From the large covered veranda with the table and barbeque, another set of terra-cotta steps led upwards. The whitewashed wall alongside the steps was covered with greenery and bright flowering plants, providing a colorful contrast.
At the top of the stairs was a small landing. There off to the side, looking a bit forlorn and comical, was a small outdoor gym set up beneath a wooden overhang.
It was then but a short walk along a terra-cotta-tiled path to the few final stairs. As we made that last step, we found ourselves at the very top the property. And we were speechless.
A vast tile-covered terrace, partly protected from the sun by a large white canvas canopy, stretched out before us. It was enormous.
Deck chairs lounged at the sides, awaiting occupants, and a rectangular cement pool beckoned us to its edge. A painted ceramic mask attached to the back wall spewed water from its mouth into the pool, a crazed Pagan god tempting us to dive into the blue coolness.
The sides of the pool also served as a wide benches, perfect for perching butts or glasses of you-name-it.
Off to one side of the terrace huddled an intimate seating area: a love seat and a few wicker chairs encircling a small glass table, all covered by a canvas pergo, inviting intimate candle-lit conversation late at night.
Surrounding the entire veranda, keeping us from falling off, was a white iron railing. From this we could peer out onto Praiano below. Creamy colored houses spilled down the steep hillside, a single road carving a narrow terrace between them.
And beyond, the intense blue of the sea swam across the horizon, splashes of sunlight glinting off the calm water. The ancient name for Praiano was Pelagium, which means “open sea.” It was easy to see why. You could lose yourself there, staring outward while the world swirled on without you.