From the moment my fella and I began planning our trip to Italy, the Amalfi Coast had been the pinnacle of our itinerary.  Every ounce of energy we had put in to planning had been geared towards those colourful hilltop towns, the stretches of sandy shore and the ancient undulating road which wound its way round the dramatic clifftop curves. 

The stunning town of Positano

The views on the hour-and-a-half journey from Sorrento to Amalfi did not disappoint.  Every hairpin bend seemed to give way to a new breath-taking vista.  Below us, the azure sea sparkled invitingly.  Lemon trees lined the valleys.  Pastel-toned houses perched at impossible angles.  It was hard to imagine a more stunning drive.  The only thing which would have completed the picture would have been an open top Corvette.  Sadly we were vacuum-packed into an awkward angle on the local SITA bus, which was in the midst of completing a busy school-run, and had left us within uncomfortable earshot of a pair of amorous teenagers who seemed oblivious to the passing landscape as they continued on a feverish game of necking. 

By the time we reached Amalfi harbour I was feeling a little nauseous.  I’m not sure whether that was down to the car-sickness or the faint aroma of warming pasties which had begun to develop.  Either way, I was glad of fresh air. 

Thankfully it was a quick transfer on to another bus to Ravello, the hilltop village which was to be our home for the next two days.  The drive uphill was equally enchanting.  As the bus climbed at a nerve-inducing angle, we passed olive groves and ancient churches and villages which looked as though they had not changed in a thousand years.  As we stepped in to the village, a short twenty minutes later, I was raring to get out and explore.  First thing was first though; I had business to attend to.  We were here to explore the coast, of course, but also to review the locally owned La Dolce Vita apartments, which were just a short walk from the stop.  Thankfully there was little chance of us getting lost, as the staff were kind enough to come and meet us. 

Beautiful Ravello

I’d already pre-empted that this was going to be somewhat of a special stay, as Ravello itself looked pretty stunning.  I had no idea just how lucky we were going to be.  Quite frankly I’d have been grateful for a room anywhere.  Instead, what we were treated to was the Nettuno apartment, the company’s pride and joy.  As we stepped out on to the balcony for the first time, with the staggering view out over the famous coastline below, I came to the fast realisation that if this was as far as my travel writing career ever took me, then I would die a happy woman. 

There was much, much, much to love about this apartment and the two days we spent there flew by at a terrifying rate.  I’m going to try my best to condense my thoughts to one article, but if you have questions or would like to know more about La Dolce Vita, feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch via my contact page. 

So here we go, my top five reasons to love this apartment: 

It’s locally owned 

It sounds like such a small thing, but actually it’s really refreshing to stay somewhere independently owned, and to be in direct contact with the owners.  I could tell that the staff were every bit in love with the apartments as their guests, and the fact that they were willing to pop down to show us in (and could be called directly if you needed them) was a lovely touch.  In fact, the family also own a ceramics shop in the main town and might even do you a special deal if you have time to go by. 

Just some of the locally-made ceramics dotted throughout the apartment.

The location is perfect 

The main bus stop (served by both SITA and the Citysightseeing busses) is just a short walk (5 minutes with bags) from the apartments, making it really easy to come and go.  It takes less than ten minutes to walk in to the gorgeous village square which has several great cafes, restaurants and shops to try out (I’d recommend Vittoria for some gorgeous pasta – just be sure to book ahead!).  Straight across the road, you’ve got the Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium, one of Europe’s most scenically-placed concert halls.   

Although you’ve got everything you need on your doorstep, Ravello itself is pretty small, and you might want to head into one of the nearby towns at some point.  La Dolce Vita is perfectly located for this; either jump on a bus (or grab a taxi from the tunnel just along from the bus stop), or, if you’re feeling active, take the ancient steps which run right past the apartments and you’ll find yourself on a gorgeous walk through the countryside to the nearby towns of Scala (45 mins), Minori (1 hr), Maoiri (2 hrs) or Amalfi itself (2hrs).  Just be prepared for the fact that you’re going to be looking at a several-thousand-step climb back up the hill at the end; I’d generally say that I was reasonably fit and able, and yet I found myself stopping for rather a lot of strategically placed photo opportunities… 

The view from the (epic) climb down to Minori.

