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Review 476: Summer In Italy, Appartemento Elena


Review by John from US

apartments in Villa Scarpariello on Amalfi coast, Campania


October 26-November 2, 2002, one week


My wife and I loved the Villa as a base camp for operations on the Amalfi coast. While driving can be treacherous, the parking lot available to guests makes things very convenient. Be aware that there are many stairs to climb no matter where you stay in the Villa Scarpariello for ingress and egress (whether directly to the water or back up to the road).

The service was just enough to make things comfortable without making you feel like you're in a hotel - the staff is like family - very friendly, multilingual. Sheets get changed and apartment gets cleaned every day. The kitchen is adequate enough to be able to prepare light meals in the evening and sit outside an enjoy the views. The neighboring towns of Minori and Priano, while not the most beautiful for post card purposes, were great for shopping for food and drink to provision the Villa and being less swarmed with tourists, were more appealing to us.

We chartered a boat to go along the coast and to Capri that picked us up at the Villa - very convenient if you have a baby or people who are not inclined to spend the day figuring out ferry departures, buses or other travel concerns. Everyone knows everyone on the coast, so all you have to do is ask for what you want and someone will be able to help. The flip side of this coin is that, as with many hotels, the restaurants recommended to guests were not always the best restaurants (although we had some good recommendations too) - do a little asking around on the food because it can be spectacular - but it can also be touristy mediocre depending on where you end up.

The view out of Appartemento Elena is beautiful overlooking the sea - the sound of the water against the rocks at night is very peaceful. The Villa is quiet so long as the people in the apartment above you are quiet. The Apartment is modestly appointed, but the real pleasure is in the location of the villa and the views and peacefulness. Breakfast on the gardened terrace overlooking the water each morning after a brisk swim in the Mediterranean was wonderful.

The Appartemento Elena had three bedrooms (one small single which is the only one that truly overlooks the water, and two double rooms). The terrace next to the apartments is beautiful and was not crowded when we were there. The terrace outside the apartment itself is narrow but a nice place to sit out, have a drink and a cigar and watch the sun go down.

The other guests present were professionals from Paris & London - at least one family was a repeat visitor. Nice people - family oriented.

We were delighted with the Villa and highly recommend it to others who are thinking of the area. A great refuge from the tourists who mob the other towns of Positano, Amalfi etc., well situated for day trips, nice staff and accomodations. We would be happy to discuss our experience with anyone considering the Villa. We visited during the last week of the season and found that by being slightly off season, the rates were better, guests fewer, and the overall feeling was slightly more intimate than if it had been a fully booked Villa.

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

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