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Review 662: Summer in Italy, Villa Michela


Review by alliej74 from MA

3bed/2 bath house near Meta di Sorrento, Campania


July 2003, 1 week


Our stay at Villa Michela this past July 2003 was a perfect fit for our group of 7, and absolutely reasonable in price. Summer in Italy's recommendation for a car transfer as we had requested worked out perfectly and we found the villa along the pedestrian walkway with little problem, in which a quick call to the owners by our driver was easily resolved. The owners met us outside upon our arrival with pastries and coffee as a welcome gift. As we did not speak Italian nor did they speak English communication was very difficult, if any at all. We used our English to Italian dictionary and phrase book as much as possible, which usually worked to the point of some understanding. Our friend's luggage did not arrive with her in Rome, so upon arriving at the villa, the owners arranged for the luggage to be dropped off at the hotel/restaurant below the villa. They even invited her into their home to use the phone to call the airport and make any followup calls as necessary.The owners even delivered her luggage to the villa when it arrived 4 days later. This couple was just the nicest and most open hearted people. They would drop off fresh watermelon or other treats on various days which was a nice surprise upon our return from a busy day of sightseeing. I just wish we could have communicated with them more to thank them for their kindness.

The villa was very large, clean and inviting, and met the description as noted on Summer in Italy's website. The only downside is that the "bedroom" off the balcony is really a living room with no closet or dresser let alone privacy. Anyone else using the upstairs bathroom, balcony or the kitchen upstairs would be walking by this "bedroom". Overall though, this open concept wasn't too disturbing and we made do with what was provided in the other rooms for space. This past summer has been unusually very hot for Italy, so the 95-100+ degree temperatures did not help keeping the villa cool. Our nights were very hot and muggy with no crosswind due to the villa's cave concept. With that in note, there was no wonder why the Italians would begin their arrival to the beach below the villa as early as 6:30am, walking past our villa and 2 of the bedrooms. Although we were up a lot earlier than usual due to the beach goers, it actually benefited us to get up and start our days of sightseeing earlier, in which we would then come back from the villa earlier in the day for a swim or sunning at the beach clubs below for the rest of the day. The beaches were clean with a couple restaurants and snack bars below, as well as 3 beach clubs to make use of as well. For a fee to enter the beach clubs, about 5-7 euros each, which includes clean bathrooms, showers, and a snack bar, as well as a fee for chairs and umbrellas, about 10 Euros each, it was a nice treat some days just to relax and feel a bit pampered, but other days we just sat on the public beach with towel in hand for no cost. The owner walked us to his supermarket of choice on the day we arrived, as well as pointing out other places of interest near the villa. We ate at the Tico Tico as well as the Guisse a Mare restaurant below the villa which was convenient and the food was good. Meta is pretty quiet come sundown, so we enjoyed going into Sorrento on most nights for dinner and strolls. We enjoyed our nights in Sorrento with all the crowds, music and outdoor cafes/restaurants taking the last bus at 11:30pm back to Meta or an overpriced cab if needed. We found getting around on the train, local and SITA busses very easy, despite its tardiness and over crowdedness in the summer. The bus system took a little to figure but was very easy once we knew where to get it back from Sorrento to Meta, as well as learning the SITA bus schedule coming to/from the Amalfi towns. The bus system was quite affordable and our best option. The cafe across from the villa that sells the bus tickets did not have any to sell all week, so we purchased several tickets in Sorrento to have on hand when taking the bus from the villa to the SITA bus depot, train depot or to Sorrento, otherwise it is a bit of a hike to find other tickets. The Circumvesuviana depot as well as the SITA bus depot was about a 15 minute walk from the villa or you could take the bus to this depot. The ticket man outside the depot became our friend this week and supplied us with the correct bus tickets as long as we told him our destination. Keep in mind, you need a new ticket every time you get on a different bus. We learned this the hard way thinking we bought round-trip tickets, when it fact 1 ticket means 1 way and it is a fee of 20-30 Euros per person if you are caught without the correct ticket. This was strictly patrolled! All in all, Villa Michela, its location to the beach as well as its accessibility to public transportation, was perfect for what we had in mind. We couldn't say enough about the owners of Villa Michela, they were such wonderful people and we felt comfortable going to them for anything. Summer in Italy's assistance helped our vacation in Italy be all that it could be which began with the villa arrangements. Their quick response to my inquires in regards to the villa, as well as other travel arrangements, and other interests is truly appreciated!

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

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