Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Villa San Gennariello: Our Accomodations in Campania

I mentioned in my post about our Rome accommodations that I'd discovered Airbnb and was never going back. The place we stayed in Portici is Exhibit B:

Villa San Gennariello was a home for the King of Naples in the 1700s, and Steve and I fell in love with the photos on Airbnb...

as well as the price: about what we would pay to stay at a Super 8 Motel in Nashville. Not even kidding.
Since we planned to spend one day at Pompeii, one day in Naples, and one day on the Amalfi Coast, we thought this place, in Portici, would be a good centrally-located home base. Unfortunately this proved to be a wrong choice, as the Circumvesuviana train we planned to use turned out to be terrible and inconvenient. In hindsight, we would have been better off staying in either Naples or Sorrento and not having to take that train every single day. But the inconvenience of Portici didn't take away from the beauty (or the budget friendly nature) of the villa.

We actually stayed in a private apartment attached to the main villa by a terrace:

A private entrance (seen above) opened into the gardens:

We ate breakfast here:

...sat down to relax and use the wifi here:

...looked out onto this patio:

...and went up to the roof for views of Vesuvius:

...and the Bay of Naples:

What in the world, right? For the price of a Super 8?!? 

Lest you think we were living too large, though, here's the train station a kilometer away:

Sketchy, right? And this station wasn't even the worst. Some of the other stops were SO covered in graffiti that you couldn't even read the sign telling you which station it was.

The train only ran every 30 minutes, or so it said, except that it didn't actually seem to follow the schedule (which was not actually posted anywhere; we found one online). It was HOT and crowded. And no announcements or electronic signs helping you know what stop was next or what stop you were on. You were totally on your own. 

So Portici wasn't ideal. Our hosts were kind and helpful, but didn't speak English nearly so well as the other places we stayed, which led to some difficulties. We felt pretty uncertain of what was going on most of the time, though our accommodations were beautiful and comfortable. And the location was not good for what we wanted to see and do. BUT! Our host's restaurant recommendation led to one of the highlight experiences of our trip. So it wasn't a total loss. More on that later this week!

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