My Best Airbnb Experience Ever | The Most Affordable Airbnb on the Amalfi Coast
I’ve stayed in plenty of Airbnb’s since I started traveling three years ago. From New Orleans to Berlin and everywhere in between, Airbnb is my preferred way to travel. However, I don’t always get to stay in Airbnb’s due to my Lil’ budget so sometimes its hostels or cheap hotels. Don’t get me wrong, Airbnb is sometimes the cheapest option but not always. Every trip is different and it really depends on what I’m looking for on this trip.
Airbnb’s are great when you’re traveling with friends and need a bit more space than a hotel offers. Whatever the case, I’m extremely happy with my decision to stay in this Airbnb in Minori along the Amalfi Coast. It was truly my best Airbnb experience ever and here’s why.
Initially, I chose my Airbnb because of the price. Let’s be real— everyone knows how expensive the Amalfi Coast is. There are hotels on Amalfi and Positano going for 5,000+ per night. I’m not sure when I’ll have that kind of money but for now cheap homes it is.
Fancy hotels are nice. There’s usually a concierge, room service or housekeeping. But what you don’t usually get in hotels (maybe in some boutique properties) is a genuine, warm connection. Believe me, I’ve worked in hotels so I know how busy and irritating it gets to work the front desk at a popular hotel. Most staff at hotels (from my experience in the US working at one of the largest hotel companies in the world) are overworked and underpaid. I surely was. So between check-in and check-out, the genuine, local and authentic feelings get lost.
My Airbnb experience in Minori was the total opposite. Upon arrival, my Airbnb host met me in the town square, asked how my travels from the north were and helped me carry my luggage up 260 steps, happily. Of course, I thanked him profusely. Immediately, I sat down in the kitchen of my new home and it really felt like I was in Italy. He offered my peach tea and a fresh cup of water (served in a lemon pitcher— Amalfi style).
He gave me a tour of the home which was so cute and I met their family dog. I felt at home already. Then my host went on to tell me that I could use anything and eat or drink anything in the house that I wanted. I was shocked. I’ve been to plenty of Airbnb’s that barely had stocked fridges or where the host had a binder full of Dos and Don’ts. This felt new and incredibly good. I was welcome in their home and reminded plenty of times throughout my stay that it was now my home too.
One of the best parts of the entire experience for me was getting to cook with my host family. First, can y’all believe that my Airbnb host was a chef? HOW lucky am I? The travel gods knew what they were doing by sending me here. I was in the land of the lemons, some of the worlds BEST food and ended up with a chef for a host— I can’t deal.
On my second night there, my host asked me if I wanted to join them for dinner. Truth is, my stomach was saying no because I’d just devoured half of my pizza but I couldn’t say no. I couldn’t help but think that this moment may never happen again and on top of that, my hosts were just really cool and interesting people to talk to. So I obliged and of course, pasta was on the menu.
When I came downstairs, my chef host had already begun to make the pasta from scratch. The last time I made fresh pasta was in culinary arts class in high school. But I’d never made fresh pasta with an Italian so my high school self is screaming. Innocently, I thought I was going to just sit back and watch. Just soak up the authentic vibes, you know? Nope. It wasn’t long before my host asked me to pitch in.
So there I was in the middle of southern Italy in an Italian kitchen making pasta. I was nervous but it turned out great. We were making Orecchiette style pasta which originates from the Puglia region of Southern Italy. My hosts told me that the pasta is known for its circular shape and often referred to as ‘little ears’. He’d already cut up the pasta and made it into small balls (simply made from gritty flour and water - that’s it!). I then hopped in and press the pasta into their flat, circular shape. To give the pasta it’s ear-like shape, I molded it around the tip of my thumb. Viola! It was pretty easy I must say.
To set the scene, while all this is happening there’s Brazilian music playing in the background (his co-host and girlfriend) is from Brazil! Their cute dog, Coca, is lounging on the couch and peaches are infusing themselves into our white wine for later. Magic.
Then we transferred the pasta to boiling saltwater. Meanwhile, my host sauteed garlic and bell pepper in a layer of olive oil. He told me that many restaurants won’t serve a recipe like this because it is too simple and of course they’re trying to impress diners. But he said that it is a classic. Then he added the pasta to the pan of olive oil and other ingredients. I jumped in and tossed the pasta in its oily sauce. He let me know that lemon juice should always be added at the end. Which is news to me because whenever I make pasta at home, I always add lemon while I’m cooking and I even throw the lemons in the pan with the pasta but I learned that kills the flavor.
Cute side notes: My hosts didn’t have enough lemons for dinner. So guess what they did? Went across the street to their neighbor who has a massive lemon tree in her garden. How beautiful is that?
Last, we added basil and he said not to add too much because the acidity of the lemon could make the basil lose its beautiful green color. Y’all I love pasta and Italian food and I can’t wait to go home and try my hand at make this pasta straight from scratch too.
We finally set down for dinner. Our table cloth and plates were lemon-themed of course. My host loves candles so the table was lined with them and our peach white wine was waiting for us. I don’t even like white wine but the idea to put fresh peaches in it - simply genius. When I tell y’all that this was the freshest tasting pasta I’ve ever had in my life that is not exaggerating. It was simple yet refreshing. I went back for seconds and was so full. The wine also went perfectly with the lemon-flavored pasta. Before it was all over, I tasted homemade limoncello and an Italian Nutella-filled cook ish- biscuit.
Besides being eternally grateful for the warmth and hospitality of my hosts, my room was the bomb. The room itself was simple—wooden floors, white sheets, a nice tv, a closet, and my own 1/2 bathroom just outside the room. The standout thing here is the private terrace. There was a private terrace with views of the sea and the Amalfi Coast from my room. It was lined with fresh flowers, had a cute little table and an outdoor shower. I died. An outdoor shower?! I thought that only happened in SE Asia or the Caribbean.
The first night, I attempted to take a shower under the stars. As soon as I dropped my towel and went to turn on the facuet I saw a gecko of some sort and that was the end of nighttime outdoor showers for me. lol. I waited until the morning and took one and it was indeed heavenly. Don’t worry, there’s a regular shower indoors too.
pictured: the view from my terrace and the outdoor shower.
The terrace honestly made my stay so special, too. I wrote poetry there, ate dinner, worked on my master’s dissertation, drank a whole bottle of local wine and had many moments of “wow, I’m really here. 24. out here. solo traveling. My younger self is proud of me.” It was a beautiful place to reflect, retreat, relax and meditate. On my last night there, I woke up at 6 AM (hit the snooze button until 6:30 though) and went onto the terrace to catch the sunrise and it was just as stunning as I knew it’d be. Pictures will never do it justice, it’s just something you have to see for yourself.
This was hands down my BEST Airbnb experience ever. We exchanged language, laughs, and culture and it is now one of my favorite travel stories to tell. This is why I travel. This is why I’ll always go so hard for supporting local, staying in Airbnbs, Bed, and Breakfasts or wherever you can to have a real experience. I’m still floating just thinking about this experience and I can’t wait to go back.
Thank you to my hosts!