Hotel Luna and San Francesco plaque

“On the east corner of the bay, in front of its own 16th century watchtower, is the Hotel Luna. This was originally a monastery, founded as long ago as 1222 by Saint Francis of Assisi and built directly into the steep rock face. There were numerous small cells for the monks and a still-present cloister in the centre of the building where St. Francis meditated and prayed. It was in the 1800s that the Barbaro family bought it for their own home and they still own and run it today. Now we know it as the Hotel Luna Convento, slightly confusing to English speakers as it was in fact a monastery, not a nunnery. In 1857 the arrival of a road to take traffic made the Barbaros realise that where there had previously been very few visitors to the coast, there were bound to be many more now that it was accessible and they set about establishing what was the first hotel in the area.”

DSCF0653-cropped……and what famous names have been written in their guest book – Wagner and his wife who rode mules from the hotel up to the Villa Rufolo in Ravell, Henrik Ibsen, who wrote part of his ‘Dolls’ House’ at a desk in what is now known as the Ibsen Room and even Mussolini, who wrote a very kind letter thanking his hosts for his wonderful stay.


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