Close to Amalfi, on the coast towards Positano, Villa Chandon overlooks the sea in the small gulf of Conca dei Marini.
It was the summer residence – from the 1960s to the 1990s – of the Chandon family, the famous champagne producer.
It was originally a fishermen’s house. Riccardo di Sangro, descendant of the famous Neapolitan dynasty and owner of the Ravello Palace, acquired it in the post-war period. He wanted to give himself a pleasant haven right in front of the sea, reachable in few minutes on his speedboat from Amalfi, and spared no expense. He called Coco Chanel, who hanged out often at the Amalfi Coast in those years, and asked her to design floors’ decorations and home furnishings, then realised by the famous ceramic factory “Ernestine” in Salerno.
After some years Riccardo, who knew the most famous celebrities at the time, sold the villa to Sandro d’Urso, renowned international lawyer. At the end of the 1950s he bought adjacent buildings and realised a major palace-villa. The nucleus of the palace was a large space with vaulted ceilings, originally devoted to the manufacture of tuna-fishing nets.
The Spanish architect Julio Lafuente renovated the building. He created a characteristic and wide complex with two jettys for boats and bathing, transformed the nucleus of the palace in a wide hall, a terrace, and underlying bedrooms, as they look like today.
Over the years, D’Urso was used to host famous people in the villa, such as Beatrice d’Olanda, Jacqueline Kennedy and her children, Giovanni Agnelli.
Then D’Urso sold the complex to the Count Chandon, owner of the Moet-Chandon company. The Chandon family spent long periods in Conca and the Italian wife of the Count, Francesca, set up her painting studio there.
From the 1990s the villa is property of the Centola family. It can be reached either from the Amalfi coast street, between Amalfi and Positano, and from a flight of about 250 stairs, or by boat.