to own a slice of the Italian Riviera.
At VFI we know about location. We know just how vital the right setting is, particularly when planning super luxury villas of the standard of our 7 Wonders of the World.
We also know Calabria - and that is precisely why we have been to select a site that befits the standard of the villas and provides what must be one of the best views in the country over Soverato Bay.
Quite naturally our 7 Wonders are situated on a elevated position, facing south east above the quaint old town of Soverato. Simply turning your head slightly will reveal another vista of long golden beaches, or the clear sea views that encompass the Gulf of Squillace and the Ionian Sea itself.
Close your eyes and imagine a night time view that looks down on the twinkling lights of Soverato, set off by the now dark blue Ionian Sea. That's just one of our Wonders. Or simply look down on your own infinity pool as it reflects the stars and know that it is unique in Calabria. That's another...
Your luxury home is poised between the world class beaches of southern Italy's rugged coastline and its dramatic mountainous interior offering you a vast nature reserve close at hand for summer walking and winter skiing. The weather, of course, behaves itself impeccably, which is probably why the local people are renowned for their warmth, generosity and sense of fun.
Even closer is another form of relaxation; the superb spa facilities available at neighboring Paradise View, another VFI project, and another beautiful location.
- your hideaway on the southern Italian Riviera.
The region around Soverato offers a perfect cross section of southern Italian life. Medieval towns rub shoulders with long sandy beaches, whilst a vibrant cultural scene invites you enjoy concerts and art exhibitions. Or you could just sit back and see which of the truly excellent local wines goes best with your favourite Italian cuisine. And then you could reflect on the fact that this was really just the beginning...
All action pastimes - and some slow ones too
There's enough to keep the most active folks happy in this part of the world, and to start with you might fancy seeing a bit more of it - from the air. Charter your own helicopter ride, or hot air balloon experience, for a fantastic birds-eye view of the nearby national parks, spectacular valleys, and historical ruins.
Ready for some more hot action - then take to the water in anything and everything from a ski boat, to a racing sailboat or luxury yacht. Soverato has perfect harbours whatever your aquatic tastes.
Of course you'll be wanting to keep the golf handicap up to scratch which you'll be doing on some of the best courses on this part of the Italian coast. But beware, top class designers have done their best to keep you on your toes, but then tomorrow is always going to be a better day.
Or, for something completely different, don't forget that you can take advantage of Calabria's spectacular geography by driving or flying up to Aspromonte where some of the world's must uncrowded skiing is waiting for you all year round. Ski snow and water in a single day!
And naturally, this being Italy, a rich cultural and artistic life is waiting to be explored, whether it is an up to date art exhibition or a classic concert in a fabulous setting. In fact this part of Italy is rapidly gaining a reputation as a place to go for new culture.
Then again you might want to take your culture sip by sip because the wine tastings at the region's top vineyards are not to be missed. Nor, without being the slightest bit snobbish, is the fun of sitting at a dinner table opposite regular VIP visitors such as Formula 1 boss Flavio Briatori and his wife Elisabetta Gregoraci or Juventus manager Claudio Raniera to be sneezed at, and if you have to wait a bit longer for the next celeb to wander by - so be it.
Take a step back in time
Take a moment or so to look back at the history of the region's fantastic 800 kilometre-long coastline and you will be amazed at just what a story is there, all waiting to be discovered.
Indeed the history of Calabria, from Roman to Byzantine, or from Norman to Bourbon, can traced by the beautiful buildings and archaeological treasures they left behind.
Taking the time to appreciate just how much as happened to this part of southern Italy in just the last 2,800 years gives you pause for thought. For example, all those years ago the Greek empire was at the height of its civilisation and Calabria rivalled Athens as a centre of culture and learning. It's a little quieter now.
Just a short drive south along the coast from Soverato, and slightly inland, is the delightful small town of Santa Andrea, or to give it is full name: Sant' Andrea Apostolo Dello Ionio.
It is well worth making the trip, if only to look back over the sea of ancient tiled roofs from your maximum height of around 1,000 metres to the glistening blue Ionian sea below. A classic small Italian hill town, Santa Andrea may be old, and with a population of just over 2,200 it maybe pretty small, but that doesn't mean it is short of excellent restaurants, good bars, and the opportunity of doing some exploring.
