Create a custom experience at the Palazzo Sasson

It doesn’t take much to make Italy enticing. The prospect of staying at the Palazzo Sasso in Ravello, though, will effectively deprive you of your free will. This twelfth century palace has the laudable goal of treating you to the same standard as its original inhabitants.

Yeah, I can live with that.

Of course, times are tough, so everybody’s upping the ante. For the Palazzo Sasso, this means that booking a King Sea View room (or one in a higher category) will get you the bonus amenity of your choice! There are plenty:

  • One spa treatment (massage, manicure or pedicure only)
  • A 20 percent discount on all lunch charges in house
  • Parking in hotel garage for entire stay
  • Mini-bar usage for entire stay
  • A guided walking tour of Ravello (approximately two hours)
  • One transfer to Amalfi and back from the hotel
  • Internet access for entire stay
  • Laundry service for entire stay (excluding dry cleaning)
  • In-room movies for entire stay
  • Fresh flowers and fruit upon arrival

If you can’t find something on this list to enhance your stay, it’s because you hate comfort and convenience.

As always, there’s a catch. You have to stay for at least three nights from June 1, 2009 to October 15, 2009. Rates vary from €198 to €2,200, depending on how high-maintenance you are.

Galley Gossip: Ask a flight attendant – Positano, Italy

While on a flight to Stansted, England, on our way to Venice, the New York based international flight attendant working on my side of the cabin eyed the book, Frommer’s Italy 2008, in my hands as she poured a little cream into my coffee. “Are you going to Italy?”

“We are,” I said, nodding my head at the husband who was asleep beside me. When she placed the cup of coffee on my tray table, I said, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. So where exactly are you going in Italy?”

Venice, Positano and Rome. Have you been?”

The flight attendant laughed, “Have I been? Too many times to count!” Click went the break of the cart. “I’ll be back as soon as I’m done with the service.” And like that she was gone, off to the next row where she offered the passengers behind us coffee, tea, cordials and dessert.

Want to know good, yet affordable, places to go, and eat, on your next vacation? Ask a flight attendant. Flight attendants are much like cops in respect to knowing great places to visit. Yet unlike cops, flight attendants aren’t just familiar with one city, they know the ins and outs of many different cities. Don’t believe me? Just ask the flight attendant on your next trip. You’ll see.

Ten minutes later the flight attendant was back at my row, a pen in hand. She placed a piece of paper on my tray table, a customs and immigrations form, and flipped it over. On the back she wrote the word POSITANO, and then began to draw as she said, “I go to Positano two to three times a year. Here’s what you need to do…”

“What?” said the husband who was now leaning over my shoulder.

“Positano,” I said. “She’s giving us the scoop on Positano.”

“My favorite place in the whole world,” said the flight attendant.

What I didn’t know at the time was Positano would soon become my favorite place in the whole world, too. It’s that amazing. That beautiful. And the food…absolutely delish! It’s the kind of place where you can just relax, sitting on your ocean view balcony, and let Italy come to you.

“Now this is the Doma.” She placed her finger on a sketchy looking arch. Then she marked a spot with an X. “Right here is a ceramics store. You’ve got to go here. This is where I bought the most beautiful set of ceramic plates. They’re gorgeous. Brown with red in the center and white around the edge, they’re perfect for the Valentine’s day dinner I host every year at my house.”

‘We’ll have to look for those,” I told the husband, and meant it. I wanted Valentine’s day plates, too!

And look over there – we found them, the beautiful Valentine’s day plates! At the store. Just like she said. But for some reason we didn’t buy them. Now I wish we had. Next time. Trust me, there will be a next time.

Three X’s marked the spots of good places to eat. “This is where you want to get your morning coffee. It’s right on the beach.” A box was drawn. “This is the gas station where you can buy bus tickets that will take you to Ravello and the Amalfi Coast.”

“We’re definitely doing that,” I told the husband.

And we did. Though we did it by scooter, not bus. What an amazing and unforgettable ride.

More X’s and boxes were drawn, as suggestions and recommendations were made. We only had three nights in Positano, so I was starting to wonder if we’d even have time for all of the things she wanted us to do, things we just had to do! Honestly, I think she was just as excited about our trip, if not more so, than we were! And this was our honeymoon trip – five years late.

Our trip to Italy in May was fantastic, and Positano, without a doubt, was the highlight. Heavenly is the only word to describe it. I can’t wait to go back. So if you’re reading this, Miss New York international business class flight attendant, thanks for the advice. And if you, dear reader, are thinking about going to Positano, here are my suggestions to you…