Villa Peonia

  • Region:
    Amalfi Coast
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This small monastery, standing on a rock directly above the Bay of Positano, was built as a Bishop’s residence. In 1716, during the baroque age, it was enriched by particular and precious objects from the Middle-East and other countries of the World, thanks to the fact that Positano was situated along the main trade route for spices, silk goods and products imported in the Old Continent. The merchants couldn’t help stopping here, fascinated by the magic atmosphere of the town, leaving not only works of art, but, most of all, a mix of culture and traditions of ancient populations.

Villa Peonia still preserves this human heritage with the painted ceiling, the lacquered doors, the inlaid-wood furniture, the stucco-works and the ancient laces hand-made by the master craftsman of that time. The Villa never lost its magnificence. Even when the World Wars brought to Positano privation and poverty, Villa Peonia preserved its sense of luxury, surrounded with breathtaking landscape that made, and continue to make, Positano a natural miracle.

Since the beginning of the year ‘900, Positano, day by day became the haunt of artists and literary men, who may be stopped there for the first time only by chance, but who were so inspired by the place that they came back time and time again…

This happened to Edward Ghillausen, a Bauhaus member, that artistic and philosophical movement suppressed for political reasons that we all know about. Being a Jew, he had to escape to Italy finding refuge in Rome. In the “Eternal City” he met and fell in love with Eva Maria Vivaldi and together they decided to live the rest of their life in the ” Heaven on Earth”: Positano.

Until the year 2000, Mr Ghillausen and Mrs Vivaldi, nearly a hundred years old, left the imprint of their culture and that of their illustrious guests on Villa Peonia: the Neapolitan Caprile, the German Richard Oelze, Picasso, Carrà, Siegfried Kracauer, John Steinbeck, Corrado Alvaro, Dino Buzzati, Alberto Moravia and between 1939-1945 the house was refuge of the persecuted fleeing Nazism, like Stefan Andres, whose name was given to the roads that leads to the palace. Armin Wegner, Martin Wolf and the Russian painter Ivan Zagaruiko were their friends, too. All of them left in Villa Peonia a bit of their souls… a piece of their hearts.

John Steinbeck wrote: “…when you discover a wonderful place like this, the spur of the moment is to hide your discovery. You will think, if I tell someone, the place will get full of tourists that will ruin it, people of the town will live only for tourism business and so … goodbye to your wonderful discovery …” 


Villa Peonia, is an historical house dating back to 1700 built in Baroque style totally decorated with antique furniture and paintings. The Villa is full of terraces, gardens with a spectacular view over the beach of Positano.

The Villa consists of four floors with a SPA included. The principal entrance is on the second floor, but you can also access the house from the fourth floor. From this entrance you cross through a Mediterranean garden full of bougainvilleas, and lemon and orange groves, from which the cook makes the natural juices and homemade marmalades that they are served for breakfast.

On the first floor there is the SPA, which also has an independent entrance, that can be used also by the staff. On the terrace there is a Pompeian fountain turned into a Jacuzzi looking over the sea. Indoors you will find a heated swimming pool with Jacuzzi and oxygen therapy. The SPA consists of a sauna, a tepidarium, showers and  a massage corner where, on request, professional massages are available. This area is equipped  with stereo and a plasma TV.

From this part of the house you can access the second floor – by an interior staircase – where you will find a large, fully equipped kitchen with a pizza oven where you can sample the typical local dishes made in a traditional way by our chef. On the same floor there is a large room which you can use as a dining room, relaxing room, or study, equipped with a computer with all the facilities (WiFi, Adsl line, fax, mail) so you can work in total relaxation. There is also a big library full of old and new books.

Both the kitchen and the living room have access to the terrace with a sea view. The terrace is elegantly equipped with chairs, sofas and tables. The perfect spot to enjoy an aperitivo as well as a candlelight dinner. From here there is the access to the garden which is just behind the Villa. The garden is delightful and equipped with chairs and tables.

On the third floor there are 2 master suites with en-suite bathrooms equipped with Hermes courtesy kit. Bedrooms are very spacious, furnished in baroque style. Each room has its own terrace facing the sea.

On the fourth floor there is a penthouse with two bedrooms, decorated in Mediterranean style, a white wood beams ceiling, with one big bathroom full of antique Neapolitan ceramic mosaics of 1700 for both bedrooms. These bedrooms have no terraces but windows with a stunning sea view. This area is perfect for young people or family guests.

The Villa is only 100 meters walk from Villa Oleandro. (Possibility of renting both properties for a larger party)*. It is at 15 minutes on foot (stairs) from Positano town centre and at 5 minutes on foot from the nearest public transportation stop. After this, the road becomes pedestrian only.

INCLUDED in the rate:

  • Maid 5 hours a day
  • Daily continental breakfast
  • Changes of bed linen and bath towels
  • Utilities (AC, heating, water, gas, electricity, WiFi, fax)
  • Phone concierge assistance

NOT INCLUDED in the rate:

  • Food and beverages
  • Porter
  • Telephone
  • Massage
  • Cooking classes
  • Wine tasting
  • Boat tour
  • Yoga lessons

* The Villa can be rented weekly and/or monthly.