Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5725: Summer in Italy, Villa Irina
2bed/2bath apartment in Positano, Campania
May 10 through May 15, 2014, Five nights
Villa Irina exceeded our expectations in every way. The hosts, Rita and Giovanni, were extremely friendly and went out of their way to make sure that we were comfortable. It was almost as if I felt pampered my own grandmother's house.
We booked through Summer in Italy and met Giovanni at the Hotel Pasitea nearby. Bring a photocopy of your passport for them, required by owners for all guests. He insisted on carrying my bag the 103 steps to the door. Rita greeted us inside, and using my awful Italian we laughed our way through the house orientation. They had gone out of their way to include unexpected surprises including: a bottle of red wine, a bottle of limoncello liqueur, fresh orange marmalade, bottled water in the refrigerator, coffee with the coffee maker, dish soap, laundry soap, and hand soap, extra pillows, extra blankets, WiFi, and two full bathrooms with showers.
And that view! I could sit on the patio all day long mesmerized by the view of the sea and the activity down below. Two of our five days we spent mostly just at the house enjoying the quiet, and serenity.
It was very easy to get to. We simply took the SITA bus from Sorrento train station to the westernmost stop in Positano "Chiesa Nuova", then rolled our bags downhill about 10 minutes to met our host outside Hotel Pasitea. Alternately, when you get off the SITA bus, you could go inside the Bar Internazionale and purchase tickets for €1.30 to the Interno bus which stopped in front of the hotel. The same bus also stopped at the bottom of the staircase outside of the villa, every 30 minutes.
If you're coming from Rome, take the high-speed train to Salerno then walk 10 minutes to the ferry. It takes 75 minutes to Positano. The only downside is then you have to walk uphill for 10 minutes to the Interno bus.
Note, you should be in decent shape to be able to climb 100 stairs up from the road Viale Pasitea. You can also climb down 130 stairs from the main highway.
The grocery store is located near the main bus stop Chiesa Nuova, next to the Bar Internazionale. Walk up 130 steps to the main road from the Villa, turn right and walk about 100 yards to the grocery store. They are very helpful at the store.
Restaurants are located downhill about 100 stairs to the road. Our favorite restaurant was 200 steps down called Il Fornaio. You can catch the Interno bus 100 stairs down on the Viale Pasitea, to go into town for a multitude of restaurants. Our other favorite place to eat was the garden Cafe Zacara down in Central Positano. To return, take the bus up to the Bar Internationale, walk down the road to the same steps, and down 130 steps to the Villa Irina.
The Villa is in a quiet corner of Positano, very accessible to all the sites, restaurants and easy bus transportation to and from the beach. It's in a quiet area, however you can hear some liveliness from down below. When you walk in there's a hallway with beautiful tile, on the left is the kitchen, which has all modern conveniences, the next room on the left is a very comfortable living room with comfortable furniture for reading also overlooking the deck. Finally the last room on the left is the large bedroom with plenty of storage and again another exit to the very large deck.
There is a washing machine also in the hallway inside a cabinet. That was very useful, and you can hang your wash on the line off the deck. Clothes pins are provided.
At the end of the hall on the right is a small bathroom with a shower. There's a second bathroom off of the bedroom.
The Villa is decorated very comfortably, not modern, but not dated either. There is also decent WiFi, although the signal is a bit week in the bedroom.
You can view the property directly: Villa Irina.
The private deck is large and extends across the entire house. There was a large pretty ceramic table with four chairs, and two lounges for lying in the sun. The view from the deck is incredible, and mesmerizing. It doesn't overlook the main beach, but it does overlook a quiet corner of Positano, with liveliness below and a commanding view of the sea.
Living room furniture is very comfortable for reading. There's plenty of light for reading as well. There's also a reading light next to the beds in the bedroom. In the kitchen there is a nice little table with two chairs for having breakfast. However, I would recommend breakfast on the table outside on the deck.
The bedroom was very comfortable, with comfortable bedding. For Americans, you might find Italian beds a bit firm. There's plenty of storage in the bedroom so you can unpack all of your stuff is if you lived there.
There are also two bathrooms, both with showers. There's decent water pressure, and all fixtures are in working and good condition.
The kitchen has all the amenities, all of the pots and pans you need, as well as a coffee maker and even some coffee was provided.
Problems or Bonuses
We were delighted by the unexpected extras. They included a bottle of red wine, a bottle of limoncello liqueur, bottled water in the refrigerator, fresh orange marmalade, and both the coffee maker and coffee. They also have a percolator espresso maker.
It was very thoughtful of Giovanni to carry one of our big bags up the stairs, although unnecessary, but he insisted. Rita's very kind and very warm, but be prepared to try your broken Italian. We laughed our way through my absolutely awful Italian.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Summer In Italy has excellent communication with guests. They were prompt answering any emails, and found a solution. We inquired about WiFi, and when we arrived it was working perfectly.
They only book the villa for entire weeks, and even though we stayed only five nights we had to pay the weekly rate which was about $1000 in May. But it was worth it!
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We would absolutely stay here again. We've already recommended it on other websites and to friends.
Coming home to San Francisco, after climbing so many stairs in Positano, it's so easy to climb the hills here!
Things to do in this area
We enjoyed a pretty outdoor cafés right in the center of Positano. There's also a hotel restaurant on the beach next to the ferry dock that has great views, good food and espresso but it's very expensive. Up above, we enjoyed Il Fornaio restaurant 200 stairs below the Villa.
On the secondary beach, Spiaggia Fornillo, there is a funky little bar on the east end of the beach which also has some very inexpensive ceramic souvenirs, about half the cost of what you will find in Central Positano.
None of the restaurants in Positano were particularly excellent, and they were all somewhat pricey. Pick a restaurant for its atmosphere, location, and view. We also did a day trip by ferry to the town of Amalfi. I would recommend a ferry as opposed to the SITA bus, because as Giovanni stated, "On-a the bus, you see-a nothing!"
Do not bring the car to Positano as it would be inconvenient, and frustrating, and extremely expensive.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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