Antonio and Carla Sersale know how to throw a good celebration. For extra than two a long time the couple—both warm, gracious masters in the art of hosting and hospitality—have been the stewards of Le Sirenuse, the famed lodge glamorously perched on the Amalfi Coast in Positano.
Antonio acquired the business from his father Franco, one of 4 siblings who started Le Sirenuse in 1951 and turned the crimson palazzo into a haven for Hollywood stars since the days of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. The secret to its longevity, then and now, is a steadfast motivation to the plan of dolce far niente, the elysian pleasantness of undertaking definitely absolutely nothing other than taking pleasure in you. The Sersales sought to capture the same spirit at their home in Rome, and they did so nearly from the starting.
“We like to entertain in the home pretty considerably in the identical design that we would in the lodge,” Antonio suggests. “The type is the exact same, the lights is the very same. It’s received this great feeling. You wander in and it’s pretty cozy, but it’s extremely sophisticated.”
When they moved into their richly layered but decidedly unstuffy apartment, the Sersales resolved to host a housewarming occasion. Except an Italian housewarming is contrary to any other. On two tales and covering 1,600 square ft, their residence is comfortable but not monumental, the living home wonderful for a get together of 70, but not a bacchanal.
“We assumed the living area was great, so we invited 300 men and women,” Carla says. By the time the working day rolled close to, their furnishings had still to get there, and, because of to ongoing building, they had no electrical power. So the Sersales sprang into action, leasing some furnishings, lighting the full house with candles, and asking their neighbors for authorization to use the courtyard for the overflow of visitors. In no time the living home grew to become a dance flooring.
“There was this mad mate of ours who was going all around regularly blowing out all the candles,” Antonio says. “He was drunk, and I started screaming at him, due to the fact we would have been in the dim,” Carla says with a chortle. “It was a wonderful celebration.”
For the loved ones, entertaining is not just a birthright but a appreciate language, a single that has been suspended whilst Italy grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. (December marked the initial time in many years they did not invite close friends in excess of for an yearly holiday getaway gathering showcasing the mandolin and guitar duo from Le Sirenuse and waiters from Rome’s special Circolo della Caccia club.) And their Rome home is a deeply particular affair, an expression of their heritage and intertwined histories. The pair, whose mother and father were being shut buddies, met in Milan in their youth prior to starting off to date in their mid-twenties.
They settled in Rome only in 2005, after their sons Aldo and Francesco went off to boarding university and immediately after Antonio’s lifetime grew to become a lot less peripatetic (his before years had provided stints in Mexico, Iran, England, and Switzerland). They expend the superior season, March via October, in Positano, and the winters right here.
Rome is, in a way, a getaway for them, as effectively as a area from which they can effortlessly get absent. “Whenever we have a flight,” Antonio claims, “we appear and invest the evening here. It’s incredibly substantially our base.”
Found in the city’s venerable centre, just three blocks from Piazza Navona, the mid-19th-century house arrived with its have prosperous earlier it hadn’t been touched for virtually 40 a long time by its preceding tenants, the late mom and dad of Giuliano Ferrara, a renowned newspaper editor and politician who served in primary minister Silvio Berlusconi’s cabinet in the 1990s.
The Sersales quickly received to renovating, adding a fireplace, customized-fitted bookshelves, honey-colored unglazed terra-cotta flooring tiles—like the kinds on the terraces at Le Sirenuse—and a ceiling fresco to body the dwelling home by the artists and decorators Barbara Gulienetti and Benedetta Proto, who hand-paint many of the specifics at the hotel. They are just two of the Rome-primarily based artisans—the upholsterer, the framer, the lights skilled, the portray restorer—who also refine the aesthetic of the Sersales’ pantheon in Positano.
For the few, the private and the qualified go hand in hand, like the caviar blinis and Negronis at Aldo’s Bar at Le Sirenuse, a juxtaposition that is brought to everyday living by their eclectic selection of objets and artworks, just about every of which has its possess backstory. There is, for instance, the handblown Murano glass by Carlo Moretti, who also made the champagne glasses for Aldo’s. And then there are the sculptures by the artist Giuseppe Ducrot, who made the yellow fountain at Franco’s Bar. In their kitchen area, the internet site of quite a few a tête-à-tête and Carla’s chosen place of work, the table and the chairs ended up intended by the late architect Gae Aulenti, who also conceived Le Sirenuse’s spa.
Covering the partitions in the dwelling area and two of the bedrooms are suzani textiles from Central Asia gathered by Antonio and his father and, in a lot more modern several years, by Antonio and Carla. Somewhat than put them behind glass, they chose to hang the is effective uncovered on nails. The frailty of the suzanis is element of their attractiveness. “A portray can final generations,” Carla states. “These suzanis possibly will not outlast us.”
Federico Fellini once mentioned that the allure of Rome is that every corner feels like a personal condominium and everyone, no make a difference their creed or provenance, feels at household. But it is also correct that some people make the city their possess, poco a poco, weaving their stories into the cloth of an historic garment of history. The Sersales did so immediately after lots of three-hour drives from their paradise by the sea, and now there’s a piece of Positano in Rome without end.
“In Positano, we reside in the resort, generally,” Carla claims. “Our existence revolves all around the hotel. So it is good from time to time to have a foundation that is ours.”
This story appears in the April 2021 difficulty of City & Region. SUBSCRIBE NOW
Spencer Bailey is a T&C contributing editor. His newest book is In Memory Of: Creating Modern Memorials.
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