Cala Piccola: the love nest of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton
The splendid nature, idyllic atmosphere, and the scent of the sea in the Argentario bring to mind memories of magnificent summers. An atmosphere that has given life to many new loves and made generations dream. The Boutique Hotel Torre di Cala Piccola was the backdrop to one of the world’s most intense love stories.
Gorgeous Hollywood stars Liz Taylor and Richard Burton eloped to the Argentario once and chose Cala Piccola as their discreet and dreamy destination, exactly 60 years ago, in 1963.
Their love blossomed as they were shooting Cleopatra in Cinecittà, in Rome, and although they were both married at the time, they found it impossible to resist that passion. Immediately pasted on to the front pages of newspapers, their intense and tumultuous relationship was marked by romantic elopements, cheating, memorable fights and spectacular gifts from Burton to Taylor in the hopes he’d be forgiven – gifts such as a 70-carat diamond.
Nina Benini, director of Cala Piccola back at the time, told current president Massimo Sandrelli described their arrival at the hotel as sudden and unexpected, like a lightning bolt. All they asked for was maximum discretion and tranquillity. Nina Benini complied by barricading the hotel against journalists and photographers. Only one of the “dolce vita” photographers, Marcello Geppetti, managed to snatch a handful of shots of the couple at the Calla Piccola little beach and in the streets of Porto Santo Stefano.
Their mad love ended in a divorce in 1976. In 1978, Liz auctioned off her 70-carat diamond. But their last love letter was written by Burton to Liz, in 1984, prior to his death in Switzerland.
The memory of their overwhelming passion has resisted for sixty years and the Boutique Hotel Cala Piccola has remained an oasis of peace and discretion where guests can live moments of awe as they admire Argentario sunsets and watch new, intense loves blossom.
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