A story of romance and heritage over more than a century gets a chance to add new chapters to its life.

BY Joseph Lancaster

After being abandoned for seven years one of the most beautiful villas on the Tuscan coast has been sold, Villa Godilonda in Castiglioncello, previously owned by the Bulgari jewellers. A businessman from Eastern Europe has bought it for €6 million, explains the real estate company Lionard Luxury Real Estate which negotiated the sale.

Soon, renovation work will begin to create one of the most luxurious and beautiful hotels in the world with a history steeped in bespoke Italian style and interestingly a fabled romance as well.

It seems that Gabriele D’Annunzio, one of Italy's most important writers, poets, playwright and politician, gave it the name Godilonda, from “godi l’onda” or “enjoy the waves”, after having spent a romantic and passionate night here at the beginning of the 20th century. Built at the end of the 19th century on the land of Baron Patrone (who owned Castle Pasquini), in 1924 it was bought by the American Carter family and after the war, became the summer residence of the Bulgari family, before being transformed in the eighties into a hotel where famous Italian actors from Marcello Mastroianni to Vittorio Gassman and Walter Chiari stayed whilst frequenting Castiglioncello. In 2007 it was closed indefinitely.

Constructed on the extreme point of a promontory, like the bow of a ship, from which you can enjoy a splendid view, the property is composed of the main villa of roughly 1700m2 with 28 bedrooms, a winter garden and a spa where you can have a sauna, massages or Turkish bath. 11,000 square metres of park and Mediterranean scrub, a private beach and the possibility of creating a helipad complete the property. After the degradation of the last years, the villa can finally live again, and contribute to the relaunching of one of Tuscany’s most beautiful seaside resorts.

The sale of Villa Godilonda is just the last operation concluded at Castiglioncello by Lionard Luxury Real Estate: a few months ago Villa Pontello was sold, formerly of Count Flavio Callisto Pontello, builder and ex-president of the Fiorentina Football Club; while Villa Corcos is still for sale, which belonged to Alberto Sordi.