In Sant’Agnello, above the beautiful “La Marinella” beach, overlooking the sea, it is possible to admire Villa Crawford, which was, in fact, owned by the American writer Francis Marion Crawford, who chose to live there from 1885, the year of his marriage.
In the history of the city, this villa has played a fundamental role, since it was the main meeting place of the cultural environment of the time.
Initially a modest farmhouse surrounded by a large garden, Villa Crawford immediately become a favourite place for the writer, who made it wonderful and an inspiration for many of his literary works.
The highlight certainly is the breathtaking view that can be admired from here: you can see the Gulf of Naples, the magnificent Vesuvius and the islands of Ischia, Procida and Capri on the horizon
But let’s see, in detail, what to see at Villa Crawford …
Villa Crawford: the architecture
The characteristic elements are certainly the buttresses, built at the behest of Crawford to prevent any landslides of the coast and to favour sighting of the building from the sea. Precisely for these reasons, the writer had the words “In Tempestate Securitas” carved.
Other details are the wonderfully inlaid wooden panels, made by the Sorrento craftsman Giovanni Massa.
Villa Crawdford: the garden
Since Crawford was a passionate collector, ancient finds were introduced in the garden along with various types of sculptures were introduced inside the garden, in particular made by the writer’s father.
The writer had a tennis court built and surrounded by citrus plants. Moreover, great passionate navigator and owner of a beautiful sailing ship, he also had a descent to the sea for the access to the small harbour.
After the writer's death
By his express will, Crawford rests in the cemetery of Sant’Agnello, in a tomb located to the right of the driveway.
On the writer’s death in 1909, the villa was inherited by his eldest daughter, Eleonora, wife of the noble Pietro Rocca di Roccapadula and mother of Leone and Onorio.
In 1954, the latter subsequently donated it to the Institute of Mary Help of Christians, which still welcomes the many young people who gather here to spend a few hours of leisure and prayer.
Villa Crawford: the Religious House
Today, Villa Crawford is a religious house and oratory of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, a religious family born from the heart of San Giovanni Bosco and the creative fidelity of Santa Maria Domenica Mazzarello. It is also possible to stay over in this building: several rooms are available, and they rent the location for various events.
Villa Crawford is a true cross-section of the nineteenth century, you can still breathe the original atmosphere.
To get to Villa Crawford
At the exit of “Castellammare di Stabia” on the Naples-Salerno A3, continue straight towards “Sorrento Peninsula” S.S. 145.
At the crossroads, continue on the left, after the end of the viaduct, you will pass two tunnels and you will be on via Panoramica.
Continue straight ahead, following the coast, when you reach the crossroads of Vico Equense you have to enter the third and last tunnel. You will cross Seiano, Monte Chiaro and Meta di Sorrento, from here, keep going on Corso Italia, you will reach Piazza Matteotti, where the town of Sant’Agnello is located.
Take the first road on the right, you will find yourself on viale dei Pini and after 500 meters you will have arrived at your destination.
Circumvesuviana station is about 1 Km from Villa Crawford.
Once you are in via Angri, go to the right and take Via Cappuccini. Then, go the left and take via Marion Crawford. Finally, take Via Nuovo Rione Cappuccini.