Fico d'India (meaning 'prickly pear' – they grow in abundance around here) is high on a hill and about five miles out of Amalfi so your transport will be a taxi, your own wheels or the very accommodating Pino, who is happy to come and pick you up (and drop you back or anywhere else in the locale, within reason).
It's walking territory around here and there are a number of walks, from half an hour to all-day treks, that you can get to relatively easily. One of my favourites is down to the bottom of the fjord (see my link in Things to do). When you get to the bottom, there's a little restaurant (La Monazeno, closed November to Easter) where you can have a lovely fish lunch, and then take a look around the paper museum down there (the fjord was the reason for the success of the paper mill). If you time it right, you might even get to see some very fit people diving from the bridge 160 metres above you into the water… that'll be the seriously bonkers high diving championships that take place here every year.
All six rooms are named after a flower and are, unsurprisingly, rather floral, if not frilly, in their decor; on my arrival, the Austrian blinds in the violetta room were raised to reveal windows featuring a faux stained-glass design of lemons – along with a spectacular view of the coastline and the sea. In spite of the furniture (wardrobe, cupboard, bedhead and side tables) being a dark rattan – giving the rooms a bit of a 1970s feel – the rooms are bright, clean and feature lovely ceramic tiled floors bathroom and bedroom. The internal bathroom had no bath but the Grohe shower had a hand-held shower as well as the rain-drench showerhead that was very efficient (the 'side' showers that presumably add a bit of a Jacuzzi effect were less so). Great big towels are a plus.
A few tables in reception are perfect for taking coffee (there's a very good coffee-making machine behind the desk) but, when the sun's out, the terrace is the place.
Eating and drinking
The restaurant area is where breakfast is served. Going with the old-school, 1970s/80s feel there's a lot of greenery going on (palms, fig trees growing up through the floor, with bamboo and mood music) but there's no denying those views… right across the valley. Breakfast is the simple croissant and jam type with good coffee, while the evening menu (if you're in) offers plenty of simple pastas and risottos as well as meat and fish dishes. Meals are rustic: large and flavoursome. Pino's brother runs a little wine bar/café up the road if you fancy a change.
There's no pool but out on the terrace you'll find sun-loungers and even a hot tub (a small sauna and a little all-in-one weights machine are also at the guests' disposal).
Pino is on hand for everything: trips, advice, wedding planning, you name it. He's also very knowledgeable about the local area.
Who stays there
Independent travellers: on my visit, most guests were driving around southern Italy and happy for the opportunity to get away from the bustle of Amalfi or Positano.
Prices drop (but not by much as they're pretty low anyway) in low season (January 7 to end March, 1 October to December 23). Half-board costs an additional 25 euros, 45 euros for full.
- Pets Allowed
- Swimming Pool
- Backpackers / Students
- Mature travellers
- Seasoned travellers
- Escaping the crowds
- Great views / scenery
Pros & Cons
- Free WiFi
- Excellent service
- Fabulous views
- Rather old-fashioned