From the Adriatic coastal city of Fano, a gently winding road takes us uphill past fields of wheat, vineyards and olive groves, to the gates of this 19th century villa, once owned by Eugene de Beauharnais, Napoleon’s stepson. It eventually became the property and summer residence of the aristocratic Passi Family. Villa Giulia was occupied by German troops during WWII, then by Polish and eventually British commands. But one could say that the lure of this romantic place starts here, at this lovely gate, added to the estate for the wedding of the Marchioness’ daughter, Laura, to Count Marco Celio Passi in 1946. The villa’s private chapel was completely restored at this time and is still used for Sunday masses and special ceremonies. The Passi children have lovingly maintained this family home and four years ago opened it up to guests.
In a wooded garden of pines, oaks, cypresses, and even bamboo, this elegant residence offers shady respite overlooking the Adriatic Sea, and both the town and the port of Fano. A profusion of flowers graces the grounds and secluded footpaths, adding a potpourri of color and perfume to a breeze already scented by the woodlands and the sea. Everywhere one looks there is a serene beauty. Rooms are furnished in cherished family antiques, and when the weather is fine, breakfast is served on an outdoor terrace amidst this natural splendor. A walk through a grove of ancient olives brings one to an inviting swimming pool, for those feeling just too relaxed to head to the nearby beaches of Fano.
Villa Giulia offers something special for everyone, for those who seek a romantic getaway, for nature-lovers, and for families seeking a park-like setting where children can wander and play safely nearby as they relax and day-dream, far from their everyday cares.
All images and reviews copyright 2015 by Ginda Simpson
Relais Villa Giulia
Via di Villa Giulia 61032 Fano (Pesaro e Urbino) ~ Marche, Italy
Relais Villa Giulia ~ Original watercolor painting by Ginda Simpson