• news: Article Marc Proctor

    Article Marc Proctor

    The road's end on the Sorrento Peninsula! Welcome to Narano! The Amalfi coast and Capri are the subject of saga and song but an adventurous traveller can still experience village life its rural beauty. Amalfi, Positano and Sorento thriving and vibrant serve many tourists desires but the tiny cluster of villages, orchards and vinyards just 15 kms down the road preserve the timeless beauty of the area.

    The church keeps time for the valley, reminding us of an era when the half hour was a fine enough division of the day. The roosters gently remind us of the dawn, and the birds of the approach of dusk.

    Fortunately, there are people working hard to at once preserve and continue this environment and at the same time allow outsiders an opportunity to sample the lifestyle. Casale Villarena and its owner Guglielmo, blend old world charm with sophisticated accommodation and hospitality. Set in a lemon orchard, virtually in the centre of Narano, Casalle Villarena sits 500 metres above the Mediterranean snuggled against Mt. St. Costanzo. Life passes by, on foot down the side street just wide enough for a scooter or across the foot of the orchard on the sinuous one km road to the water.

    Tourists can take pleasure in hiking local trails to headlands and hidden coves that might front on the Bay of Naples or the Bay of Salerno, many with fabulous overlooks of Capri, Naples, Vesuvius, or the Amalfi coast. Water taxi serves the area and most coastal destinations including Capri are within an hours boat ride. The local bus (Sita) winds between villages regularly or the brave and the quick might bring a car along.

    Village life has a timeless pace, local produce is featured on each menu, local wines and lemoncella accompany each meal. Reposo finds stores and businesses closed in the afternoon between 1 and 5. Cooking classes (followed by eating of course) can be a focal point of activity or il dolce far nient (the joy of doing nothing) might overtake the careless guest. A breakfast and coffee on the private patio of your apartment gives just the right amount of time to see the village come to life each morning. A glass of wine in the evening sees the end of a days cycle and as the lights wink out, quiet return.

    Narano is a cul-de-sac and traffic is minimal yet the beach rivals any on Capri. Tourists here are ‘off the grid' English language newspapers simply don't circulate this far. (Although all electronic communication does of course, Italy is wonderfully wired.) The cost is moderate and the value high. Come to Casale Villarena in Narano and experience another life.


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