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Review 1170: Ville in Italia, Villa Marina

www.villeinitalia.com

Recommended
Review by Charles in Pleasanton from CA

3bed/3bath villa in Praiano, Campania


When

September 18 - 25, 2004, 1 week

Location

Praiano is nearly midway between Amalfi and Positano. Vettica Praiano, where the villa is located, is the main part of the town; the bay at Praia with additional hotels and restaurants is 1.5 kms toward Amalfi. Praiano is a very small village and very quiet with no real tourist sites. The villa, with its panorama of the sea and Positano, was clean and inviting and proved to be a delight for the week, highly recommended as an oasis at the end of a day visiting the Amalfi coast sights.

Nearby Amenities

Several small stores for groceries and meats are nearby. There are several restaurants within easy walking distance. We especially liked Trattoria San Genaro with an extensive menu, local dishes including fresh fish, and reasonable prices. There is only one ATM in town and very few shops. For shopping you must go to Amalfi or Positano.

The House/Apartment

As with almost all rental villas along the Amalfi Coast, be prepared to deal with lots of steps, in this case 99 steps. For those who donít want to deal with steps, hotels are the best option.

We were met by Peppino representing the owner who lives in Rome. The villa lies below the road, down some steps to a church piazza, from there down a couple of alleyways, then down lots of steps to the front door. The three bedrooms are at the level you enter. Two have terraces with spectacular views of the Mediterranean. The third bedroom is smaller, but nicely appointed including a double bed, but the window view is only of the entrance area.

This is a large villa, which becomes more apparent when you descend the stairs to the lower floor. The lower floor consists of a tastefully appointed living room, a large dining area, a small bathroom, and a completely equipped and very useable kitchen including a dishwasher and clothes washer. A sitting room is just off the dinning area, but we never really used it.

The living room, dining room, and sitting room each open through glass double doors to a panoramic terrace overlooking the sea with a view to Positano. The terrace was equipped with a table and chairs and other outdoor lounge furniture. Colorful bougainvillea framed the view of the Mediterranean some 200 feet below.

The villa interior is white which enhances the feeling of airiness that comes from the glass wall formed by the double doors. The master bedroom has twin beds and ensuite bath with a wand shower. The second bedroom has a double bed. A small bathroom with stand up shower is adjacent.

Garden

There is a terrace but no garden. Just below the villa was an orchard and vineyard terraced to the sea.

Kitchen

The kitchen was fully equipped with plenty of utinsels, dishes, pots and pans. We did three pleasurable meals here, eating on the terrace in early evening and later watching the spectacular sunsets over the island of Capri.

Problems or Bonuses

A couple of useful notes. Praiano has little to offer as a tourist site so you are routinely taking buses in the direction of Amalfi or Positano. Be sure to check the bus schedules as even under the best of circumstances, much time is wasted waiting for buses or connecting with buses for destinations such as Ravello and Vietri.

And be aware that the buses from Amalfi to Praiano stop running at 8:00 PM (in September) and the cab fare is whopping 35 euros which makes it expensive to have dinner in Amalfi.

Bring mosquito lotion as the mosquitoes are voracious and seem to love tourists.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

We did not have any direct dealing with Omni Ville in Italia while we were there, but they handled the rental in a professional manner and the villa was accurately described in the listing. We saw little of Peppino, but he was nearby if we needed him. The price for the week was $1525 USD.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

Staying in Villa Marina is the quintessential Amalfi coast experience, but one needs to think carefully about staying here. If you have a car, parking in Praiano is very limited anywhere near the villa although you can rent a spot. Driving the Amalfi coast can be a harrowing experience because the roads are narrow and often you must back up to let buses pass from the other direction. Without a car, taking buses means an added expense to dine in Positano, Amalfi, or Ravello as you are forced to return by cab.

Things to do in this area

Any travel book will list the major places to visit on the Amalfi coast. I found Paestum, an hour south of Salerno, much more interesting than Pompei. Founded by the Greeks in the sixth century BC, the Parthenon-like temples are among the best preserved Doric temples in Europe. The museum is equally splendid.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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