Luxury Living in Old Naples
Although it’s considered a city, Old Naples seems more like a Floridian village, with its lineup of on-trend shops sitting decorously along Fifth Avenue South. The residences in this paradise town replicate the charm of another time yet feature all of today’s premium amenities. Fronting the cerulean waters of the Gulf of Mexico, condos, cottages and manse-like properties make up the real estate in this historical side of town.
In the early part of the 1930s, snowbirds visited Naples to bask in the sun or play golf. Even Charles Lindberg frequently flew into town on his way to his vacation home on Sanibel Island. Stars like Gloria Swanson and Gary Cooper visited Club 41, which was a well-known Naples entertainment venue at the time. Early developers likened the sunny climate and beaches to Naples in Italy.
During the ’20s and ’30s, many of the visitors liked taking the train to the Naples Depot, which began transporting people to and from town in 1927. Even though the service has since been discontinued, noon-time is still marked by the sounding of a train whistle from the restored structure.
From those early days until now, Naples has been considered a desirable location, with Old Naples featuring residences that have been coveted since the turn of the century.
Millionaires’ Row – Cottages and Estate Properties
In fact, the name, “Old Naples,” refers to the area’s beachfront homes, which were constructed during the early 1900s, popularly referenced as “Millionaires’ Row.” Since that time, of course, the area has expanded, and includes cottages, condos, and newer customized properties, all which lend to the area’s exclusivity. The neighborhood is comprised of beach blocks, each displaying homes on the east and west avenues of the city. One to three properties sit on each parcel, with some blocks featuring expansive, waterfront estates.
Architect Addison Mizner fashioned many of the properties along this stretch of beach in Spanish Colonial and Mediterranean designs. The architect left an indelible imprint in Old Naples, Boca Raton and other parts of southern Florida as these architectural designs continue to influence the landscape in this luxury locale.
Cottages built during the ’20s are especially popular, and give the buyer a rare opportunity to take possession of a landmark residence. Restored cottages frequently feature pine and cypress construction, heart-pine flooring and fireplaces that burn wood. Cabinets, hand-painted and crafted by David T. Smith, are often highlighted in the properties’ gourmet-accessorized kitchens. Wraparound porches add to the charm of the cottage’s design.
The estate properties along Millionaires’ Row, which were built in the ’20s, can be renovated to reflect their original design while providing all the technological and decorator upgrades of today. Such historical retreats and residences, when refurbished, highlight the ultimate in amenities – such as pavilions equipped with island bars, outdoor grills and vanishing edge swimming pools.
Shopping and Dining
Fifth Avenue South — the main street of Old Naples — offers all the things that are good about high-end shopping and dining. Commercial establishments include antique retailers, art galleries, bookstores, and an area food market and pharmacy. Outside dining is available against a backdrop of colorful structures accented with palms and banyan trees.
Shoppers also enjoy browsing at Third Street South, which is home to the Antinori Gallery and such fashion retailers as The Beach House of Naples, Tommy Bahama and Marissa Collections. Eat at such restaurants as Tony’s Off Third, or venture over to the Bleu Provence on 8th Street. The open-air Dock at Crayton Cove is also a popular evening dining spot.
Old Floridian charm frequently sums up one’s first impression of downtown Naples. It’s this one characteristic that underscores the city’s continual appeal.