelve cells were built for the monks along with two guesthouses, one of which was extremely large and was prized for its majolica-tiled kitchen. In addition, a double defensive wall with two towers was constructed. The only thing missing was a church worthy of the religious complex, which had meanwhile become a priory. This was remedied on two successive occasions: first in 1641, when a new church was built on the site of the old one, consecrated to Santa Maria in Jerusalem and Saint Romuald, the founder of the Camaldolese Order. A century later, the building was renovated and rebuilt from the foundations.
The new church, completed in 1774, with its single nave and four side chapels, had five altars (the main one of which is particularly notable, given what happened to it in later times) and three large canvases commissioned to artist Nicola Cacciapuoti: the Nativity as the main altarpiece and the Ascent to Calvary and the Crucifixion for the walls of the nave. The church’s period of splendour, however, was short-lived: in 1807, during the Napoleonic rule, ecclesiastical institutions were abolished, and monastic orders dissolved. The monks had to leave the convent, which was confiscated by the state, and the entire complex fell into a state of neglect. The volumes in the library were dispersed and the church was stripped. The high altar was taken to San Marcellino in Naples and later to the Cathedral of Sorrento (where it currently occupies the place of honour, albeit in a dismembered condition).
In 1815, Joachim Murat, fleeing after his military defeat, found refuge in the main guest quarters.
The former monastery, which became a Royal Site after the return of the Bourbons to the throne of Naples, was then ceded to Duke Luigi Giusso, who established an experimental production for the kingdom: namely, silkworm farming. It initially thrived, but subsequently had to be abandoned after a few decades due to an epidemic that decimated the silkworms and eliminated this type of cultivation from the Sorrento Peninsula. The Duke therefore abandoned his innovative plans and transformed the guesthouse into a country residence, a function it held throughout the 20th century. After that time, the site acquired its current name, Astapiana Villa Giusso.
Several generations of the Giusso family have now succeeded one another, and the current descendants are directly involved in managing the estate, which consists of several buildings and is surrounded by approximately fourteen hectares of land.
In ideal continuity with the past, when the monks used to welcome and refresh travellers, Astapiana Villa Giusso invites you and their guests, as the monks did back then, to become part of its history and fully enjoy its hospitality and magical atmosphere.
FACILITIES AND SERVICES: A MONUMENTAL VILLA ON THE GULF OF SORRENTO, SUSPENDED BETWEEN THE SKY AND THE SEA
Staying at Villa Giusso will first and foremost enable you to experience its enchanting atmosphere. Time seems to have stood still as you discover everyday objects from a century ago in the attic rooms: ancient family clothes, children's toys, personal hygiene items and other unusual items.
You will also be able to embark on a journey of discovery: the family chapel with its ornaments, the cellar, the ancient water cisterns, walks in the shade of centuries-old holm oaks, and the invigorating "life and nature" wellbeing trail, where you can exercise your body while enjoying the spectacular panorama of the entire Sorrento Peninsula and the Gulf of Naples with Mount Vesuvius.
Available for guests:
Guided tour of the interior of Villa Giusso Astapiana and of the farm and its activities;
Possibility of observing and participating in activities connected with the farm (subject to operational requirements): for example, firing up the wood-burning oven and preparing pizzas, grape harvesting and olive picking;
Cooking lessons and food preserving courses;
Sale of farm produce: extra virgin olive oil, preserves, pickles, jams.
Villa Giusso Astapiana, with its enviable natural location and its rich and varied history of more than four centuries, is an ideal setting for events characterised by originality and charm. It offers a range of different opportunities, first and foremost, daily visits, from a simple visit with a welcome drink to a visit combined with a cooking school or pizza-making.
It is the perfect setting for organising ceremonies and private events, hosting cultural exhibitions, musical and other types of events, literary salons, and dinner shows, concerts, to name but a few.
The structure lends itself to the organisation of meetings and corporate events outside the usual circuits: the conference room and dining hall are suitable for hosting seminars, training courses, business meetings, workshops, and small conferences for up to 50 people.
Villa Giusso in Astapiana is an ideal location and partner for all companies operating in the field of Outdoor Training.
It is a structure that can meet the various needs of this innovative form of training: combining a historical residence with nature, trekking paths which are among the evocative in the world, unique scenery and locations with historical, naturalistic, and symbolic significance, a conference room, and friendly, informal hospitality.
In a nutshell, it is a venue just waiting to be discovered, a place where Nobel Prize winners John F. Nash, Riccardo Giacconi, Sir Harold W. Kroto and Paul J. Crutzen, and countless other luminaries have been enchanted by the beauty of nature and its intimate perfection.
PLACES OF INTEREST IN THE VICINITY: THE AMALFI COAST
Due to its favourable geographic location in the heart of the Sorrento Peninsula, Astapiana Villa Giusso is an ideal starting point for exploring the natural, artistic, historical and archaeological treasures of this area of Campania, and is the perfect base for discovering the many beauties that have already been admired by millions of travellers over the centuries.
It is located just a short distance from Sorrento (10 km), Positano (16 km) and Amalfi (35 km), while Pompeii (22 km) can be reached in about 40 minutes, and Naples and the Campi Flegrei (or Phlegraean Fields), with the monumental complexes of Baia and Cuma, are one hour’s drive. Paestum and Velia are 80 km away.
There are frequent hydrofoils and ferries from Sorrento to Capri and, during the summer months, also to Ischia and Naples, as well as daily mini-cruises to the Amalfi Coast.
Nearest beaches: 6-8 km (Bikini, Capolagala, Marina di Vico, Marina di Seiano)
Special agreement with the Lo Scrajo thermal spa, 30 minutes away
Sports centre (horseback riding, tennis courts, volleyball, basketball) on Mount Faito (10 km)
WWF Oasis, 15 km away
Punta Campanella Marine Park, 10 km away.