The dining loggia, a covered open-air patio modeled closely on classical European architecture, overlooks a lawn used for entertaining.
Moving counterclockwise from there, on the more formally designed waterfront side of the house, there's the rectangular-shaped swimming pool “hugged by hedges, which makes it very private,” Sanchez says. A recessed open-air dining loggia, overlooking the lawn, is “a gathering place,” used for entertaining, says Rakolta: “I like to set tables on the grass.” Paved with coquina, a locally quarried, pale-colored stone, and topped by a bougainvillea-clad pergola, the loggia could very well be somewhere in the hills of Italy.
A tiny waterside terrace with footed urns brings in still more of what Rakolta loves about Italian gardens. There's a change in elevation here, says Maddux, an expert on rain forest plants who has worked with Sanchez since 1980. “The terrace drops from the level of the house to the sea wall. The drop is only a couple of feet, but the illusion is that it's a lot more than that,” he explains. “You look out the windows of the den and you're right on the water,” Rakolta says. “It's very Venetian in feeling.”