Above: La Posta Vecchia, Ladispoli, Italy

La Posta Vecchia: An Italian Icon Revisited

La Posta Vecchia

On our final full day in Italy, we flew back to Rome. We decided to skip the city altogether in order to revisit one of the country’s most famous seaside hotels, La Posta Vecchia. The storied and long-recommended property is in an otherwise unremarkable town about 35 minutes from the airport, making it convenient for the first or last days of an Italian vacation.

Indoor stone pool overlooking the sea, La Posta Vecchia

We arrived on a drizzly and overcast afternoon, but the property still looked glorious. Originally built as a 17th-century villa to house overflow guests of the Orsini family, who ruled from the castle next door, the hotel is most famous as a former retreat of Jean Paul Getty, who furnished the house with Renaissance-era antiques. Our sea-view room was ornate but tasteful, with intricate antique furnishings offset by more casual details, like exposed wooden ceiling beams and a tile floor covered with a simple woven rug.

After freshening up, we explored the hotel. Earlier in the summer, I had been on a yacht in Sardinia with a friend who was a guest of the Gettys when he studied abroad in the 1970s. “It’s haunted,” my friend warned. “But you should really make sure to see the basement.” The basement, we learned, is home to Roman ruins that were discovered during Getty’s renovation. Excavations revealed an ancient Roman villa, which means that this property has been welcoming notable guests since about 200 B.C. A tiny spa occupies a different section of the cellar.

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Above: La Posta Vecchia, Ladispoli, Italy

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