Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa: So close to heaven

High above the Amalfi coast sits the Monastero Santa Rosa. The famous "Sfogliatelle", which once used to bake the nuns here, is now available for breakfast.

The windows of the Rosa Suite are like stained glass windows. In the windows of the sky. And down the sea. As if the gaze would not be enough, nature outside is now still performing a spectacle. It lights up over the alpine fish. The olive trees are shaking with their silvery branches. A double rainbow stretches over the black-blue sky and sinks in the churning sea. There, at the end of the rainbow, should be the pot of gold.

Already the drive to Monastero Santa Rosa is terrific. From the sprawling limbo of Naples, passing by Mount Vesuvius, you cycle along serpentines through the mountains. The villages climb up the slopes vertically. In between fields with vines, lemon trees, corn. "Campania felix" Pliny the Elder called this region. Dramatic he is, romantic as from the picture book. You can walk along Sentiero degli Dei, the path of the gods. Or from Positano to Salerno on the Amalfitanafahren, one of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world. Here is more than anything, wrote Goethe, who, with his travel narrations, created Italy's as yet effusive ideal. After him came Ibsen, Wagner, Benjamin and all the other artists and educated citizens whose Nordic yearning for the sun, nature and culture found their fulfillment here.

This article is from Weltkunst issue no. 01/2019. © Weltkunst Verlag

And today? If you want to access the worldwide network: The password is simplicity. But you do not want to. Manwill lie on the Sunset Terrace. Looking over the water's edge at the infinity pool. Lying in the terraced paradise garden. The scent of bougainvillea and lemon inhalation. Everywhere you find secluded corners, where you can harness the senses, look, smell, listen. The splashing of the fountains. The bells ringing from the neighboring fishing village. The esan of this luxury coast really still exists. From time to time you can hear the bright clang of a bell. A new guest has come. A novice who will be just as relaxed and relaxed in just a few hours as you are now.

Bianca Sharma discovered the former monastery from the boat. Like a giant stony bird nesting it in the rocks. The American called her financial advisor home in Texas. Do not do it, said the counselor. The Millennium nonetheless bought the dilapidated 17th-century building that had experienced a brief spring as a hotel with guests such as Jackie Kennedy in the 1970s.

Bianca Sharma has come over from Positano, she has a holiday home in the chic coastal town. "My husband died and I traveled alone for the first time in my life, I did not even know how to check in at a hotel, now I was suddenly a hotel owner." For eleven years she has done nothing but re-create this place. "We Americans have no relation to history. I wanted to continue to feel the spirit of the place, its original spirituality." The walls were repaired with the limestone used by the builders in the 17th century. She drove all over the country, climbing inneapolitan cellars, buying furniture once in palazzi. Big, dark, heavy. In the long, vaulted hotel corridors there are no numbers but enamel signs on the doors of the rooms. "Melissa" or "Primula" is the name given to plants that the nuns used to grow as pharmacists of their time in the cloister garden.