The view is unbeatable  

This ties in to my last point but really, I can’t emphasize enough how stunning the view is.  Whether you’re having breakfast out on the communal terrace below or enjoying the view from the comfort of your own balcony, the panoramic scenes out over Minori and Maoiri are just stunning.  On our first night, it rained continuously.  Normally, you’d think this would put a bit of a downer on things.  Anything but.  Instead of moping around inside, watching Netflix and berating the world, we were able to snuggle up on our private balcony, sheltered from the elements, stick on some tunes, and watch as the dramatic weather unfolded before our eyes.  It was a view you could never get bored of, and one I plan to carry with me in my mind as my ‘happy place’ to go to whenever I’m needing inspiration or sunny thoughts. 

The view from our private balcony.

The facilities were first class 

Nettuno is a one-bedroom apartment and yet it’s more than well equipped for two people (or perhaps more, as I believe the sofa in the living room was actually a sofa bed).  As well as the main bedroom there were two bathrooms, a living room, a dining area, a kitchen, a private balcony and access to the communal terrace below.  Everything was decorated impeccably, with clean white walls, marble floors and gorgeous bright artwork interspersed with tiles and pottery fresh from their store. 

Every little detail had been thought out with the guests’ experience and comfort in mind, from the well-stocked mini-bar and fridge to the lovely olive-infused toileteries…which I am absolutely going to have to source here in Scotland! The towels were luxuriously fluffy, the bed super-comfy and there were even complimentary slippers laid out for us – an absolute treat! 

My only criticism (if you can call it that) is that everything was just so beautiful and delicate that I lived in a perpetual state of fear that my world-renowned clumsiness might kick in and I’d end up smashing everything in sight in a Mr-Bean-esque moment of buffoonery.  Thankfully I kept my wits about me, and refrained from playing with the pottery. 

They’ll serve you a breakfast fit for a King 

I was quite taken aback when I learned that we would have breakfast brought straight to the apartment.  This was certainly not something I was used to, given that I always feel too guilty to order room service when it’s on offer (FYI, that’s about to change!).  It was an absolute treat to be looked after like this.  Every morning a lovely lady (I believe she was called Jennifer?) would arrive at a time chosen by us with a tray full of Italian goodies, from cured meats and cheeses to deliciously sweet pastries, yoghurts and fruit.  There was even the offer to have your eggs cooked for you!  The espresso and orange juice combo set us right up for the day ahead, and the portions were so generous that both days, we had enough food stored aside to keep us going for lunch too.  This kind of treatment was beyond anything I’d experienced before, and made a nice change from the DIY hotel buffets I’ve been used to. 

 

Some important facts: 

La Dolce Vita is a large villa split into four apartments.  Guests are able to choose from: 

  • A studio 

  • A studio with a sea view 

  • A 1 Bedroom apartment with a private patio 

  • A 1 Bedroom apartment with a private balcony 

You can find the apartments at 

La Dolce Vita  

Via Crocelle 23/25  

Ravello   

This is straight across from the auditorium.  If you’re arriving by bus, just follow the road sign towards the auditorium for about two minutes, then you’ll see a slope leading down to the concert hall. Walk down that slope and by the bottom, you’ll be able to see La Dolce Vita, overlooking the sea. 

If you need to reach the owners at all, you can contact them here: 

Madalina Grigorie, 

Manager Pascal srl. 

Via Roma 22 

84010 Ravello(SA),  

Italy 

Mob./WhatApp: + 39 329 4424020 

Off.: + 39 089 858576 

Fax:  + 39 089 8586070 

Prices vary according to season.  For best rates guaranteed, head directly to their website here. 

Disclaimer:  Our two night stay was very kindly supported by La Dolce Vita.  Many thanks to Madalina and her team for making this possible, and for looking after us so well.  As always, my opinions are my own. 

About The Author

A twenty-something-year-old with a penchant for travel and a never-ending supply of terrible puns.

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