Agency in Salerno, near the Amalfi Coast, with properties on the Sorrento coast, Amalfi coast and Cilento National Park. They also have rentals in Tuscany, Umbria, Lake Como and major cities. Good details on views and amenities.
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3 reviews for Summer in Italy | Submit a review
Review of: Summer in Italy
Reviewed by: RCBRH (1 review)
Reviewed on: June 21, 2010
Date of Stay: spring 2010
Vacation Rental Name: Villa Micana
Our overall assessment of Villa Micana: perfect. Absolutely perfect.
The owners, father and daughter, were exceptionally warm, and helpful ... especially since we missed a flight connection in Rome and didn't arrive at Micana until 22:00. (The drive from Naples airport is about 90 minutes if you don't get lost.)
And Summer in Italy, the rental agent, was amazing ... we must have asked a million questions ... like, "Are there ice trays?" "Where do we shop?" "Is there a pepper mill?," etc., etc., which were always responded to immediately. They are a totally trustworthy, service-oriented, family firm.
So, here are some of our comments about Villa Micana, Praiano and the surrounding area.
The Micana Terrace: This is really the centerpiece of the property. It is huge and functions well in sunshine and rain (we had both). If you love living outdoors, this it is it. The terrace was great for sun bathing, cocktails or cooking. In fact, we ended up creating our dinner out there all but one evening.
There are pads for the lounges that make napping outdoors a pleasure. And let us not forget the 180 degree view. Amazing.
Right next to the terrace is a massive vegetable garden (which the owner lovingly tends to for an hour, or so, each morning) with multiple herbs that we used to flavor our cooking. And ... a lemon tree with your own "personal" lemons.
About the house: The house offers a view from both bedrooms, the living room and kitchen. Both bedrooms are identical in quality. So if you're traveling as two couples there is no "second class room." The beds were very comfortable.
The bathrooms are both excellent, though the over-the-sink lighting was rather too weak to allow for make-up application (had to move to the balcony for that!). One shower had a "steam chamber" option. We tried using it and blew the circuit breaker ... it clearly needs someone with an advanced engineering degree and who reads Italian to operate.
The heating worked well (we never needed air-conditioning, but assume, since it's the same set of units, it would also perform well.)
The kitchen was very well equipped (we learned to love the Moka coffee maker, though there is an American-style machine as well.)
There is a TV, but except for the BBC, you need to be fluent in Italian to use it. The WiFi worked perfectly, as did my US-based iPhone.
There are 76 steps to get to Micana from the parking or bus stop. By the end of the week, we were doing fine, but a bit of "Stairmaster" work prior to going would have made it easier.
The parking (costs extra) is in a secure, covered, lot close by.
About Praiano: We were extraordinarily happy that we staying in this charming town rather than in very crowded Positano, Amalfi or Sorrento. It is truly a village. We went to Tutto per Tutti ("everything for everyone") the local store (though it should be Tutto per Tutti tranne i pesce, "everything for everyone except fish" ... the fishmonger is in a different part of town.
There are several restaurants in Praiano, but we loved cooking at the house too much to sample them. We walked down to the Praiano "beach" ... a small rocky cove. It was lovely, but it was also 400+ steps back up. Think ahead.
The great part of Villa Micana's location is that it is directly above the large piazza in front of the church where many townspeople gather to talk and children to play soccer. Just listening to the sounds of families enjoying themselves while having a glass of wine was spectacular. You don't get that everywhere.
The church has bells. And they ring around the clock. But, we found them lovely and they never bothered at all.
About the Area: Though buses are frequent, we were very happy we had a car. It gives you flexibility that buses can't easily provide. Parking can be expensive, true, though, by NYC standards, it's cheap. Direction signage is in very short supply, but we managed to find our way around getting lost only three or four times (a portable GPS would be very helpful.) Driving along the Amalfi Coast requires a great deal of concentration, a great, great deal, but is, nonetheless, very do-able. You need a very small car to survive. And all of them have manual transmissions, so, if you're not used to a stick shift, it would be better to opt for 100% public transport.
We enjoyed Ravello and Pompeii, both sort of the classic destinations in the area. For Pompeii, we opted to hire private guide (about $250) for several hours which made the experience far more meaningful. The 600 step walk down from Ravello to Atrani is very terrific. It was not easy, but certainly more so than the climb would have been. And, in Amalfi, we were totally fascinated by the 700 year old hand made paper factory. Positano was fun for clothes shopping. We also went to Sorrento, but found it very crowded and not much fun.
Fully appreciating the Amalfi Coast and how so many of the structures are nestled into the side of steep slopes requires seeing the coast from the sea. We did it two different ways. We first took the ferry from Amalfi to Salerno and back which was delightful and took about two hours. Then, on another day we contracted with Amalfi Charter and were escorted by the owner's son, Manuel, too all of the grottoes and islands (including the island Nureyev owned for many years.)
We look forward to a return in 2012.
