From the moment my partner and I began planning our trip to Italy, the Amalfi Coast was the pinnacle of our itinerary. Every ounce of energy we put in to planning was geared towards that moment: Gazing up at the colourful hilltop towns. Feeling the sand beneath our toes as we strolled along sweeping shorelines. We were even happy to face the ancient undulating road as it wound its way around the notorious hairpin bends. We were truly ready to experience the meaning of living ‘La Dolce Vita’.
The views on the hour-and-a-half journey from Sorrento to Amalfi did not disappoint. Every 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. All we needed now was an open top Corvette. Hey, it’s nice to dream…
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 on our bus. 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. The bus climbed at a nerve-inducing angle. We we passed olive groves, 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.
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, an unimaginable view of the famous coastline stretched out before us. I came to the fast realisation that if this was as far as my travel writing career ever took me, I would die a happy woman.
La Dolce Vita
There was much, much, much to love about La Dolce Vita. The two days we spent in the Nettuno apartment flew by at a terrifying rate. I’m going to try my best to condense my thoughts to one article. 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 complex:
It’s locally owned
It sounds like such a small thing, but actually it’s really refreshing to stay somewhere independently owned. It allows you to get to know the owners. I could tell that the staff were every bit in love with the apartments as their guests. 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!
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. This makes it really easy to come and go.
It takes less than ten minutes to walk in to the gorgeous village square. Ravello 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 from the apartments, 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. You might want to head into one of the nearby towns at some point. La Dolce Vita is perfectly located for this, with busses and taxis available day and night.
If you’re feeling active, take the ancient steps which run right past the apartments. 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 several-thousand-step climb back up the hill at the end! I found myself stopping for rather a lot of strategically placed photo opportunities…
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!
Ordinarily, we might have found ourselves moping around inside, watching Netflix and berating the world. Instead, were able to snuggle up on our private balcony, sheltered from the elements. We stuck on some tunes, and watched as the dramatic weather and lightning unfolded before our eyes. It was an incredible experience, and one we still talk about to this day!
The facilities were first class
Nettuno is a one-bedroom apartment but can easily accommodate more than two people. The living room comes with a sofa bed as an option, and there are two bathrooms. As well as this, you’ve got a large dining area, separate kitchen, private balcony and access to the communal terrace.
Everything was decorated impeccably, with clean white walls, marble floors and gorgeous bright artwork interspersed with tiles and pottery fresh from the family’s workshop.
Every detail is thought out with the guests’ experience and comfort in mind, from the well-stocked mini-bar to the olive-infused toiletries. The towels are luxuriously fluffy, and the bed super-comfy. 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 did find myself worrying about breaking something, a la Mr Bean. My clumsiness is world-renowned, after all! 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 would arrive at a time chosen by us with a tray full of Italian goodies. We had our pick of 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.
The portions were so generous that both days, we had enough food stored aside to keep us going for lunch too. This kind of service was beyond anything I’d experienced before. It made a nice change from the DIY hotel buffets we were usually met with.
Some important facts:
La Dolce Vita is a large villa split into four apartments. Guests are able to choose from:
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
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. 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. We were very grateful to the owners for meeting us at the auditorium. It was such a simple personal touch, but made our stay all the more inviting!
If you need to reach the owners at all, you can contact them here:
Manager Pascal srl.
Via Roma 22
84010 Ravello (SA)
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.