where do I start? well, let me start with "what is your definition of a holiday?" for me and my husband, a good holiday is all about whether you are comfortable; able to relax; do whatever you want and whenever, or not? the foundation of a good holiday for us is a home away from home. and I can tell you casa montecello is that place.
when I decided that my husband and I needed a real vacation and that we would spend two weeks on the amalfi coast, i knew that I could not be spending those two weeks in a hotel room even if it is a ritz Carlton! don't get me wrong. I love the ritz and JW, they truly have the best appointed hotel rooms and customer services. but when I had to stay at the JW in SH for 6 weeks for work a few years ago, I went bananas (despite they gave me a junior suite!)
i decided on positano early on. but everything i read about positano contains the words such as "fashionable", "busy", "destination". I never liked any place that is "fashionable". so I promptly decided against staying in positano but still wanted to be close. by pure accident, I came upon the name "montepertuso" during my search on VRBO website. it is a small village that is part of the comune di positano, and it is perched at 1000 feet above positano. when I saw the pictures posted by owner raffaele guida for his property, casa montecello, I knew this was the place I wanted for our extended stay.
yes, pictures are worth a thousand words, but having traveled and done road trips in turkey, Sicily, even the English country side, and of course in the United States, I was well aware of the risk of a non-internaitonal brand that you never know what you may find once you get there. for example, whether you like the marriott or Starwood brand or not, you will more likely than not get the same bed and amenities no matter which city you are in. but b&b, boutiques, and private vacation homes can be hit or miss.
I don't know about you, but it is extremely critical for me that the place has to have the right bed, proper covers (not too hot or too cold for sleeping) and decent shower so that I can sleep and clean properly. all I can say is that casa montecello is everything and more.
it is a TRUE one-bedroom apartment, meaning it has a real bedroom with a door and a lot of closet space; it has a firm queen size bed, and a futon that is not uncomfortable; it has great shower with really hot water and nice pressure; it has a washing machine which was a must-have for us so that hubby can wash his cycling kit after each of his rides. it has a well stocked kitchen just as in the description. when I say "well stocked", it truly is. it has all the silverware, utensils for cooking, microwave, an oven (which was a surprise to me - came handy when we needed to warm up our pizza) electric tea kettle, it even has an american style coffee maker in case you don't know how to make coffee European way. we made nice breakfasts, lunches, and occasional spaghetti dishes there.
but it gets better. what sets this apartment apart from all other properties I looked at are:
1. breathtaking view from 1000 feet above. the location is prime (see pictures I attached here - yes, you wake up to this every morning). it is not the view you can possibly get unless you get higher up. I think we got so spoiled by this, that when we went on our private amalfi coast excursion, we loved and appreciated every single village and scenery spot we stopped by along the coast line, but we did not go all gaga or crossed-eyed by them because truly few angles or vantage points beat what we see from our own terrace everyday.
2. a true terrace that is so large that it has a beautifully tiled dining table and matching chairs, two comfy lounge chairs with cushions. it also has built in cloth lines so that I can sun dry all my washes which I absolutely love.
3. if you know anything about amalfi coast esp positano, you'll know that visiting here involves stairs, and many of them. the entire town is built on steep hills and that is why it has such mesmerizing view esp at twilight. but that also means at many places, one would have to carry luggage up and down the stairs from the main road. that is something I knew, and was willing to suffer through for the beauty of it. but to my surprise (again), raffaele has this genius set up that hauls luggage automatically via cable from main gate of the complex to where your apartment is (about 74 steps down.) I don't think many places in positano are as smartly set up as this one.
4. the complex seems to have been recently renovated (within the last 10 years?) it has beautiful plants and gardens at all levels. and if you do insist on driving (not recommended nor necessary) raffaele has ample LEVELED parking space. (many places in positano have "parking space" that well.... if it was me, it would be either I could never get into the space, or I would have backed up the car all the way to rolling down the cliff.) and because it is relatively new, everything is nice and in working orders.
5. you know that sometimes when a B&B or private rental owner advertises their place and states that the property has easy access to public transportation or markets or other amenities that are required
for a pleasant and easy stay, but in reality a 5 min walk often turns out to be more like 25 min hike for you?! well, in this case, I can assure you that raffaele's place is indeed 3 min walk from the bus station that will take you to all points of interest in positano; 8 min of walk to the mini market in the center of the village where you'll find all the proscuitto, fresh cheese, home grown tomatos and other vegetables, and the best mozzarella from buffalo!
6. it is extremely QUIET! the village of montepertuso is not a tourist trap. it does not have big tour buses that come and go non-stop. the house is well built (as opposed to flimsy "paper walls" often found in many of the b&b in the US where you feel as if you are sleeping with whole bunch of strangers in the same room!) raffaele, his wife and daughter, and mother are all very quite people. we almost never heard anyone during our two weeks of stay. every morning and dusk, when you come out to the terrace, and look down at the quaint positano, the hills, the sky, the sea dotted by boats, one or two occasional barks of one dog down below in the distance, it is simply heaven.
the property is equipped with wifi. unfortunately it is extremely spotty, often time non-existent. but I am semi-retired, hubby vowed not to check work email, and neither of us uses any social media. so sporadic internet connection was more than enough for us. but if you are someone who needs to be constantly "connected" even on holiday, this place is not for you.
another note of caution: buses are easy to catch. but they do run a sparse schedule after the summer peak season, and the last bus from positano back to montepertuso ends pretty early during off season. for us, spending the night in our apartment in the village was not an issue. it was actually something we chose to do often. but we did run into a man who actually had stayed at raffaele's place before but this time decided to stay in positano because he wanted to be "closer to actions." again, as in many decisions in life, it is all about compatibility. village of montepertuso is not for you if 1) you want to have a "pampered" vacation that you don't want to cook, wash anything, and make your own bed 2) you are city hopping as what most organized tours do 3) you have only 2 days in positano. 4) you prefer a jam packed itinerary and crowds 5) don't like public transportation and do not like to walk 6) don't like to be surrounded by people who don't speak your language. but for what we need and want, this was the perfect place!
I have a lot more to say about why you should stay here if you are looking for the same kind of qualities as we do from a holiday. but I will elaborate more in my review on montepertuso and positano as well as Sorrento.
Great location, awesome view! Away from the hustle and bussel - bus right outside to bring you into town or walk 10 min and have access to groceries, good restaurants. Close to hiking trails - a perfect spot that we highly recommend!!
Accommodations were great,everything you need- felt like home.
We will be back!
Thank you Raffaele and to your family and a hello to your beautiful mother signora Teresa!
|How easy was it to book the property?||How easy was key pickup/access to the property?|
|Overall condition of the property||Bedding & mattresses|
|Kitchen & utensils||Bathroom cleanliness|
|How easy was it to book the property?||How helpful were the directions to the property?|
|How easy was key pickup/access to the property?||Overall condition of the property|
|Bedding & mattresses||Kitchen & utensils|
|Bathroom cleanliness||Other facilities & amenities|