Simply the best we've ever experienced
That, at first examination and upon even further consideration, is how we would describe our four days and nights at the Hotel Holidays Fico D'India. Pino and his entire family are simply the most cordial, most warm - heck, the most loving - hosts we've ever had anywhere and at any time in some 10 trips to Europe, to Australia, to England, to France. Even to - and my apologies to my previous best-ever - nation of Ireland and the people of Dingle Town.
Located amidst the twisting, heart-churning narrow mountain roads above the Amalfi Coast of southern Italy, and overlooking both the blue Mediterranean Sea and the Fjord of Furore, this is as close to travel home heaven as my wife Barb and I have ever been.
Perched midway above and between Positano and Amalfi - with Sorrento and Ravel
day-trip delights within reach by SITA bus - we paid 90 Euros a night for a 30-meter, Italian-tiled suite with double balcony overlooking the mountain's run to the sea. The room had a queen-size bed withan extra day bed, a desk, satellite television, a fridge and a wonderful Jacuzzi tub to help the legs prepare for the next day's excursion.
Just down the hall on the same level was the Ristorante "Lo Scrivano" where we ate breakfast every day "whenever you want, this is your home," Pino said the first day, and where on three evenings we dined on local special dishes and wine, and where Pino presented Barb a rose and birthday wishes.
Ah, and the Limoncello, the grain-alcohol-fortified, freezer-chilled after-dinner drink that filled the nose and tingled the taste buds.
As you'll be able to tell from looking at the pictures I've attached, Fico D'India is just a beautiful place to stay.
But what sets it apart is Pino, the patron son who has turned his boyhood home into a six-room slice of love that is a familia affair that includes his mother and father, his brother and sister in law, his wife and two boys, and honored guests that when we were there included a young Italian family of four, a couple from Denmark, another from Italy, and another from the United States, along with a couple of middle American Missourians in Barb and me.
I emailed Pino as to the best way to reach Fico D'India once we arrived by train via Naples and Salerno, and then by bus to Amalfi. "I will drive you."
I believed this to be a nice, one-time gesture. It became an every morning occurrence on our way to our starts in Amalfi, and on Italian Liberation Day also included Pino coming to our rescue in the evening when traffic was bumper-to-bumper and fender-to-fender if we had ridden the bus.
Other guests, hoping to arrive at midnight for the start of their stay, ran into travel problems. Pino was there to check them in at 2 o'clock in the morning and was still up to greet us at breakfast.
This is, of course, a review of a place to stay, not of a vacation trip that began for us in early April boarding a cruise out of New Orleans to Rome, and that was extended for a stay in Naples, a trip to Pompeii, and then "Bella Amalfi."
But to show just how extra special our stay at the Hotel Holidays Fico D'India made that trip, consider this.
When it came time to pay the bill at Fico D'India, at a cost of just more than 500 Euros (food, wine, room) for our four days and nights, I did something I have never before done in my life. I put an extra 25 Euros into the protesting hands of our friend Pino, explaining that it was not a tip as much as a thank you.
If you plan a trip to the Amalfi Coast and you do not try to stay with Pino - firstname.lastname@example.org - then yours is the loss of indelible memories.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Holidays Fico d'India was born in 2005.This is the family business.The beauty of the home, which was inherited from the owners grandparents, Pino was the starting point for the new design, keeping one objective in mind: to maintain intact the Mediterranean atmosphere that has always characterized the coast while recuperating antic traditions of the Campagne region. The care of the gardens, rich with exotic plants, lemon and orange trees, shows the love that the new owners have for their property. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holidays Fico d`India / Prickly Pear Hotel Furore