The owners and agent were good in terms of arraging to meet us and explaining the property and also providing advice through whatsapp. The apartment is as it looks in photos and we liked the location. However there is room for improvement given the price paid per night:
- the flat smelt damp and the sheets also felt vaguely damp, perhaps nobody had stayed in a while. The aircon took a lot of mositure out of the air and on the first night (and second although not so much) dripped into a water bottle in the bedroom cupboard
- although there was a kitchen, there were no glass/china cups. Being an environmentalist, i did not agree with using plastic cups provided in a home.
- the shower heating was temperamental and one day my husband didnt have enough time to make it work, so skipped a shower.
Overall a nice place, but it is over priced in my opinion.
The weather was certainly beyond anyone's control. And the whipping winds and sleet were not forecast. But our stay at Casa Futura Retro was part of a huge adventure.
The apartment is extremely comfortable and spacious. Tons of closet and clothes storage, a large living room, really lovely. It doesn't have a great deal of natural light but then it is in the Centro Storico where streets are narrow and buildings close set. And gloomy skies didn't help.
The location is SPLENDID! It's a 2-3 minute walk to the lungomare and the neighborhood is crowded with all the shops you need: butcher, pastries and bread, general foods, fruits and vegetables. A lovely enoteca is right over the street--found a red wine we really liked and I think we bought about 6 bottles of it. Plenty of restaurants, cafes, small take-aways all within a short walk. And the longest walk--to the train station--is only about 20 minutes.
We had a car and parking predictably was a problem. Family friend Francesca was a huge help getting us to the garage, and not only led me directly there, but stayed and negotiated the rate. The proprietor tried to charge me for 9 days when it was 8 and Francesca put that to rest. Then when I came to prepay the agreed upon 105 euros the next day, a different attendant tried to argue that the rate was 20 euros a day and not 15. But I had a signed receipt and all ended well. However. Be aware.
Salerno is definitely on Italy time. There is business in the morning. Restaurants open for lunch operate from about noon to 2:30 or so. Then all goes quiet until seven. It took a bit to find the rhythm--even to ensuring that the butcher or grocer was open.
I mentioned that the kitchen needed better equipping. We are big cooks. Shopping local and trying to eat like locals is a great pleasure for us. We really depend on the kitchen and if I had not had my trusty Swiss Army knife, we would have had problems. I couldn't make their corkscrew function. Their knife is not up to serious cutting. There was no tea kettle or tea pot. A sauce pan taking about 1 or 1 1/2 L would have been helpful. There was no baking dish or sheet that could be used in the oven. I ended up toasting bread over the burners because turning the stove on at the same time as the heat and hot water almost guarantees a power outage. (But the circuit breaker box is right be the door.) Certainly the biggest absence was dish towels, pot holders and maybe paper towels. We bought paper towels, but there were no napkins or dish towels and it made it hard to keep the kitchen tidy. Oh and facial tissue. Got that too, but it would have been nice to have a box already there. I think perhaps 20 or 30 euros spent prudently at the nearest Ikea would really help.
I think more towels would not have gone amiss. There were only two complete sets and each morning the bath towels and mat were pretty soggy when we were done with showers. We hung them to dry in the living room near the heater, but still. A spare blanket for the bed would be good, too.
And electricity was a bit of an issue for us. As I said, the weather was very cold. Everything runs off the electricity: water heater, heat, stove, washing machine. Getting what we needed was a bit of a balancing act.
We've stayed at a lot of self-catering apartments, in France, England, Italy, Belgium and Lithuania. The one essential that was totally missing at Casa Futura Retro was a detailed instruction book. There is only one sheet in the blue folder. It gives the WiFi password and asks that one take the garbage out. But there is no information on where to leave the garbage, what to do with the recycling. There is no map of the town available, no information about where the Tourism Office is. There is no instruction on using either the stove or the clothes washer and the pictograms on both are inscrutable to these American eyes. The more information the better. About the apartment, its furnishings, the neighborhood, everything.
Essentially I think the apartment was perhaps too spartan in its furnishings. Small things go a long way. I absolutely recommend this place--and I hope that all of you get warmer, sunnier weather!
My husband & I spent 3 nights in this wonderful, well designed, clean apt. The photos are accurate though they don't show what a great, very convenient location the apt. has! Steps away are restaurants, the historic center and Lungomare, a beautiful blvd. on the water. The hosts are welcoming and responsive. This is a lovely, spacious apt. & Salerno was a good base. Be sure to visit Paestum - a highlight of our trip!
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