Our family had a lovely week here. The villa is gorgeous, with tastefully furnished rooms, oodles of hot water in the bathrooms, and beautifully maintained. We took a while to find it initially, tucked away in the Campania countryside, following all the little signs, but once we knew the location it was fine. By the end of the week, the neighbour was waving and smiling to us as we drove by.
It is so peaceful. Relaxing by the pool on the new sun loungers was idyllic - particularly when the swallows came flitting through the gardens, and cicadas were singing in the trees. Swimming every day (except one, when we had a night of spectacular September thunder/lightening followed by a half day of rain) was not only a joy, but almost essential in the heat and sunshine. Playing frisbee on the lawn and in the pool - then time for another drink and lunch, under the pool parasols.
Massimo could not have been more helpful or considerate. Nothing was too much trouble for him - even when we arrived a bit early. He provided a delicious lunch on our arrival, and on the penultimate evening he and his delightful wife, Patrizia, cooked us a typical Italian meal in the poolside house, which was just sublime. He speaks excellent English and was happy to make enquiries and reservations on our behalf, and liaise in person or via mobile/text if necessary. He was always available when needed and willing to give advice on the local area, but was never intrusive.
During the week, we made a number of trips to Vesuvius, Pompeii, horse-riding, sea-kayaking, a local wine cellar, and the Royal Palace & English Gardens at Casserta. Plenty to see and do.
After a week, we were getting used to the local area - including St Agata, for local supplies - and not getting lost; also getting more accustomed to the Italian style of driving!
On our last day, Massimo took us on a guided tour of Naples and the surrounding area (including pizza lunch and gelato on the seafront) and shared his obvious love , knowledge and enthusiasm for his home city. We then followed him back to the airport, stopping to buy a bag on the way, for our extra purchases – Massimo knew some good shops.
We were made to feel most welcome here - and the family verdict is that we would love to come back on an annual basis, and maybe learn some Italian too. How lucky we are to have found this secret little gem.
If you would like to enjoy a special holiday, then look no further - Al Vecchio Casale awaits!