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A Unique Waterfront Castle in Italy

Las Tronas is a majestic castle that rises in the sea and laps the city of Alghero, a holiday resort way long before Sardinia was discovered by mass tourism. In fact, at the end of the nineteenth century, the city was a destination for many British and German travelers.

The garden of about two hectares with a perfect turf, which separates the structure from the Valencia promenade, branches off into various paths where marble statues are found among ponds, fountains, and floral tunnels that go into the luxuriant vegetation. A silent kingdom full of skilfully mixed perfumes, thanks also to the mistral wind “maestrale” that shatters the rich and varied vegetation: from brackish tamarisks to pokeweed, brought here decades ago by the wife of the fourth Count of Sant’Elia.

The Story

An enchanted place that preserves the history and a rich past of nobility. Originally, Las Tronas was an ancient watchtower of the city and then, in 1880, it became a cottage intended for a private home for hunting, owned precisely by the feudal family of the Counts of Sant’Elia from Sassari.

A Villa that Don Luigi Arborio Mella, fourth Earl of Sant’Elia, had restored between 1918 and 1920 under the impulse of his wife Lady Rosamond Marke Wood, who wanted to recall the architectural design and beauty of the English noble houses. The building took on a shape vaguely inspired by a medieval castle, according to the fashion of the time and the family rank.

In the 1960s Francesco Arborio Mella, fifth Earl of Sant’Elia, sold the villa to the spouses Leonardo Masia and Giuseppina Fonnesu who converted it into a hotel and gave it to their children: Teresa, Adriana, and Battista. Over time it became a meeting place for prominent personalities, politicians from all over Europe made agreements, wrote playwright Samuel Beckett, a place that welcomed Antoine de Saint-Exupéry the author of “The Little Prince”, the princesses Romanov and the Royals of Italy were regular guests, in summer for sea baths, in winter for hunting.

In 1961, the villa was raised by one floor and restored by the knight Andrea Trova, husband of Teresa Masia, taking on its current form. The lawyer Nino La Spina married the other Masia, Adriana, both sisters led the luxury hotel.

The atmosphere was interesting also thanks to a peculiar “double insularity”: the La Spina family was in fact Sicilian, and enriched the villa with numerous antique furniture from its homes.

The battlements of the towers of medieval suggestion dominate the 24 rooms for guests of this exclusive hotel where over the decades have hosted rulers and actors, writers and artists, influential personalities who have discovered in the Villa the ideal retreat where to find the right inspiration for ideas, cultivate passions and forge strategic relationships.

A green area intended for a helipad guarantees privacy for those who want to reach the Villa by helicopter.

An internal Spa with a gym, sauna, Turkish baths, and an indoor swimming pool filled with salty seawater surrounded by neoclassical statues. An outdoor swimming pool which, in the evening, allows you to enjoy the unique sunset on the Capo Caccia promontory. The private beach and, next to it, the cave where Beckett wrote with two glasses – one of gin and the other of pencils – on a table specially set up for him, while a bodyguard guaranteed that nobody would disturb him.

Villa Las Tronas represents a reference point of exclusivity, a place to stay from which to take home a thousand unique suggestions and sensations lasting over time, like a declaration of love on the famous bench overlooking the cliff where Liz Taylor and Richard Burton enjoyed each other’s love, a place, therefore, guardian of many secrets.