Ever since La Posta Vecchia—J. Paul Getty’s 17th–century former home along the seaside just outside of Rome—opened as a 19-room hotel in 1990, it’s been possible to buy it out in its entirety, assuming the place wasn’t already booked up. But when the property overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea debuts for the 2020 season in a couple of weeks (delayed from its usual Eastertime opening by the coronavirus), it will—for the first time—be available only as an exclusive-use vacation villa. That means that as Italy slowly reopens, you and yours can ensconce yourself in the relative safety and security of a private home whose impressive history and provenance are matched only by the beauty of its acres of gardens and its rooms filled with some of the world’s finest examples of Renaissance furniture.
“I grew up here, and it’s such a unique place,” says Marie-Louise Sciò, whose father, Roberto, bought the property from Getty in 1980, living in it with his family before turning it into a sister hotel to his beloved Il Pellicano. Over the last few months, the Sciòs have been using it again for themselves, for the first time in 30 years, and Sciò—who now serves as CEO and creative director of the hotels—notes that being back in residence full time with her family made her want to share it that way with others more than ever.
For this upcoming season, the plan is to make 15 of the 19 rooms available for the buy-outs, though—given the baseline staff of five that will be taking care of the guests—the ideal (and recommended) occupancy is eight to 10 rooms. Beyond the perfectly and grandly appointed bedrooms, those who book the house will have access to the property’s various salons and gathering spaces; indoor pool, outdoor turf tennis court and small pebble beach; and the private basement museum devoted to the ancient ruins Getty discovered hidden beneath the villa.
The staff will include a house manager, waiter, housekeeper and a chef who will pull from the on-site orchard and newly planted vegetable gardens—the latter rich with everything from artichokes to watermelon—to craft your meals. Fresh fish will be sourced from local purveyors, and guests will also have access to a 600 label-strong wine cellar stocked mainly with Italian selections, as well as some vintage bottles from Bordeaux.
“There’s a formality to the hotel,” Sciò says of the difference between staying at La Posta Vecchia in a single room or suite and taking it over entirely. “But as precious as everything is, it all feels a lot less so when you’re living here as if it’s your own home. There’s a wonderful fantasy element to this place. I think that’s why people love it.” Pricing starts at €50,000 (approximately $54,245) for 8-10 rooms, for a minimum stay of one week; food and beverage charges will be based on consumption. Rates will vary depending on time of year and number of guests, so contact the property directly for more details.