call of the sea
Traveling to Sardinia, about 200km west of Italy, is like stepping back in time. Ancient ruins lie preserved, and Sardo, the island’s official language, is similar to Vulgar Latin, the mother of Romance languages. Oliver’s Travels — a London-based outfitter with more than 2,000 quirky villas and châteaux around the world — is capturing a piece of this Mediterranean history with Faro Rosso estate, the highlight of which is a lighthouse built in the mid-1800s by the Italian Navy.
Despite being attacked by American planes during World War II, the 161-year-old Capo Spartivento Lighthouse continues to illuminate Sardinia’s southern coast. Its two fuel shelters, however, are now the property’s newest guest accommodations. Each two-story apartment offers a bathroom and a lounge with vaulted stone ceilings and an upstairs sleeping area with a king-size bed, a glass rooftop, simple white décor and dark wooden floors.
Italian naval officers still access the actual lantern, but the base of the lighthouse is also refurbished. Murano crystal chandeliers and Louis XVI–style settees add charm to the rustically beautiful building and a cast-iron spiral staircase leads to four additional guest suites — two with ocean views and two with mountain views. Each of the six rooms can be rented nightly or weekly, or as a buyout for up to 12 people.
Behind the lighthouse there’s also an infinity-edge pool overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and a lavish garden featuring a centuries-old olive tree and an expansive lawn with a fireplace and barbecue grill. The lighthouse keeper’s former residence is also on the grounds, offering five plush suites.
All accommodations have access to the estate’s private chef, bar, wine cellar and lighthouse terrace, which is complete with a telescope. Golfing, horseback riding, boat trips and wind- and kite-surfing can all be arranged, but the true highlight is exploring the nearby ruins. A decommissioned semaphore weather station and a former harbour dating to World War I are within walking distance. The abandoned mines of Piscinas also make a fascinating day trip, and guests can opt to rent scuba or snorkel gear to swim the sunken Roman city of Nora.