We had a wondeful stay in Marios villa. It was a beautiful, renovated family home, and Mario was an excellent host. He met us in the village so we wouldn't get lost and helped us to the villa with our bags. He gave us a lot of info about the region and what to do, and offers a grocery delivery service which was very helpful. The view is phenomenal and we learned about the family farm. A very beautiful, quiet and relaxing escape from the touristy town below. You do need to be in fairly good shape to climb the stairs down into town and climb back up, or you need a very small car and good skills to drive the steep, narrow winding roads and driveway. Thanks Mario for an experience we'll never forget- we hope to come back! I would highly recommend this villa.
We stayed in Villa Caruso for 7 nights. We were warmly welcomed by Mario, our host. The villa was spotlessly clean, with amazing views of Sorrento. It was spacious and comfortable. It should be noted that the access road to the villa is long, winding and narrow so it is advised that you rent a small vehicle or plan to do some strenuous walking. Mario did meet us at the bottom of the hill upon our arrival, retrieved our luggage and transported us to the villa. We rented a car and became adept at navigating the narrow drive! Upon our arrival, there were fresh flowers in vases, an assortment of fresh grapes, tomatoes and lemons from the garden and a basic orientation of the area that included arranging our boat trip to Capri, making dinner reservations and shuttling us to and from restaurants. We were celebrating my mother's birthday and Mario went the extra mile providing a birthday cake and champagne as a surprise - so thoughtful! The only recommendation I have is that the villa provide more basic amenities like an assortment of soft bath towels, bedding, soaps and cleaning agents like bath soap and kitchen cleaner. However, whenever we needed anything Mario was pleasant, responsive and quick to provide whatever we asked for. All in all, it was a fantastic and memorable trip - thank you Mario!
Villa Caruso is an amazing home, peaceful, large and airy with views that are breathtaking morning, noon and night. Marco is an exceptional host, who greets you and has taken the time to prepare contacts for excursions, transport and leaves you to enjoy his home. The gardens full of jasmine are amazing.
The villa is isolated and 8k from Sorrento. Best parking is on a litter strewn roadside (e.g. dirty nappies) and villa is 300m from road and on a steep incline. During our week's stay this was laid to tarmac and there was ongoing noisy building work to the apartment above the villa. Upon our late arrival at 11.15pm (due to a 4 hour flight delay) there was no welcome pack and scant basic essentials provided. There is only a one cup travel kettle and you will need to purchase soap, toilet rolls and dishwasher tablets. No info of local supermarkets so a very late first breakfast! Despite these negatives the villa is clean and has two good bedrooms and bathrooms. The views over Sorrento and the bay of Naples are exactly as shown. The negatives can be overcome, and to be fair Mario was polite and courteous, apologising for the inconvenience caused to us. Guests should also note that there is a tourist tax of 1.5 euros per person per day which is not mentioned. I am sure future guests will have a much better experience than us.
We have just come home from staying at the villa and what a stunning place it is. The scenery is exquisite and the area it is in, (the hills above Sorrento), is for the most part quite a quiet one. We had a fantastic 10 days in Italy, but being able to get away from the hustle and bustle of the towns to the peace and quiet was a definite godsend. As a photographer, the biggest bonus for me was being able to get some beautiful shots of the town lying below with Vesuvious in the background. On a clear day, she is a magnificent site!
Some things to be aware of though if you are planning on staying here. There is a steep walk, as stated in the description to get up to the villa from the bus stop. Due to the roads, without a car, there is no other way to get up to the villa other than walking, although Mario the owner was very kind to come and pick us up on our first day from the small church at the bottom of the hill so that we didn't have to try and heave our bags up there. It is not going to be easy for anyone with any mobility issues, and I would not recommend hiring a car if you don't know the roads. Although the drive down is stunning, because of the landscape, the roads are extremely windy throughout the whole of the coastal area, and a lack of familiarity with them could make them dangerous.
There is a bus which runs every couple of hours which will take you into the town or you can take a beautiful but again, quite steep walk down the hill which takes around 20 mins or so. Again, from a photographers point of view, the walk was fantastic for photos, and you come across a small church on the way down that is built into the hills, but I wouldn't attempt coming back up that way. It is way too much. We did that once and once was one time too many!
The bus from the town up to the villa does not run from the train station which is where most of the main buses go from, although there is a total lack of order at the station which will drive even the most relaxed traveller round the bend. The bus leaves from outside a small ladies shoe/handbag shop called Giallo, just off Sorrento central square along from a small but lovely cafe called Bar Ercolano. We spent several hours in there resting our feet over a cappuccino or a glass of white wine. Mario has a timetable in amongst all the details that he leaves with you on arrival. The older gentleman who drives the bus is an absolute delight!
Whilst in the town, be aware that it gets exceptionally busy, especially when there are cruise ships in the bay which you can see from your villa. This can get frustrating but it is well worth exploring in spite of all of the people. It has some beautiful streets with lovely shops, and the harbour area is lovely also, although not much of a beach. We ended up spending a lazy afternoon at Peters beach so my son could have a play in the sea. There is a charge for loungers but it was worth it. I would recommend flip flops as there is no proper sand along the coastline. Most of the beaches are pebble beaches or black sand which can be painful if you have nothing on your feet.
We would also recommend making sure you have plenty of small change for travelling around if you intend on using public transport. Children go free for a lot of it, but make sure you check. The train station gets exceptionally busy but if you plan on visiting herculaneum or pompeii/vesuvius without the excursion charges, it is extremely cheap and well worth using. I would recommend visiting all if you get the chance. They are amazing! Just be aware that pickpockets are rife on the train. We picked up on two on the first trip that we made on the train. They were behaving suspiciously which alerted us very quickly and apparently this is very common. Make sure that you have all your belongings somewhere safe if using the train. It is a great way to get around, but as with any big city, you have to use common sense as well.
I would also recommend Positano for the day. We did a trip to Positano and it is an incredibly beautiful little town set into the mountainside. The afternoon on the beach was wonderful, again a lot of pebbles but lots of fun. it also gets incredibly busy. You can buy a bus ticket for 8 euros each return, but there is no guarantee of a seat and the roads are precarious. Our driver was incredible but it was so terrifying on the way there that we decided to pay for the ferry coming home, (an extra 40 euros), just so we didn't have to be in such a big vehicle on such winding roads with such high drops. It was worth it!
I would also highly recommend hiring a boat for the day and sailing to Capri if funds allow. It wasn't cheap but it was worth every penny. The company we used were called Nautica Sic Sic and were fantastic. You have the option of a skipper if you want one but we chose to sail over ourselves. An amazing day and coming up to Capri in your own boat is just incredible. Well worth the cost!
All in all, we have had an amazing time. Mario was a very gracious host and although always available if needed, he left us to our own devices whilst we were there. The villa, as previously stated, is a beautiful place to stay and well worth the walk up to it every day. The only thing to be aware of is that if you have younger children, it is not the most child friendly place. There are no games in there so you do need to come prepared to entertain them whilst you are in there and the garden is not really one for kids. I would say the place is definitely more suited to an older family - possibly teenagers and older who will be able to keep themselves entertained. Other than that though, absolutely incredible! I would highly recommend it to anyone!
We stayed in Mario's family home for 6 nights in early June 2016. The house is fantastic as is the view and grounds surrounding the home. Mario met us and walked us through the entire unit when we arrived. He even shared some of his father's wine. Our kids loved it as well. There were plenty of lizards and fireflies to keep them enamored for hours. We will definitely be back.
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