Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1428: Windows on Italy, Leonardo
2bed/2bath apartment in the Oltrano, Florence
April 2005, 1 week
The location of this rental on Borgo S. Friediano in the Oltrano on the very busy street corner of Via de'Serragli is the reason for the negative review. This is too bad because it is otherwise is a very nice, modern, spacious apartment but the noise was unrelenting. The traffic noise was constant, day and night. I live in a city (near a hospital no less), so am used to city noise but this noise level was unacceptable. Even earplugs couldn't totally block it out.
I do like this area near Santo Spirito and Piazza del Carmine on the Oltrano side of Florence but not this corner!
Several great bars a few steps from the apartment including a wonderful panettiere on Via de'Serragli just before the Ponte alla Carraia that served delicious cappucino and fresh pastries. The gelato shop on that same corner was terrific too, both filled with locals. A small market and internet cafe were directly across the street from the apartment and a larger market was a few blocks away.
The building was in good shape and contained four apartments I think, though I seldom heard or saw anyone else coming or going. We were on the first floor. There was no elevator.
No outside areas or gardens.
Other than the rather uncomfortable couch and chairs in the living room, the furniture was in good shape. The living room couch was a pullout double bed that we never used. There was a working TV. The kitchen had a large table with enough sitting room for 6 people. The apartment was very clean although a bit musty smelling upon arrival.
The bedrooms were attractive, very large with comfortable beds. One bedroom had a lovely beamed ceiling. The 2 bathrooms were great, very modern and well equipped with toilet paper, soap, shampoo, a hair dyrer and plenty of large towels. The bathrooms were equipped as a good hotel would be. There was plenty of hot water and the water pressure was good. Outside of the smaller bathroom was a modern washing machine which we put to good use.
The kitchen was very well equipped with plenty of good quality utensils for cooking and serving full meals. We never cooked in (too many restuarnts on my list) but it would have been a fine kitchen to do so. The kitchen also had a modern dishwasher.
Problems or Bonuses
The positive surprises were how well equipped it was with hotel quality soaps, towels etc. and how huge it was. The big negative was how unbearably noisy it was. Because of this it was never a relaxing spot to come home to after a busy day of walking the city and unfortunately colored my view of Florence this trip.
I think if I had not had my daughter and her friend staying with us for part of the week, I would have asked if it would have been possible to move to another location. This just seemed like to much trouble for the 4 of us.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency was nice to work with and responded to my emails promptly. I do wish that they had warned me of how noisy the location was but then again I didn't really ask this question. A lesson well learned!
Our arrival instructions were to call when we were on our way to the airport but unfortunately that was during lunch when the office was closed and an agent I reached by cell phone couldn't meet us. Luckily there was a restaurant right next to our apartment that we lugged our luggage into and had lunch at while we waited for the office to re-open. As the office was around the corner from us, we were checked in smoothly after lunch.
Both the check in and check out agents were very young women who were nice enough but not terribily informative. Check out was supposed to be a little after 9 am but she did not show up untol 9:30 which made me very nervous as we had a 10 am train to Rome to catch.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I cannot recommend this apartment because of its location. This agency did have many other nice looking apartments for rent in the same price range 850E. I just picked the wrong location!
Things to do in this area
The lovely Piazza Santo Spirito was a 5 minute walk with it's many great restaurants, morning market and peaceful ambience. All of Florence is at your doorstep as it is such a compact, walkable city.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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