This could mean a stroll, or in some places a slight climb, around the ancient narrow streets and alleyways - always on the lookout for tiny shops that sell wonderful local food, drink and souvenirs. Or it might encompass a real walk into to the beautiful pine woods that surround the town on westerly edge away from the sea. Here you can begin to see something of the unspoiled countryside in this area and enjoy a picnic making the most of some local food and wine you have bought along the way.
If that all makes you feel like a dip, then the sea is not far away. A few minutes from the town centre brings you to Santa Andrea's beach area where you can cool off, or swim off an expansive lunch.
A trip to Santa Andrea make a perfect day out from Soverato, and there are even a couple of small local hotels or guest houses if you want to make a night of it.
A new world to explore
It may just be that the view of the old town of Soverato over the infinity pool is as much as you will want to see of the charming countryside that surrounds your 7 Wonders villa.
And that, of course, would be perfectly understandable. But it would also be a shame.
A shame, not only because the countryside of southern Italy is outstanding, but also because it quietly simply as varied as it could possibly get, without flying a very long way away.
You'll start to catch on when you feel like a change and can't quite decide between a stroll through the winding alleyways of a medieval town, a little light tanning on seemingly endless beach, or pretending you are in Switzerland. Well, not quite that high perhaps, but the national parks in high central plateau offer skiing year round, and that's not something every well known winter sports resort can match. Let's take a stroll through some of the nearby towns.
A short Ferrari blast down the road from Soverato, heading inland, brings you to Cosenza, a fine town with academic traditions and one of the best preserved sacred buildings in southern Italy in the form of the 12th century Romanesque Cathedral. The historical centre boasts a number of finely renovated palaces and medieval squares in which lounging around is recommended, stylishly of course.
But, pausing only to put the top down, we must be off to Tropea. You'll want to be seen here because The Sunday Times recently voted it top of its 20 beach holidays. The town itself is admirably compact so it is easy enough to find your way to the Romanesque-Norman cathedral, or even to the Santa dell' Isola sanctuary where people who have to pay supercar petrol bills go for periods of quiet reflection.
If you are feeling brave, try the local speciality of sweet red onions, but keep the hood down as we pass through Capo Vaticano, on our way to our next stop down the coast: Scilla. Now when somewhere rejoices in the title of 'the pearl of the violet coast' you know you've got to stop there, and you'll be glad you did. Just don't spend too much time gazing out to sea because the name of the town comes from the dog headed woman monster who emerged from the depths to eat sailors, and was recorded by Homer in his Odyssey. Possibly mythical, possibly not, so keep the engine running.
And so we come, as they say in the best travelogues, to Calabria's oldest and largest city: Reggio. Head initially to the extremely elegant sea front with its panoramic views across the Strait of Messina to Sicily, an ideal outing for the Ferrari providing you can get it down the ferry ramp. Or rather perhaps escape the heat of the day in the town's famous botanical gardens before taking a stroll around the battlements of the fine Argonian castle.
Reggio is, as they say, very much a town of contrasts, matching its 3,000 year history to its beautifully planned promenade and fine collection of art nouveau buildings. Sophisticated eateries sit next to equally stylish shops, and there is a vibrant nightlife to be enjoyed before a late drive home, or an overnight stay followed by a leisurely trip back to Soverato and taking the opportunity to discover a small beach of your own which can only be accessed via a rustic lane or perhaps a small vineyard.
The buying process
When you decide to go ahead with one of VFI's 7 Wonders of the World you are buying into a laidback Italian lifestyle. So why should the purchase process be any different?
Let's just start with one of the largest client care teams in Europe, all of whom are on hand both during the buying process, and afterwards for anything you need attending to.
Right from the outset we believe in making your investment process as stress free as your life in Calabria will be. We have done this by creating our exclusive network of key business partners, each of whom will be making their own special contribution to your security and peace of mind.
And when a Wonder of the World is finally yours, we can even provide completely personalised interior design and fitment service so that your new super luxury villa is ready to live in and just how want it in every little detail on the day you pick up the keys.
A complete service that befits the standard of the home you are buying.