Thursday, July 03, 2008

Ghosts of Enrico Ibsen

The beautiful Amalfi coast has attracted celebrities as tourists so much longer than most other places in Europe. The beauty of this rugged coastline south of Naples has inspired artists for hundreds of years, and a great many of them has lived at the impressive Hotel Imperial Tramontano in Sorrento. As the Ritz in London and the Negresco in Nice, this hotel is an institution as well. But if you want to roam the halls where Lord Byron once stayed it will cost you, but it is worth it.

Shelley was here and Sir Walter Scott, and...

For your interest I would like to refer to the text of the memorial plaque on the left.

"The west wing of this hotelry is the historical BIRTHPLACE of the celebrated Italian poet TORQUATO TASSO author of "Jerusalem delivered" and "Aminta" March 11th 1544.

Through its long history as a private mansion and as a hotel, the Tramontano has sheltered many great people of the literary world. It is legendary that
Milton visited this shrine during his travel, and it was graced by Goethe, Byron, Scott, Keats, Shelley, de Mousset Lamartine, Leopardi, and Longfellow.

James Fenimore Cooper lived here while writing "Water Witch" and Harriet Beecher Stowe here recieved her inspiration to write "Agnes of Sorrento."

Henrik Ibsen lived at Tramontano for six months and wrote his immortal "Ghosts" during that time.

"Come back to Sorrento" by G. B. de Curtis was composed at a terrace of the hotel.

This house has been patronized by royalty including
Queen Wilhelmina of Holland,
Empress Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, and Edward VII as Prince of Wales in 1862 and later King of England.

You who are visiting now are just as welcome and honoured as guest."

A room with a view to die for

I never went there, but my good friend Ketil and his wife did for their 50th anniversary. They had an incredible 10 nights in the shadows of the volcano Vesuvius.

To book a room with this view, does not get cheap, but if a room facing the blue Mediterranean water as the sun set behind Vesuvius is not the ultimate romantic venue, what is. From what Ketil and Astrid have told me sleeping under the same roof as Lord Byron was worth the price.

So what would a room, i.e. from July 29th to July 31st cost me? A query at shows a wide range of rooms at different prices, included buffet breakfast, VAT, service charges, city tax.

You can get a single room from €210 a night.
If you want to upgrade to a Double Superior Room Sea View the price rise to €320. On the top shelf you have a Senior Suite Sea View priced at €570 per night.

Maybe not what most of us would be willing to pay, or maybe we would? This is a location for a honeymoon, or anniversary, these once or twice in-a-lifetime-experiences. I would certainly consider this hotel for my honeymoon, a romantic setting where ghosts of many celebrities roam its rooms and halls.

It would be interesting to know how much of Henrik Ibsens drama that derives its inspiration from Imperial Tramontano?

Only the dead master knows, as he rests six feet under at Vor Frelsers Gravlund in Oslo. Here you may see his grave, and ask this question in vane.

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