We stayed at Villa Gnocchi from September 4 - 10, 2010 to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Our room (number 9 I believe - it was orange) was lovely, clean and comfortable. The private balcony off of our room was covered in flowers and had a spectacular view overlooking Santa Margherita and out to the sea. The first night, we slept with the windows open and could hear the roosters and dogs on the neighboring properties. However, our room did have air conditioning so we could close the windows if we wanted a quieter night.
Mr Gnocchi accommodated our arrival outside of their normal check-in time and was waiting to greet us when we arrived. He took note of our interests and gave us very useful tips and suggestions, which we used throughout our stay. We experienced beautiful walks, towns and villages we never would have seen without his recommendations.
The Villa is set high on a hill, on a property with an olive orchard, fig trees, orange and lemon trees and other produce. It is within easy walking distance of the small town of San Lorenzo, where there are a couple of good restaurants, a cheap and cheerful pizzeria and a corner shop. Breakfast at Villa Gnocchi was more substantial than typical Italian fare and was served on the lovely terrace overlooking Santa Margherita. There were pastries, hard rolls, cheese and ham, jams and honey, fruit and juices, cereal and yogurt, and different coffee options. Plus whatever produce they picked from their garden. Plenty of food to start the day.
This is a pretty rugged area and not necessarily advisable for people who have trouble getting around on foot. For example, there is a path from Villa Gnocchi that goes directly into Santa Margherita. The path is lovely, but it is pretty steep and not really for those who are not in good physical condition. The trip down hill is about 15 to 20 minutes, but the trip back up is easily 30 to 40.
However, there are convenient and cheap busses that go into Santa Margherita as well as to Rapallo and Portofino, on a regular basis. Bus service from Santa Margherita does end at 8:00pm after the summer season though. Mr Gnocchi was very helpful in helping us navigate the bus and train schedules as well. We were easily able to visit the area all around Santa Margherita and Portofino, as well as the Cinque Terre, during our 5 day stay using Villa Gnocchi as our home base. If you want 5 star luxury, total silence and room service, stay at a pricey hotel in town. But if you want to experience a bit of Italian home life in a breathtaking natural setting with gracious hosts and lots of privacy, stay here. I was truly sad to leave Villa Gnocchi and long to go back again.
- Also Known As:
- Villa Gnocchi Hotel Santa Margherita Ligure