Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2288: Fleagrea House, Theatre Domus
5bed/4bath house near Bacoli/Naples, Campania
July/August 2006, 2 weeks
This rental property was set in Capo Miseno close to the small town of Bacoli which in turn is reasonably close to Naples. The immediate vicinity of the villa is a small beachside community popular with Italian holidaymakers. The area is also the setting of Robert Harris's book Pompeii, It has many archeologically important sites to visit. This is an authentic Italian holiday experience, we were the only Brits in evidence for the whole of our stay.
The villa itself is set back from the road amid lots of greenery and surrounded by a wall and secure electric gates. So even though it is in the midst of a vibrant community it feels very safe and private.
Outside the gates of the villa within strolling distance were all the amenities a holidaymaker could need, shops, numerous restaurants, bus stops, beach. The local shopkeeper was very friendly and spent many minutes patiently explaining a particular item in Italian crossed with a broad Aussie accent!! (he had apaprently lived in Australia for some time but returnd home to Italy) as we did not speak Italian and most of the community spoke no English he was a great help to us.
The villa was the ground floor of a larger house which in addition to being rented out as one villa is also used as an agriturismo bed and breakfast during off peak months. We had the downstairs portion which was five bedrooms and four baths.
We originally found this property through a SlowTrav classified ad. In the ad the villa is described as "RUSTIC" and this is a very apt description. Whilst all the rooms are clean and comfortable, they could not be described as smart or luxurious. The bedrooms consisted of one large double with ensuite and dressing area, which was behind the sitting room and therefore seperate from the other sleeping accomodations and four other rooms which had adjacent bathrooms. The rooms all had airconditioning aside from the childrens bunkbed room. The sitting room was a good size for a family and had a large dining area and a TV was available as was a stereo system. This room had two sets of patio doors, which opened onto the large terrace which surrounded the villa. The kitchen was of an adequate size and had all the requirements to cook a family meal. There was also a washing machine in a room off the terrace.
The best feature of this property was without doubt the terraces and pool. The terrace went all around the house and had a fabulous view of the sea/Miseno harbour and the surrounding area. The pool, which was on a lower level and was very private, was large and equipped with lilos, floats and toys. There were also two showers and an outside toilet, numerous sunbeds and tables. A level up from the pool on the house level were more tables and nooks for reading, a table tennis table and BBQ. This was a delightful area where we spent a lot of time.
The furniture was adequate for a single family, and it was clean and comfortable.
Again the bedrooms were simply furnished with pieces which had obviously been in the family a long time and therefore were not modern nor smart.
The kitchen was suitable for a family to prepare simple family meals and had all the requiremnts for that including sufficient dishes, pans etc.
Problems or Bonuses
My concern on booking was that the area may be too remote, this was completely unfounded it was a lively friendly location with great amenities. Bacoli itself was a great surprise the people were lovely and really helpful. From the port ferries run daily to all Amalfi coastal destinations including Sorrento, Positano,Pompeii, Naples etc. They are cheap and reliable and a real bonus. We rented a car from Naples (Hertz) and the staff there were outstanding.
I did have a concern with the security shutters in that I was not comfortable sleeping with them down at night(as we were advised to do) as I considered it unsafe in case of fire. The shutters on all the windows and the alarm did give us the impression that this was not a safe area but this proved unfounded and was obviously precautionary.
The owner had said she would occasionally use the pool when she came to the house to check onthe upstairs appartment and on two occasions she did this whilst we were at the house. I had understood her to mean that she would do this if we were out for the day not if we were in the house. We did feel a little uncomfortable with this but accepted it. Also the gardener and pool man sometimmes arrived very early in the morning and had to pass by the bedroom windows which we found a little disconcerting at times! Both these things we did feel detracted from the privacy of the rental but as maintenance does need to be done we understand the need for it.
The other issue which surprised us was the electricity costs, on arrival a meter reading was taken and on departure we were billed for the usage. We had used the airconditioning only minimally at night and not at all during the day as a sea breeze made it unecessary and used the washing machine mainly for towels. The cost for two weeks was 250 euro, which we thought was high but we are not sure if electricty costs in Italy are generally higher than those in the UK so maybe it was correct. For future renters though it is something to be awaare of.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owner was very helpful and spoke reasonably good English. We had to pay by bankers draft in advance or by cash on arrival (after the initial deposit) and leave a 700 guarantee(which was returned to us on departure) The cost for two weeks in July/August was 4000 euro plus 250 electric plus cleaning and linens total 4500 euro. We were happy with this price when compared with other coastal rentals.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
As a family, we enjoyed this rental very much and we would stay here again, however even though it is such a large property I do not think it suitable for two families to share due to the disparity in the bedroom/bathroom arrangements.
We have stayed in rental homes all over Europe and the US. In the US the standard is generally much higher than in Europe, this property is no exception. If you are expecting luxury accomodation you would be disappointed. If you are expecting clean, comfortable, functional rooms you will be happy with Fleagrea House. The outside space is second to none and the pool/views wonderful, so for an alfresco holiday it is ideal.
Things to do in this area
We visited all the restaurants in the area(we ate out every night)and as they cater to Italians not tourists the food was simple, homely and well cooked. We also visited many of the archeological sites in the area: Piscina Mirabilis, Soltafara, Baia, Cumae, Pozzuoli Amphitheatre. We visited Positano, Sorrento and Capri by ferry from Bacoli port which was very convenient. It was 45 mins from here to Pompeii by car, so we found the villa to be well located for seeing the immediate area and the Amalfi Coast.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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