If there is a spot or a building in Sorrento that immediately makes you think you are walking in a dream, it can only be the Imperial Hotel Tramontano. The hotel has a beautiful view of the Gulf that you can enjoy from its terraces, as well as the magic and history of an old building that welcomes its guests by putting them at ease with a true sense of serenity.
The hotel is a balcony overlooking the sea, where you can admire the mountains and the Vesuvius, the dark tops of the centuries-old trees soaring above the high walls of the villas and, below, the steep rocks and the dark caves of the tufa wall. This is not a space you should see at a hurried pace. It is for poets and guests who love to contemplate nature.
The history of the hotel has been tied together with the Tramontano family ever since the beginning of the 19th century, when pioneer Pasquale opened the “Corona di Ferro”, a small and simple inn, which was kept in business by his son Guglielmo, who in turn moved the hotel to Villa Nardi and then connected it to the nearby Villa Strongoli Pignatelli, changing its name to Hotel Tramontano in 1857.
The whole area soon became a favourite destination for international writers and artists, from Lamartine to James Fenimore Cooper, and the growing success convinced Guglielmo to buy the adjoining Villa Laurito Mastrogiudice. It was here, in 1544, that poet Torquato Tasso was born. Later, he left Villa Nardi and built a central structure, uniting the two in one complex named Hotel Tramontano. From then on, it was a veritable parade of distinguished guests.
If it is true that special events need special spaces, Hotel Tramontano is the proof. In 1871 Tsarina Maria Alexandrovna, wife of Tsar Alexander II, came to Sorrento with her retinue of about two hundred people to stay for two months. During that time, in addition to receiving numerous illustrious guests, the engagement between the Grand Duchess Maria of Russia and the Duke of Edinburgh was announced. For this event, the hotel was given the additional name “Imperial”, which it still has today.
Over the years, the Hotel Tramontano continued to attract nobility from all over Europe, as well as writers and artists.
After the first Guglielmo, his son the second Guglielmo began managing the hotel. He was also mayor of Sorrento for over a decade. Even if the hotel was a bit neglected during his management, Guglielmo Junior succeeded in bringing to the town of Sorrento (which lacked many public buildings), a post office, thanks to the relationships he built with the Head of the Government Giuseppe Zanardelli, who had been invited to stay at the hotel.
When he died, his children Torquato and Giulia took over the hotel, until it was sold in 1959 to Luigi Iaccarino (son of Alfonso, founder of the hotel of the same name in Sant’Agata sui due Golfi), former mayor of Massalubrense and deputy mayor of Sorrento under Achille Lauro.
Under Luigi Iaccarino, who died in February 1997, and today with his family, the Imperial Hotel Tramontano continued and continues to be a destination for meetings and for the holiday stays of illustrious international personalities.
It is a go-to for conferences and destination tourism from all over the world, as well as for actors and people in show business. The unaltered charm of the old building brings together modern comfort with new services and advanced technology. The rooms, for example, have been renovated in an intelligent and sophisticated manner.
The garden is stunning with its centuries-old trees and 230 plants, which includes the quite rare yucca Alaifolia marginata, the centuries-old camellias, the Aloe Africana, and the Phoenix Canariensis, the tree of madrone and abundance.
The pool is just a few steps away. For those who prefer the sea, the view can be enjoyed even from the most hidden spots. You can access the beach below by taking a comfortable lift directly from the hotel.
In the long history of the Hotel Tramontano, a large part is connected to the poet Torquato Tasso, born on March 11, 1544, in what was Villa Laurito Mastrogiudice, rented by the poet’s father the previous year. And it was in the garden of the Hotel Tramontano that the child poet spent the warm hours of his first summer, enjoying the freshness provided by the trees and walks with his mother and sister Cornelia.
The whole family then moved to Salerno and Tasso came back only once more to Sorrento, between July and December 1577, to see his sister once again. He experienced some very happy days with his sister, his nephews and his dearest friends, to whom he recited his verses.