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Ok, we have dates, we have flights, we have...no place to stay!

Vacation rental research hits full stride. Wow, there is a lot to think about. We again discuss location, but since we're not renting a car, the countryside is ruled out again.

I send request after request, with no response or “sorry, not available”. I keep trying...

Finally I get a response from a listing agency in Florence that their apartment Rosa is available. The booking document will be sent in 48 hours. Two+ weeks, a couple emails and an attempt to telephone later, I receive the document. Uh oh, it's only for 2 guests. I send an email pointing this out and asking for a new booking document. I do not hear back. Finally, I request a refund. No problem, I am told, the funds will be in my bank within 3 days. A couple weeks and emails later, I do receive my refund. My impression is that this is a reputable agency, and certainly the rep was courteous, but the communication delay was too much for me to deal with on my first attempt at renting an apartment in a foreign country.

I find another apartment, albeit without A/C (but it does have the all-important washing machine!) This time we're booking directly from the owner, who has so far been friendly and very responsive. The apartment is at Via dei Federighi 2 and looks quite lovely and spacious. Looking at the location on the map, I expect it will be somewhat noisy at night, but perfection doesn’t come at this price (580 euro for the week).

At the same time, I search for an apartment in Venice. Same story…requests sent, no luck. Fortunately I come across one in San Polo, (Campiello dei Sansoni nr.899) that we think will work for us. We are not looking for anything fancy, so with A/C, a washing machine, beds for 4 and a cooking area, this should do the trick. It’s beside (or possibly above) a jazz club so will also likely be noisy at night, but at 550 euro for the week, we can live with that. I loved the San Polo district when I was in Venice with mom last March, so am really looking forward to ambling around, especially in the evening and early morning.

The apartments:

Apartment Dante in Florence

Apartment Sansoni in Venice
We booked Sansoni through the above holiday-rentals.co.uk, but had first checked it out on several other websites, including this one that has more photos:
Apartment Sansoni more photos

Comments (5)

Kim:

A, did you get any pictures of the Florence apartment? I can't seem to get any to load from the website.

Anne:

Do you have pop-ups disabled?

When I click "see all photos" under the photo on the website's property page, a pop-up window appears with 8 photos.

Kim:

Duh - that was it! Thanks.

Pat Hodgson:

Hi
I have been offered the Dante Apt through Homelidays. Did that experience of booking with them work for you? Was everything as promised? Was it a good place to stay? I'm travelling with my daughter as a 21 birthday gift and want it to be special but we are on a budget.Thank you so much

Anne:

Hi Pat,

We found the apartment perfect for our needs, and the owner Elena is very friendly and helpful. I had no problem booking through Homelidays, the price and details on the site were accurate. I would definitely stay here again.

I wrote a review on the SlowTravel site if you want to check that out:

http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/vr/review.asp?n=2986

Florence is one of my favourite places in the world, I hope you and your daughter have a wonderful stay! :) If you are planning to visit the museums, I highly recommend getting a Friends of Uffizi membership:
http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/florence/uffizi_membership.htm

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