Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1699: Doorways, La Roccia
3bed/2bath apartment near Positano, Campania
July 30 - August 6, 2005, 1 week
LaRoccia is a three-story villa with two apartments for renters. The ground floor, at street level, is the owner's auto repair shop. The villa is located about a mile to the east of Positano, on the Amalfi Drive towards Amalfi and Salerno. It is set against a hill with steps that go all the way up the mountain to a small village near the top and is used by the locals to get to the beaches and Positano. The location is absolutely fabulous. And, even more gorgeous, views of the bay and the hills of Positano.
Positano is only about a mile away and an easy walk, though local buses do run about every hour to/from Positano. There is a fine grocery store located near the center of town on the main street; narrow pathway is a better description - wide enough for several people to pass each other. The grocers, one of whom does speak English, are about the nicest people you will ever meet and will go to any length to please, including delivery of groceries to your apartment or villa. Plenty of café's, clothes shops, artists hawking their wares, great restaurants and a super beach with private and public sections. A great number of yachts, sail and/or motor, and luxury boats make their way to Positano.
The villa was built within the past few years using fairly modern architecture. The front door and patio doors are very heavy with plenty of glass. The front door has exceptionally thick and opaque glass. The doors to all the rooms and bathrooms are of the sliding door style with etched and somewhat opaque glass panels giving a sense of privacy when the door is slid shut. The floors are laid in tile. The feeling one gets stepping into the apartment is one of peace and tranquility despite the constant hum of traffic right outside on the street below. There are two apartments for renters, one on the second floor and one on the third floor. I can only speak for the one that I rented. There are three bedrooms and two baths.
Off one of the bedrooms and living room, facing the street, is a fairly narrow balcony with plenty of chairs, table and room to dry clothes and towels. On one end is an elongated, elevated flowerpot. Outside the main door, after going up three somewhat steep steps, is a common area paved with pebbly tiles leading to the main gate and a small grapevine trestle, which then leads to some steps up to another common balcony above the second apartment. This balcony too has some easy chairs, a patio table, umbrella and a swinging easy chair that comfortably sits two to three people. All three areas provide wonderful vistas of the bay and Positano. No pool.
One aspect that makes this place a winner is its cleanliness. The furniture is ample, and clean, especially the leather couches. Plenty of sitting space, enough for at least 5 to 6 people. There is also a nice, modern dining room table, sideboard, fireplace, TV, stereo, and a wall mounted air conditioner.
There are three bedrooms, one of which has its own bathroom with the other two sharing a bathroom. The shared bathroom has a shower stall with a clear glass door, toilet, bidet, sink with plenty of countertop space and a large mirror over the sink. The private bathroom has a Jacuzzi bathtub with shower hose, toilet, bidet, sink with plenty of countertop space and a large mirror over the sink. Each bathroom is well equipped with towels, washcloths and toilet paper.
The two main bedrooms each have a very comfortable queen bed, two bedside tables, lamps, wardrobe, chest of drawers, and tabletop fans. A small bedroom, located next to the kitchen area, has a single bed, bedside table and lamp. Inside this room there is a sliding door leading to a small utility room containing a clothes washer, sink, PVC plastic folding clothes hanger for drying clothes and towels under the sun of Campania, ironing board, iron, assorted tools and cleaning supplies.
Despite its small size there is plenty of space for one person to do the cooking. A sink, gas stove and cook top, refrigerator/freezer, utility cart holding a toaster, cabinet containing plenty of dishes, stainless steel utensils, cooking supplies and a juicer. The renters supply the food and drink. No garbage disposal or dishwasher. We only cooked breakfast and a couple of dinners in. The rest of the meals were had elsewhere.
Problems or Bonuses
Only two minor items:
1) Constant traffic noise down on street below though once the patio and bedroom doors are closed that really becomes a very small nuisance.
2) The Jacuzzi tub should have a shower curtain installed but once one figures out where to stand in the tub while using the shower hose and how to direct the shower spray that too becomes somewhat of a non issue as far as too much water ending up on the bathroom floor.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Doorways did a fine job in recommending La Roccia and then making the rental arrangements with the owners. We just had to arrange the getting-there portion of the vacation.
The owner did not speak English but since I am fairly fluent in Italian that was not much of an issue. His daughter, who does speak English, welcomed us inside the apartment and explained all the pertinent issues to us.
The brochure mentioned a long walk up to the villa. As it turns out there are only about twenty steps and most of those are very deep and wide so not a tough climb, even with a lot of baggage. Fortunately, the owner helped us by carrying our bags up to the apartment.
The price seemed a bit steep but since it was the high season it was still well worth the price.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would without any qualification whatsoever recommend this villa to prospective renters. I would stay there again in a heartbeat.
Things to do in this area
What can I say - there is so much to do that it would take years to see and do everything. For starters, Positano is a beckoning world unto itself that will take a long time to explore and see everything. Not far away are Amalfi, Ravello (known for its jazz and classical music festivals), Sorrento, Capri, Ischia, Naples, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Vesuvius and Salerno. They are all easy to get to by bus, train, and/or boat. Each of the above-mentioned places is no more than about an hour away. Spending the day in each of these places is possible. The transportation network is superb and very reasonably priced.
The restaurants in Positano are out of this world. I would recommend all of them but especially L'Incanto and Chez Black. Chez Black is a magnet for the wealthy, such as Denzell Washington, and then the not so wealthy.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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