The history of Bellevue Syrene, a luxury charm hotel in Sorrento, goes back to ancient times. The Roman remains and the wonderful grottoes dating back to the 2nd century BC, reveal the love the emperors had for this magical place set between wonderful greenery and azure sea.
The current villa of Sorrento’s 5-star hotel rises, in fact, on the foundations of a much bigger Roman villa where Emperor Augustus was exiled for political reasons.
It was the Earls Mastrobuono who began the construction of the current villa in 1750 for their summer vacations, and it was only in 1820 that a cosy hotel of about 30 spacious and comfortable rooms was created, within an oasis of peace and outstanding natural beauty.
Many illustrious guests have stayed to relax in this Sorrento hotel, lying between land and sea. Louis II of Bayern loved returning there often, Eugenia, Empress of France, stayed there for more than three months in 1868. She was dedicated one of the most beautiful frescoes in the villa, and this can still be admired in one of the beautiful suites. Many more writers and political figures have stayed here: the Spanish Prime Minister, Emilio Castelar, loved this place, the writer, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Ivan Turgenev. The French poet, De Lamartine, author of “Graziella”, stayed here in 1820 and at the beginning of 1900, King Paolo of Greece, Vittorio Emanuele III and Duke Amedeo d’Aosta with his wife the Duchess very often came to the hotel.The Russian poet, Jorge, found his inspiration here, too; in 1938, Marguerite Yourcenar, wrote “Le Coup de Grace” during her stay.
William Waldorf Astor, entranced by so much natural beauty, and to make a little of the grandeur of Rome live again, ordered the construction of the Villa Pompeiana, an almost perfect copy of the House of the Vetti in Pompeii, between 1905 and 1907. Among the profusion of archaeological finds, stuccoes, frescoes and the colonnades of the flowered terraces, Lord Astor, captured by the delightful surroundings, used to listen to the Mermaids’ song, the melodic breaking of the waves upon the rocks below.