La Posta Vecchia – Localita Palo Laziale, Lazio, Italy

Getty’s Former Seaside Retreat

John Paul Getty, once the richest man in the world, isn’t around anymore (he left Italy in 1975, one year before his death), but you’ll still feel like one of his most coddled guests at La Posta Vecchia, the magnificent Villa that was once his palatial seaside home.

The billion­aire oil baron and art collector extraordinaire gave new meaning to the expression “there’s no place like home,” and much of the money-is-no-object luxury and quiet sense of privacy he demanded has been left intact.

Getty purchased the villa from his friend Prince Odescalchi, whose ancestors built it in 1640 for guests visiting the family’s neigh­boring 15th-century castle—still inhabited today by descendants of the noble lineage.

The wealthy American tycoon spent millions amassing an enormous collection of antiques and antiquities (Maria de’ Medici’s marriage chest and Gobelin tapestries are just some of the myriad museum-level pieces) still used to appoint this amazing seventeen-guest­room villa.

It was only by chance that his architects discovered the ancient foundations of a Roman villa—perhaps two—upon which the 17th-century structure was built. In what is now a small informal museum located beneath the villa, intricate mosaic floors indicate the wealth and affluence of those ancient Roman landlords (some have even suggested that the emperor Tiberius lived here).

Modern-day guests enjoy the ultimate in civilized living, the same timeless serenity of an unparalleled alfresco meal on the glorious seaside terrace, light-years away from the glory that is Rome, caput mundi.

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