According to tradition, the Virgin Mary spent her declining years in or near Ephesus, where she could be close to Christ's favorite disciple, St. John. In the 19th century, a stigmatized German nun named Anne Catherine Emmerich had a vision of the Virgin's house, which she described in detail to the German writer Clemens Brentano. Her description fitted a location near Ephesus and a small house was indeed found there. It dates from the 6th century, but it stands on first century foundations. It now functions as a church and center of pilgrimage and was visited by Pope Paul VI in 1967.
Our next stop is Şirince, an exceptionally lovely formerly Greek village in the hills above Ephesus. Şirince's elegant houses look out over vistas of vineyards, olive groves, orchards, and pine forests. Guests of the Savarona will have the delightful experience of dining in the village and sampling the local wines.