Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1013: Venere, Palazzo Gamba
1bed/1bath apartment near the Duomo, Florence
late May 2004, 3 nights
Throw open the shutters from the bedroom of this apartment hotel and you are gazing apon the Duomo. In fact, you could almost lean out and touch it. This is a VERY central apartment.
A walk can take you everywhere from the station, the market, San Lorenzo, the Duomo or the Ponte Vecchio. The only time we cought a bus was to visit Fiesole and a taxi was to get our luggage to the train station. Restaurants at your doorstep and yummy gelato across the street.
The building is historical and is in good repair. The foyer/ reception is tiny and is manned from 12 noon to about 8 pm. While it is actually a hotel, the room we had had an entrance hall, a spacious room with a couch and chairs, a table with four chairs and a kitchen area. Off this room was a bedroom with two beds and there were two bathrooms, one off the hall and one off the bedroom. The couch opened to a bed and was made up as there were 3 of us staying. It was a self catering place so we bought our groceries from a nearby food market. There was no bath, just showers and no washing machine.
The rooms were huge and the ceilings were, we guess, at least 15 feet high. We had a balcony off the bedroom and another off the main room that both overlooked the square in front of the Duomo. The huge glass and wood doors were framed by drapes and reached almost to the ceiling and looked very grand. I'm not sure how many other apartments in the building. There were stairs or you could use a tiny lift.
You can view the apartment directly: target="_blank">Palazzo Gamba.
The apartment was well furnished and was tastefully decorated. The apartment was very clean.
Very comfortable beds, loved the bathroom, lots of room in the shower and plenty of hot water.
Very basic kitchen. Had what we needed but you couldn't get too gourmet here.
Problems or Bonuses
The apartment was like a hotel in that the bathrooms had little shampoos and soaps and the rooms were tidied every day. The kitchen had nothing in it, no oil or salt or pepper or anything. We had to ask for a dish sponge. There was a dishwasher but no powder or soap.
The biggest problem we had was the neverending, horrendous noise!!! The doors to the balcony were old and beautiful and huge but it was like we were sleeping in the square. We hardly got a wink of sleep the entire time we were here which is a shame as we were so impressed when we arrived. On one night just after midnight, a group of party goers were gathered on the steps of the Duomo and started playing amplified bongoes. ARRRRGH! It was torture. The traffic does NOT stop at night either. A shame really, as otherwise we would have recommended this place.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I tried to book directly with the hotel but they sent a very polite email to my inquiry saying there were no vacancies at that time. I then checked on Venere.com and got a bi-local room for three for the dates I wanted.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
No, because of the noise. If you have a high tolerance or industrial strength earplugs, then sure!
Things to do in this area
We went on a horse and carriage ride around Florence. Worth every euro to see the smile on the face of my little princess. There is also a carosel we came across one night a block from the apartment. We all jumped on a horse each and had a fabulous time. One good thing about our apartment was not queing to get into the Duomo, we just looked out the window and popped over the road when there were no lines!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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