As regular readers of this blog will know, it’s my mission to have the most beautiful travel experiences I can afford without breaking the bank (or roughing it). Villa Clelia is the epitome of this philosophy and I wish I had stayed here longer – I will definitely be back. It really makes such a difference to your holiday when you feel welcome at your accommodation and Villa Clelia gave us a beautiful introduction to Levanto and Italian hospitality.
Villa Clelia is not far from the beach and it’s a very short walk into the main part of town. It feels very private because it is surrounded by a big stone wall and courtyard, so it is nice and quiet – all I could hear was the occasional chime of church (?) bells.
First of all, such a spacious bathroom! As two girls travelling together, we really appreciated all the extra bench space in the bathroom. The rooms were lovely, we had enough space and the beds were very comfortable. My favourite part was the lovely little balcony, where we found our fresh breakfast every morning on the table, from “the focaccia fairy” as I called the elusive donor of delicious food (AKA our host, Nicola). It was such a lovely place to eat breakfast, overlooking their courtyard which is full of trees and pretty plants. The Wi-Fi connection is great (always important).
Nicola was a wonderful host and he really went out of his way to make sure we were comfortable and had everything we needed. He made a lot of effort to help us find the right transport to get to Cinque Terre and also suggested taking the ferry to Vernazza from Levanto – it was such a beautiful journey! Even when we just asked him to point us in the direction of restaurants, he’d get a map and mark several of his favourites that offered a few different cuisines. He was the perfect host. The housekeeper, who we didn’t get a chance to talk to much, but exchanged “good mornings” etc, was really sweet. We’d left some clothes out on our bed before we left one day (during the eternal dilemma of “What will I weaaaar”) and when we got home she’d hung up our clothes in the cupboard and tidied up anything else sitting out. Chloe couldn’t find her pyjamas one evening and on a hunch I said “I bet they’re under your pillow?” Just like my Mum used to do for me, the housekeeper had folded them up and popped them under her pillow – a very sweet touch!
I love Villa Clelia! Eating delicious, fresh breakfast on the balcony overlooking a gorgeous, very Italian looking courtyard was a real pleasure that made me feel like I was staying in my own private villa. I am definitely going to return when I need a relaxing holiday, I think Villa Clelia and Levanto are the ultimate antidote to the stresses of modern life. I really appreciate great hospitality, and the staff at Villa Clelia have this in spades.
A little more about Levanto…
Many people haven’t heard of the Italian town of Levanto and part of me hesitates to keep tooting its horn all the time, because it is such a special place that is yet to be trampled by hordes of tourists. However, it would be greedy of me to keep it to myself! It is just ten minutes by train from the northernmost Cinque Terre village, Monterosso. This is why we came to Levanto, but between you and me (and the Internet) I actually loved Levanto best of all. The sunsets here are the most beautiful I have seen in my entire life, I’ll always remember the evening when we left the B&B to find some dinner and were awestruck when we glanced towards the water, to see this stunning sunset. We dashed to the beach and spent ages taking photos and enjoying the vivid evening sky. It’s bigger than Cinque Terre villages, which gives it a sense of a larger community. On my last morning here I was naive enough to think I’d have time to send excess luggage home from the post office before I had to catch my train. I waited for a long time in the post office before realising I was running the risk of missing my train, but it wasn’t a waste of time. Walking through the quiet streets as businesses opened for the day was really pleasant, watching shopkeepers open their doors and lovingly arrange their best products in the window display and saying good morning to other shopkeepers and shoppers as they passed by. Inside the post office, I watched as the locals gossiped in Italian, telling what I can only assume were very scandalous stories, judging by the expressions and the raised voices – or, everything just sounded dramatic because Italians have a wonderful flair for theatrics. It’s a very special part of the world and I can’t recommend it more. You can read more about Levanto here. If you’re lucky enough to be planning a trip to Italy, check out my 2 Week Itinerary for Italy or my post about my entire trip, which included France Italy and Greece here.
Have you stayed at Villa Clelia? What’s your favourite beach town?
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