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Review 88: Ville in Italia, Villa Bouganville


Review by Toni from Louisiana

villa on Sorrento peninsula, Campania


February 2001, 1 week


We rented Villa Bouganville located in Massa Lubrense, just outside of Sorrento for one week in at the end of February 2001. We located this villa through the Ville in Italia agency, located in Florence. This particular villa is located down a narrow winding drive towards the water, hence the absolutely beautiful view over the bay of Naples. From the many verandahs we had beautiful views of both Capri and Naples. A car is absolutely necessary as this is a quiet place outside of town with a 10 minute ride to bustling Sorrento and a 5 minute ride to quieter Massa Lubrense.

The owners of this particular villa were wonderful. They were very kind to us and even arranged for a doctor to visit when my mother became ill. Although at times it was difficult to get in touch with Caterina, from Ville in Italia, somehow we always got through. We were supposed to rent this villa last October, but my father got sick and we had to postpone. It would have been totally within their rights to keep a portion of the rent since we didn't give the required amount of notice, but instead they allowed us to switch weeks.

The villa is exactly as pictured on the web site, although they must have used a wide-angle lens, because the rooms do appear larger in the pictures. There is a master bedroom on the main level with a sitting room, large bathroom, queen bed and access to an outside area. There is another room with a queen bed up the steps from the kitchen with another bathroom and a huge outside verandah. This room was small but offered plenty of outside space. The third bedroom consisted of two single beds and another bathroom. The fourth is a very small room off the master bedroom. Perfect for a child as it has only one twin bed. There is also an additional bathroom adjacent to the dining room. All bathrooms have a sink, toilet, bidet and a shower and/or tub. Everything was spotlessly clean, and kept that way, due to the mandatory 3 hour cleaning service each day.

The kitchen has a coffee maker, microwave, oven, 5-burner stove and every possible pot, pan, and dish you could imagine. The kitchen is VERY small. Two people are one too many - although she supplies all the utensils for extensive cooking. Just don't plan on having too many cooks! We had a lot of fun taking pictures of three of us in the kitchen. There are truly enough dishes to serve 20 people easily although the dining room table could only seat 5 comfortably. There are so many outside verandahs that in good weather you could easily dine outside on one the many tables and chairs provided. The living room seated 6 or 7 and had a TV, Italian only, and a cassette player. The owners have filled this place with treasures from all over the world. They are obvious collectors and I am surprised they trust people with all of that stuff. They have the most comprehensive collection of seashells that I have ever seen. Fortunately they are locked up in glass cabinets.

The only drawback is there are 32 steps up to enter the villa so if you have someone who has difficulty climbing stairs this would not be the place. It is perfect for entertaining outdoors as the view is unbelievable and if you enjoy sleeping to the sound of waves this is the spot for you.

SlowTrav Follow-up Questions:

The description for this villa says you can walk 1km along the beach to Massa Lubrense - did you do this walk?

>>I did not walk to Massa, but my sister did. The walk from the beginning of the road to the villa and Massa is short and level, but the streets are narrow. It did not seem to bother the Italians making the trek. The walk from the villa up to the road is very steep. Only someone in fairly good shape should even attempt this. My sister is in really good shape.<<

How was the driving in this area? Was it easy to park in Sorrento?

>>Driving was hairy as the roads are narrow. Keep in mind we were in a 9-passenger van so we really needed space. The Italians drive in Sorrento as they do in any other part of Italy. Parking was difficult, but not impossible.<<

Was the furniture in good condition and comfortable?

>>The furniture was old but not uncomfortable. The bed in the master bedroom was beautiful. An antique of some sort.<<

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

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