Review of: Summer in Italy
Reviewed by: Valerie (4 reviews)
Reviewed on: June 1, 2009
Date of Stay: fall 2006
Vacation Rental Name: Villa Gioconda
Agropoli, Costa del Cilento
We stayed at Villa Gioconda in October, 2006. There were four of us occupying three of the four bedrooms.
This is a great house for a small group of friends or a family get-together. The rooms are very spacious, with several areas for gathering and hanging out. The living room is open to the entry and dining but feels warm and tranquil. It has all the "usual" electronics. The dining room is nicely done, but I admit we never used it. We generally ate in the wonderful, enormous kitchen or out on the patio.
The kitchen is fabulous! It is huge but doesn't feel cavernous, with good work space. It is well equipped with everything you need, including plentiful dishware. There was ample space for two or three of us cook together without getting in each others' way.
The bedrooms are ample sized, especially the "honeymoon suite" with its huge bathroom and jet tub. Three bedrooms are upstairs, one is downstairs on the main level. The downstairs bathroom doesn't have a shower, but there is an additional full bathroom down in the taverna.
The taverna is amazing! We loved this room, which is great for a party. The big kitchen is equipped with a wood-fired pizza oven, and the cozy settee area has a fireplace. The very long dining room table accommodates everyone (I was told it was originally used in a monastery). The wide door opens up to turn it into an indoor/outdoor party area. Really neat space!
The black marble staircase is very attractive, but it could be a little hard to distinguish the steps at night. There is a door at the top of the stairs, to close off TV or conversation noise from sleeping kids or tired adults.
Furnishings are all modern and comfortable, fit well with the style of the house and needs of guests. We had a problem keeping two of the stove burners lit, but the owners responded immediately and sent someone right over to repair it. They responded quickly to all of our emails and questions and offered restaurant recommendations.
The terraces offered wonderful views. We took our coffee outside most mornings to take in the sea view. A pool has been installed since our stay.
The narrow road to reach the house is a little tricky at first, but once we got used to it, we navigated it more easily. There is a very good and inexpensive pizzeria just up the hill from the house, and a few other restaurants along the road up to there, as well as in Agropoli and nearby Santa Maria di Castellabate.
This was a great house for our little family reunion and we loved every minute of our stay here. We highly recommend it. The hospitality of the people in this area amazed us.
Full disclosure: Since renting two of their villas I have become friend with the owners.
Review of: Summer in Italy
Reviewed by: Valerie (4 reviews)
Reviewed on: June 1, 2009
Date of Stay: winter 2009
Vacation Rental Name: Villa Virginia
Full Disclosure: I am friends with the owners of Villa Virginia.
This is the kind of vacation villa everyone dreams of - comfortable and spacious, stellar views, a bathroom for everyone in the group, a large kitchen along with outdoor cooking area, daily maid service, plenty of patio space to enjoy, wireless internet as well as a house computer, air conditioning, and a swimming pool. Perfection, except perhaps for the very steep road to reach the place, but once there the unbelievable views make it very worthwhile. The entire Amalfi Coast and Capri can be seen, along with the immediate coast and pretty town of Santa Maria di Castellabate. We watched the fishing boats leave every morning, and toasted the sunset every evening.
There are 7 bedrooms and 7 baths, making it ideal for a family reunion or group of friends. No one has to share a bathroom, and the bedrooms are all quite spacious; all but one have doors opening onto a patio or terrace. Everything is nicely done up and tastefully decorated; beds are comfortable and there are large wardrobes and dressers. I liked that there was bedside lighting (not always a given in Italian rentals!).
The kitchen is very large and has abundant dishware and glassware, along with serving ware of all sizes. There is a large table in the kitchen for informal meals, a long dining room table that accommodates everyone, and several outdoor tables placed around too. If I had one complaint with the villa it would be that kitchen lighting is rather dim, but we were there in the off-season when the sun goes down sooner than in high summer.
The living room has satellite TV, a DVD player, several sofas, and a pretty fireplace that seems to have never been used. There is a desk with computer available to guests, and a telephone rigged up to provide very cheap calls out of Italy.
Another nice touch is the laundry room with washing machine (including a rapid cycle!) and a dryer, not something you often find in Italy. There is a clothesline on the upper terrace for rapid drying in the sun, as well.
Outside is a nice swimming pool complete with little shower area and outside bathroom (but we were there in the off-season and didn't get to make use of it); plenty of patio space, a ping-pong table, a gazebo, and a great outdoor cooking space, with wood-fired grill and pizza oven. Oh yeah, and those views!!
The villa is in a quiet neighborhood. A car is necessary, but the closest shops and coffee bars are just a few minutes away. There is a good veggie shop and fish shop just at the bottom of the hill, and two supermarkets right there as well. Everything you need can be found in Santa Maria with its pretty Corso lined with shops and gelaterias.
There was obviously much thought and attention to detail put into furnishing and equipping Villa Virginia. I can't imagine anyone not loving it, and I hope to return for a family reunion in the next year or so!