My First Airbnb Experience in Naples

In recent years, staying at people’s homes while traveling has become somewhat mainstream. Back in the 1960’s in India, my grandmother started the local chapter for Servas, a travel exchange program designed for people to further global peace. While growing up in Chandigarh, I was able to interact with guests from all over the world who came to stay with us while traveling through India. No money was exchanged with these strangers; they would bring gifts and we would offer them our home, food and local tours. It was a wonderful experience for me to be able to see the world through their eyes.
Through my adulthood, I have hosted and stayed through Servas and Couch Surfing. During a recent visit to Naples, Italy, I decided to give Airbnb a try.
Airbnb works a bit differently as homeowners do list their places officially on the website (with pictures, prices, services, etc), and bookings and payments are accepted through the site. You can browse through the listings, see the actual location on a map, photos of your room and read guest comments.
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I picked B&B LA TERRAZZA (‘O CAFÉ) in Naples for 3 nights at $90/ night. Though a 3-star hotel would cost just a few bucks more, I decided it would be a better experience to stay at an authentic Napoli home with locals than at a hotel since I was traveling by myself.

The place was actually better than described. The B&B was off a busy street in an apartment building. The owners, Valentina and Dario communicated with me prior to my arrival (through text and Airbnb chat) giving me directions and buzzing me in to the building once I got there. There was plenty of security with keys and cameras. The 4 bedroom/ 4 bath apartment was located on the 5th floor of an old building that had been renovated. Though it was off a busy commercial street, the apartment was fairly quiet. There was a small elevator and you needed a key to start it. A unique feature I had not seen before.

The apartment itself was very spacious. Rooms were located along a long hallway. There was a reception desk where Dario checked his bookings, and a common kitchen where Valentina cooked meals. The couple usually hung out in the vast patio which backed up to one of the historic churches of Naples. Unfortunately, the church was destroyed in the last earthquake and hasn’t been renovated since. Nevertheless, it was beautiful to look at the ruins.

Airbnb in NaplesMy room was huge with high ceilings and a spacious private bathroom. There was an air conditioner (needed in 90F Italian summer), a king size bed, a couch, desk and chairs. The WiFi was fast enough to stream movies. I felt like I was staying at one of the Italian aristocrat homes built in this area during the 16th century, only everything was renovated and modernized.

airnbn napoliThe place was centrally located, only 10 minutes walking distances from the train station, port and historic city center. During my visit, I never had to take any transportation as I could just walk everywhere.

Valentina and Dario, in their heavy Italian accent, planned by itinerary once I got there. Valentina spoke excellent English. She mapped the places I wanted to see and recommended a few restaurants (including her parent’s pizza place down the street, which was excellent). I frequently sought their advice as I had been warned that Naples is not the safest places for a woman to be traveling alone. Valentina, being a native Napoletana, told me which streets to stay off at what times of the day, better roads to take for scenic views, and how to navigate the busy train stations.

Airbnb in NaplesThe couple use to own a restaurant too, but since Valentina discovered she had celiac disease, she really didn’t want to be making pizza and pasta all day. I don’t blame her! Only in February this year, they opened La Terrazzo Bed and Breakfast after selling their restaurant. Now, they have 5 rooms on 2 floors of the building. They live in one and rent out the other rooms. I highly recommend La Terrazza for anyone who wants to have a comfortable yet authentic Napoli experience.

Founded in 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is in more than 34,000 cities across 191 countries. The 2 million+ listings include single rooms, villas, wedding venues, yurts, tree houses, beach homes, and even windmills and castles! If you haven’t yet checked out Airbnb yet, click here to join and receive $25 in travel credit.

PS – This is NOT a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.