Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1649: Italy Perfect, Michaela
studio apartment near Via Tornabuoni, Florence
June 2005, 1 week
The location of the Michaela apartment in Florence was ideal for us. It is in the center of town in a very nice area off Via Tornabuoni. The street that the apartment building is on is a bit small and a deadend, so almost no traffic.
There is a cafe across the street from the building and another one down the block. Within a block are two little grocery store-delicatessens. There were lots of really good restaurants in the area. ItalyPerfect gave us a list of their favorite restaurants in the neighborhood and we enjoyed trying them out. The big daily food market, the Mercato Centrale was a 10 minute walk away and that was a great place for shopping for cheeses, fresh pasta, fruits and vegetables.
The apartment was exactly as it is pictured on the ItalyPerfect website. It was very reasonably priced compared to a hotel room in the same upscale neighborhood. The apartment is on the inside of the building. The view out the window isn't very exciting - mostly of other apartment windows, interior patios where laundry is hung, but we appreciated the fact that this meant it was really quiet. The building seemed to be made up of private apartments and some offices of professional services like doctors offices. The building is historic and nice looking. There is an elevator too.
There was a small interior terrace that guests could use which is shared with ItalyPerfect's other rental unit on the same floor, the Prisco apartment. We were the only ones who wanted to use it so we had it all to ourselves. It has a nice table and two chairs on it and got good afternoon sun. It faces the same view as the Michaela apartment window, and though you don't have any privacy it was kind of fun to hear the various residents in the building hanging out their laundry and fixing dinner - which smelled great! Made us feel like we got to experience local life a bit more than we could have at a hotel.
The apartment was spotless. The sheets were pressed and everything felt new and clean. The apartment is good for one or two people. The sofabed was good for sitting around although it would have been nice to have an armchair as well.
The sofabed was a queen and very comfortable. The bathroom was excellent - really clean, nice shower, all new fixtures. Plenty of hot water and good water pressure.
The kitchen is an efficiency type of set-up. It was just fine for the light meals we fixed. Got cornflakes at the little corner market, and then we could go out and get fresh fruit and bread each morning for breakfast. We ate out most evenings, but the location of the apartment was so accessible that we returned back to it 5 out of the 7 days we were there and fixed lunch at home. The kitchen was well equipped and had everything we needed. The people who greeted us welcomed us with a bottle of wine and some fresh fruit.
Problems or Bonuses
It was better then we expected! We had never rented an apartment in Italy before so we were worried if we could go without the help of a front desk person to give us directions and other information. The information provided by ItalyPerfect in advance included lots of information about the apartment and neighborhood and also a handy document that they had complied with useful information about what to expect when renting in Italy which coverered everything from working the phone and washing machine to combatting mosquitos. It was very informative.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We heard about ItalyPerfect throught the Slow Travel classifieds and made inquiries to numerous agencies. Several seemed good but we felt that ItalyPerfect did the best job setting our expectations and answering our questions. We would book with them again. We were greeted at the apartment by a very sweet couple and their grown son. The couple didn't speak much English but their son Marco did. He explained everything we needed to know like working the keys, where to dispose of the trash, what time the grocery store opened.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Absolutely, the Michaela apartment was great!! We would stay there again -- if only we could go back again next year. We have recommended it to several friends and family members. It was so nice to come back to each day after sightseeing.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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