We are thoroughly trained to expect backgrounds and historic context. This hotel presents one of the rare exceptions in the list of The Most Famous Hotels in the World.
Here, the brain doesn’t immediately reach the right conclusion. When we see the Cala di Volpe, we look at an old fishing village. Or a 15th century castle. Architect Jacques Couëlle loved the question of what it was before it became a hotel.
It takes you a while to realise that this mottled collection of houses, towers, terraces, stairs and arches is not an ancient fishing village created long before every standard building codex would have prevented most of it. It still looks as if it were inhabited by villagers in fierce competition with one another, all painting their houses differently, while some of them couldn’t afford the paint at all.
No, ladies and gentlemen, all you see is new. Where you are standing or sitting or lying right now there was nothing but a barren valley back in 1960, so remote from any place that you wouldn’t have liked the idea of spending a night here. It was called the cove of the foxes, Cala di Volpe. It opened opened in 1963.