When visiting Italy, a trip to Naples features on most people’s itinerary, but in this vast metropolis it can be difficult to find good accommodation without having to pay a premium for it. Giovanni’s Home offers an alternative to the budget hostels and below par B&B’s which the budget traveller may often find themselves in. But bear in mind that this is still a hostel and so if you’re looking for luxury or even a private room, then it’s probably not the place for you. That said, as well as being a hostel it is also the home to the hostel’s eponymous owner – Giovanni (as the name may suggest), and staying here you feel more like a member of his family than a guest.
The infamous check-in and multi-coloured map
If you do your research you will find that the reviews for Giovanni’s Home are overwhelmingly positive, however, one thing which everyone seems to mention is the length of time it takes to check in. This is no myth, Giovanni, is so passionate about his city, (which he claims to be the “real capital of Italy”) that he simply cannot bear the thought of having his guests miss any of the city’s highlights and not make the most of their stay. Thus, he takes you through a pre-prepared presentation featuring guidebooks, pictures, and Google Earth to show you just what you need to do when in Naples. This is simply marvellous and really takes about 45 minutes maximum but is definitely worth the while. In addition to this, Giovanni draws out a very impressive map which includes a walking route to visit all of the best parts of the city in just one day. It also shows the prices and locations of the best local places to eat and drink, as well as the metro stations, and finally the more dangerous parts of the city which you should probably avoid. This map is so well known, that just on showing it to most tourist attractions entitles you to a small discount for staying at Giovanni’s.
The chilled rooftop terrace
Naples is an extremely intense city, and with the narrow streets in such close confines to the tall buildings which enclose them, it’s easy to begin to feel a bit overwhelmed. However, fear not, Giovanni’s rooftop terrace offers a sanctuary away from it all, a place where you can really unwind and relax in afternoon Italian sun. The rooftop terrace is also a very nice place to eat, should you want to eat in rather than going out. Giovanni sometimes also cooks for his guests completely free of charge, although this is by no means a guarantee and just something which you may have the fortune of experiencing during your stay.
The vibrant common room
The common room has something for anyone and everyone. Like most common rooms it is a place predominantly for fun, and there is always someone playing cards, or some of the other multiple board games lined along the wall. The décor is very tasteful with a slightly antiquated vibe (which my picture does not even slightly capture) with an old barrel and a guitar on the wall, as well as nice posters of Naples’ monuments which I found a nice way to get you excited before you visit them. There is good Wi-Fi throughout and many people use this room just to catch up on the outside world on their laptops. Some people also choose to eat in here especially when it is cold and dark, and there is also a nice little balcony which overlooks the street below.
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Location, location, location!
Like all city accommodation, location really is everything and I don’t think Giovanni’s home could be better positioned. It is the heart of Naples old town, no more than a ten minute walk to anything you could want to do in Naples. At the same time, it is only a very short metro ride away from the main train station and so very well connected that if you wish or when you wish to continue your journey or even just take a day trip to Pompeii, Sorrento or the Amalfi Coast, it is no problem whatsoever.
Giovanni’s casa es tu casa
Giovanni is one of the most kind and hospitable hosts you will ever encounter, but he is also far more calm and enigmatic than most other reviews portray him to be. He is extremely Italian and there are few that know the city of Naples better than he does. The beds and toilets are nothing to rave about but they all good and clean. Finally, for all of this, you may expect to pay slightly more than the average hostel, but at a price of 23 EUR (25 USD) a night (although this may vary depending on when you go) you cannot go wrong, so if you’re going to Naples, make your stay a happy one and join Giovanni’s ever growing family.
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