Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3201: Casa Lauridsen, Apartment Josefine
1bed/1bath apartment in Camogli, Liguria
September 2007, Three weeks
Casa Lauridsen is located on a hillside in a quiet residential neighborhood overlooking the small seaside town of Camogli on the Riviera. The feeling was quite private. The neighboring buildings on either side were separated from us by gardens. The property is gated. The owners, Tine and Ulrik, transplanted Danes, live in another, separate two story house behind this one. We loved the area and the neighborhood.
Located very close to the apartment towards town is a small grocery store where we bought a few basic food items the day after our arrival. Unfortunately, the friendly owner left on vacation the next day so the store was closed the rest of our time. However, we could walk to town by way of pedestrian staircases and paths for nearly anything we needed. We definitely got our exercise. Although parking is available at the apartment, we would not recommend a car. Parking is at a premium most places, driving is only for the daring, and you can get anywhere on foot or by public transportation.
Camogli has a small supermarket as well as numerous specialty food shops for baked goods, produce, meat, cheese, fish, wine, etc. There are lots of restaurants, cafes, ice cream stands, and small shops. Not a chain store or fast food franchise in sight! Camogli has a couple of banks, a small hardware store, a book store, a news stand, an optical shop, a flower shop, numerous clothing stores, art galleries, etc., just about anything you could want. We became regular patrons of the tourist information office across from the train station, which has the only Internet “point” in town. You can buy train tickets here (the station ticket office closes in mid afternoon) or pick up a bus schedule. If there is anything you can't find in Camogli, you can probably get it in Recco, the adjoining town. Recco "Centro Citta" is a very short bus ride away if you don't have a car. You could even walk if you are ambitious.
The apartment is in a detached two-flat building. Both flats are available for rent. The Josefine, named after the owners' older daughter, is the upper flat and the larger of the two. While we were only two, the apartment can accommodate up to six people with use of the bunk beds in the entry, sofa bed in the dining area, and a pull out bed in the bedroom, in addition to the king size main bed. This would work best for a family. The rooms are spacious. There is no living room, so the kitchen-eating area serves as the social focus. It has a TV (erratic Italian channels only) and radio/CD player.
The balcony overlooks a small yard with a grape arbor and outdoor furniture that we could use when the lower flat was not occupied. The owner shared with us some of the grapes he harvested. The garden separates the building from the street.
We really liked the simple, clean, contemporary decor. (Think IKEA.) All the furnishings and appliances were in excellent condition. A more comfortable living area would have been nice. The sofa is actually a sofa bed and there are no soft chairs, but it was certainly adequate.
Both were great. We liked the large, comfortable bed and ample bedroom and closet space. The bathroom looked new and immaculate. The shower stall is on the small side.
We ate breakfast and many evening meals at home, so really appreciated the large, well-furnished, modern kitchen and dining area. All the usual kitchen appliances we're used to at home. We also made regular use of the washing machine. Drying clothes is Italian style by hanging on a rack outside on the balcony.
Problems or Bonuses
Although not part of the rental agreement, our host graciously offered to pick us up and drop us off at the train station since we did not have a car. A wonderful surprise, especially when we left very early in the morning before the taxis started operating. There were many other nice gestures from our hosts throughout our stay that we did not expect.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Booking is direct with the owners. We paid €600 per week (10% discount for second & third weeks). September is considered mid-season. Owners require payment by wire transfer in advance (no credit cards.) The owners live right next door and could not have been more helpful or accommodating when we had questions or requests.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We learned about this rental from a previous post on Slow Travel. We would not hesitate recommending it as well and can confirm everything positive said about it by the earlier visitors. It exceeded our expectations in every way. We would definitely stay there again. If you don't mind paying a little more, we would recommend the upstairs apartment for the extra space and view. We thought the location ideal for a “slow travel” vacation. It would probably not be suitable for someone disabled or who has trouble with stairs, but that would be true of most facilities in this part of the world.
Things to do in this area
Camogli is a delightful, slow paced community, so just hanging out there, walking around, enjoying the beach and harbor, and getting to know the town and environs would be enough for a relaxing vacation. Boating, swimming, snorkeling, hiking, eating, and people watching are activities within walking distance of the apartment. We hiked the Parco di Portofino, a large natural area adjacent to Camogli. We took day trips by train and ferry to Genoa and other towns of the Riviera. Don't miss the famous cheese focaccia at Manuela in Recco, the aquarium in Genoa, the view of the sea from Ruta and San Rocco, and day trips (by foot, ferry and/or train) to San Fruttuoso, Portofino, Santa Margherita, Le Cinque Terre, Portovenere, and Le Albisole.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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