La Dolce Vita Apartment
120 Via Colombo, Riomaggiore, Italy
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La Dolce Vita Apartment Riomaggiore Reviews
Wonderful Apartment in Riomaggiore Mar 22, 2008
Since we were in the Cinque Terre a little earlier than the start of the main "tourist season", we were able to get accomodation from La Dolce Vita with no hassle at all. Simone, one of the managers, chatted with us for half an hour in both Italian and English. One of the most charming and memorable moments of our stay in Riomaggiore was when one of the women who worked there walked us to our apartment. You know you're in a small, quaint, timeless Italian town when you can greet almost everyone you pass (about 20 people) by name!
The building had extremely narrow doors and ridiculously steep stairs with next to no lighting, so it was kind of a project getting our luggage up to the 3rd floor, but somehow we managed.
Then, voila! We were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves in a bright, airy, roomy apartment... at about 60 euro, we were expecting some kind of dank hole in the wall! The woman was quite friendly and (like everyone in that region) was really appreciative and warm once she found she could speak Italian with us. She showed us around, gave us the key, and that was that! As luck would have it, she turned out to be the bartender at the bar we visited that night, but that's another story... :)
The apartment had one main room with a double bed that my friend and I shared. There was also a sitting room, which could have doubled as another bedroom if necessary. The bathroom was nicely sized, bright and clean, with a shower, a toilet, a sink and a bidet.
There was a walled-up section of the apt that I imagine is a kitchen, but clearly is only used by the owners, and not by lowly rental transients like us.
One of the nicest features of this apartment was the outside terrace, which looked directly out onto the train station, the piazza below, and the ocean beyond. Our view was wonderful, and the terrace was even large enough to fit a small table and a chair or two, as well as a laundry line for air drying.
The place was blissfully quiet, private, safe, clean, and centrally located. The train station was literally 20 feet from the entrance to our building!
I guess the "downside", if I had to pick one, is that your lodging is what it is, i.e. an apartment. It's not a hotel, it's not a bungalow, there are no maids, and there is no front desk. You are in charge of your own little house, no more and no less.
After having used 2 other hotels in the area beforehand, this was the last place we tried. We both agreed that if we had known how great, central (and affordable) this place was, we would have stayed there every single night from the get-go.
Try to go during the off season, when the rates are cheaper and vacancies are more likely.
I will definitely be using La Dolce Vita apartments when and if I return to the Cinque Terre. Oh, and tell Simone I say what's up.
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Dec 18, 2006
I have to admit, when I booked at La Dolce Vita I did not realise that, in addition to a dorm-style hostel, they also operate an apartment booking service, i.e. you book through them and they then hand over the booking to the apartment owners on their books. I thought I was booking a twin room for two in an apartment, but it turns out we had a studio apartment all to ourselves!Finding the La Dolce Vita office was easy enough - just turn right after coming out of the station at Riomaggiore and head straight up the main street (such as it is). A word of warning: Via Colombo is quite steep. If you're travelling with another person and, like me, you have a very heavy suitcase or backpack it could be worth leaving one person at the bottom of the street with the luggage while the other one goes to the booking office. I had to lug my bag all the way up there only to have to come back down! The energy would've been better conserved for the stairs down to the little 'street' we were staying on and up the very steep and narrow stairs to our apartment.Anyways, La Dolce Vita only take cash or travellers cheques (both in Euros) but there is an ATM nearby. You also need to arrive before 5pm otherwise they will not accept your booking. Of course, unforseen circumstances can cause you to be late - like late trains which, I found out, is more often the case than not in Italy. In that case, you must call them to make arrangements.Our apartment was on the first floor and overlooked the boat ramp. The little balcony was a wonderful place to sit and watch the sunset, or to just watch the other tourists making their way around to Torre Guardiola and the locals going about their daily lives. The balcony also had a small clothesline and the shuttered French doors meant you could let the light in but still maintain some privacy. There was also a yummy (and cheap!) gelato shop just downstairs.We had a double bed and a pull-out double bed sofa, with plenty of pillows and blankets for both. The wardrobe had both hanging space and shelves and was home to a small ironing board and iron. There was a littleliving rooms area, with the sofa and a dining table with 4 chairs. There was also asmall television but the reception was quite bad and itshowed only local Italian tv stations (although it was quite entertaining watching the news and shoes,trying to figure out what was happening).The kitchen had a smallrefrigerator, an electric cooktop and a sink. There were plenty of kitchen utensils and tableware so it was easy enough to knock up a meal if you didn't want to eat out. The bathroom was quite small, which is not unusual in Europe. It only had a shower head with no curtain, so the water went everywhere and took quite a while to dry out because there was only one small window over the toilet to let in light and warmth. Which isn't so problematic in the warmer months but, I imagine, would be pretty miserable in the colder months. Admittedly, the apartment was a on the scruffy side.Like many of the buildings in the area, it's old so it's coming apart in places. But for us that just added to the charm. And it certainly beat having to share an apartment with other people.