Available for booking on Airbnb, Villa Parisi is an 18th-century house that has been in Mario’s family for generations. It is the star of the Sorrento skyline, a gorgeous red house at the top of Colle Parisi, its namesake hill, visible from the historical center and the port.
The villa was purchased by Mario’s great grandfather, Pasquale Castellano in 1880. Currently, a sprawling 1.7 acres, the property used to encompass the entire hill. Unfortunately, financial pressures following World War II prompted Mario’s grandfather to sell most of the land, populated now by lemon and olive groves as well as a few luxury hotels.
Today, the house is divided amongst several cousins, with them on the ground floor and superhost Mario on the top where he lives, subletting the other three rooms to his Airbnb guests. Being on the top floor also means that Mario gives you access to the terrace.
This terrace is no joke. It gives you a panoramic view over the Bay of Naples, Capri, and Ischia in the front and stunning cliffs and olive groves in the back.
In fact, Mario grows his own olives and his olive oil is available for sale to his guests for 8 euros per half liter. And it’s delicious.
All this talk of beauty is one thing, but you might be wondering if this is do-able if you find yourself without a car, like us. While the walk up to Villa Parisi from the Sorrento Marina is a 40-minute hike, Mario graciously offered to pick us up from the train station when we arrived, dropping us back down for our evening exploration. He also gave us tickets for the bus that takes us up and down the hill, sitting us down with a map to plan the whole thing out. Mario also offered to take us out on his boat but unfortunately, it had broken down, and given that it was August, there was no one to fix it on time. You might be luckier!
To be honest though, if this seems like too much work you could also just park yourself in the villa all day. The garden has a cozy hammock and lawn furniture that would be the perfect setting for a picnic or romantic aperitivo. While we were there, one of the other guests took a chair up to the terrace to sunbathe and work through the afternoon until it was cool enough to venture into the city.
Mario also cooked us breakfast in the lovely dining room every morning. Cold cuts, cheese, fruit salad, jam, and fresh Italian coffee was everything we needed to get going. Keep in mind that this was no ordinary dining room. We were eating under an 18th-century chandelier, facing classical paintings, a grand piano, and a view onto Vesuvius.
The furniture in the dining room and in our rooms was antique wood with curious little carvings of cherubs and vegetation. It was elegant, airy, and memorable.
Just a disclaimer, each room has its own bathroom but not attached (Mario provides a bathrobe). But even the bathroom has a great view!
We paid 150 euros a night for two rooms and stayed for three nights. It was worth every penny and Mario will be seeing us again whether he likes it or not.
Mario prefers first-time guests to book through Airbnb as he considers it the safest option for both the landlord and the guest. However, if you plan to stay for five days or longer, you can book the first few nights on Airbnb and then arrange to contact Mario on whatsapp to discuss the rest of the stay directly.
Photos by Marco of Villa Parisi used with permission.