Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3211: Owner, Villetta Mimma Vittoria
2bed/2bath house in Gioa Tauro, Calabria
November 2007, 1 week
My husband, two close friends and I recently enjoyed a week's stay at Villetta Mimma Victoria (VMV). VMV's location in Gioia Tauro, a seaside community on Italy's Costa Viola (Violet Coast), makes it an ideal place from which to explore southern Italy, especially Calabria.
Small market with produce, deli, packaged goods is literally around the corner. Breakfast coffee and pastries (at Royal) are less than two blocks away and were excellent.
VMV is a small renovated townhouse, quite adequate for two couples (or family of four). Though situated in the heart of Gioia Tauro, the house is at the end of a relatively quiet street, very close to a small park from which you can see the water and ships heading in and out of the port. The house is in good shape -- modern, stainless steel kitchen has all the modern conveniences of home (except a dishwasher, which we didn't miss). There was ample closet and dresser space in both bedrooms. The owner provides a good selection of CDs & DVDs for listening & viewing in the sitting area (the TV was in good working order).
VMV is pleasantly decorated with an ambiance that's warm and cozy. The washing machine is an added plus for those enjoying an extended stay.
No - this is a small home in an urban setting. A small park is very close and affords opportunities for sitting outdoors.
Overall, the furniture was in good shape and comfortable. One recommendation for the sitting area is to provide a small coffee table - or something with a flat surface on which to rest drinks/snacks.
Overall, the beds were comfortable, however the owner should consider upgrading the mattress in the master bedroom soon.
The second floor master bath is lovely - double sink; tub with both European hand-held and over-head showers. There was adequate hot water and also a washing machine (clothes can be hung outdoors in a secluded space along the side of the home). The second bath is conveniently located on the first floor - similar in size to an American "powder room" but also has a European shower.
The kitchen is well-equipped -- we enjoyed an on-site cooking lesson and then tested our own culinary talents using ingredients we were able to purchase within walking distance.
Problems or Bonuses
The property met our expectations and the experience was consistent with the excellent, very helpful marketing materials we were given in advance.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked with the owner directly - an Internet discovery when we searched for a Calabria rental. He speaks perfect English and lives in NYC. The keyholder also spoke English well. In general, we did not come across very many Gioia Tauro residents/merchants who spoke English so some basic Italian is highly recommended.
The owner, Micheal, spared no effort to ensure that our stay was everything we had hoped. His attention to detail ranged from providing extensive pre-trip information on the villa, the community, and the surrounding region to ensuring that we felt instantly welcomed by the very helpful key-holder when we arrived.
The cost of the rental seems appropriate -- it's economical compared to many but Gioia Tauro is not a "destination" location. It is, however, a very convenient base from which to take many interesting day trips.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes - I certainly would consider renting again if I have the opportunity to return to western Calabria.
Things to do in this area
Gioia Tauro is an active port community -- we enjoyed interacting with local residents and shopkeepers who were always willing to help us though our knowledge of Italian is limited. We bought pastry at the Royal coffee bar - excellent. We did not dine in local restaurants because we tended to eat in the other places we explored during our day trips and the rental has a great kitchen for cooking an evening supper.
From the villa, we were able to make easy day trips to Scylla, Tropea, Gerace, Palmi and Reggio -- we highly recommend these excursions to other travelers. If you enjoy stunning scenery, interesting history, delicious food, and friendly encounters, Calabria is the place for you. VMV puts it all within easy reach!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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