Just back from the Amalfi Coast and still feeling a bit dizzy about it all -- maybe it was all those switch back roads or maybe just the dazzling beauty. We spent three nights in the Villa Maria -- never would have found it on our own but the hotel we had booked switched us (they had over-booked). It was a lucky move for us as the Villa Maria is beautiful and unique and much more accessible than the one we had booked.
As others have said, this is a completely new B&B -- opened in March. The owners spared no expense; everything is first rate -- from the bathrooms to the bed linens, everything is top quality. Allesandro is super friendly, charming and helpful -- and he makes a delicious lemon cake! The breakfasts included sweet cakes and croissants, as well as sliced salami, cheese etc. with good bread. I long for the cappuccino!
Alert: If you have your heart set on being in the center of Amalfi town, this would not be the place for you. Pogerola is tiny town way above Amalfi. The B&B is set right on the small square in the center of the town, with the church and several restaurants as neighbors. When we arrived (by taxi from the Capri ferry) there were four elderly men sitting on the bench in front of the B&B, watching the world go by. (We sat on that same bench one night after dinner and watched some kids kicking a soccer ball around in the square -- felt quite like locals!) Once you are back from your day's explorations (Amalfi, Ravello, etc.) there is no need to go anywhere for dinner as there are several choices within a stone's throw of the Villa Maria. (You really have to try Gerry's Pub at least once as it is an fun experience you will always remember!) The local bus comes right to Pogerola and is much easier (and safer) than trying to drive your own car on those hair-raising roads. Although we are all past retirement age, we did try the walk down through the fields and woods (maybe a thousand steps) -- it is long (took us an hour plus, but we went slow), but easy and very beautiful -- coming up that way would be challenging and I would say better left to those under age 60! But do try it once -- you can sit down for a rest and refreshment at the first cafe you come to when you reach Amalfi and reboot; it worked for us.
And, a note about the church bells -- they do toll the hour and quarter hour from 6 a.m. to midnight. However, the windows are double-paned and there is air-conditioning (very quiet!); if you are bothered by the tolling bells, you can sleep with the window closed and turn on the air. Pack some ear plugs if you are a light sleeper -- they don't take up much space in a suitcase.
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