Set behind what, except for the palm trees, would be a very English expanse of lawn, this salmon-pink building with its Athenian-style porch was built in 1826 for Ferdinand Acton, the son of English aristocrat Sir John Acton. In 1841 it was bought up by the Rothschild banking family, who brought in Gaetano Genovese—he of the Palazzo Reale's sumptuous staircase—to design the Salotto Rosso and the ballroom. The villa then passed to a distant ancestor of Spanish conquistador
Hernán Cortés, and eventually to the Italian State in 1955. The villa contains a sumptuous collection of porcelain and a biblioteca-discoteca—a collection of classical and operatic records. It exhibits part of Banco di Napoli's collection of paintings, including works by masters of Neapolitan Baroque, and has 18th- and 19th-century landscapes.