Kim-Trump Summit In Singapore

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With my long standing interest in international relations I couldn’t let today’s events go past without making a comment, even though I am on an Italian beach.

To day is a very important day for international relations, and the Kim-Trump summit appears to have made an important start to bringing a deep and lasting peace to the Korean peninsular. This will be of great comfort to all the surrounding countries including China and Japan. Hopefully, the Korean War will now finally come to a permanent end with a formal peace treaty coming into force to move beyond the current armistice arrangements.

A bridge between great powers?: In the broader strategic context a rapprochement between the US and North Korea may also bring China and the US to a state of greater understanding and friendliness.  They have a joint interest in the Korean peninsular and lasting stability will be impossible without the involvement of both. A joint approach to creating a stable regional settlement that recognises both China’s interest as an emerging superpower while at the same time assuaging the fears of the smaller countries that neighbour China, both on land and maritime boundaries, about perceived threats to their sovereignty and independence. It looks like there are potentially better times ahead for the region as a whole.

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Lorelei et Londres, Sorrento – Reopening?

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Above: Lorelai et Londres under renovation, 9 June 2018.

The Albergo Lorelei et Londres in Sorrento is one of my favourite buildings in the town. It has the magnificent backdrop of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. After multiple trips to Sorrento over many years, I had daydreamed about at some point owning the place and doing it up as a private villa… you can dream at least!

I wrote a blog post some time ago with the title ‘Old World Charm on the Bay of Naples’ that explained that the place closed in 2007. It was a tragedy that this building remained derelict for so long. I am glad to see that this situation now appears to be changing.

Judging by its present appearance it looks like someone has taken the plunge and started to renovate it giving it a long awaited bit of TLC. It is surrounded by scaffolding and the sounds of tapping hammers can be heard coming from inside.

Below: Construction work in progress:

The construction work is temporally diminishing what I would regard as one of the best panoramic views in Sorrento, the end result will hopefully be well worth it, and the view of the Bay is still spectacular.

It is not clear what function the building will serve when construction is complete. Despite my own fanciful ambitions for the place, I hope it returns to being a hotel. It think it would make a very nice boutique hotel, but I guess the owners will have their own well developed plans at this stage. I hope they keep the same external red colour scheme, with yellow round the green windows. Those vibrant colours together with backdrop of the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius make for excellent selfie material.

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Above: excellent selfie backdrop, the hotel without the scaffolding before the current renovations.

It appears that a Terrace has been created, which is visible in the following photograph:

This picture can be compared i the the ‘selfie backdrop’ photo to show how things have changed.

Then there is the garden area which I assume also belongs to the property which shows evidence of redevelopment as shown in the photo below, which shows the presence of building materials.

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Furthermore, the seafront area at the bottom of the cliff also looks like it has been cleared. Presumably this is also part of the redevelopment. This area is visible in the photo below:

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This is how it looked previously:

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I hope that I get the opportunity to return to Sorrento when the renovations have been completed, perhaps even to stay there if it is indeed to once again become a functioning hotel.

UPDATE:

Just been looking online and there is some information about the development on Victoria Galli Architetto (1). This gives some information and drawings about the project and its goals. If I understand the Google translation of the information correctly the project is one of maintenance to counteract the consequences of decay and neglect. The goal according to translation is as follows:

“The goal of the project is to restore luster to a building that, due to its location and conformation, is set in one of the most evocative places on the Sorrento coast.” (1)

Hopefully this restoration work will ultimately help bring the building back into permanent use.

There is a 2015 assessment of the building at edilblucase.com (2)

(1) Vittoria Galli Architetto https://vittoriagalli.wixsite.com/architettura/copia-di-fabbricato-storico-ad-uso-

(2) https://www.edilblucase.com/public/allegati/BROSCHURE_HOTELLORELEY1.pdf