Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1650: Italy Perfect, La Giulia
studio apartment near Campo dei Fiori, Rome
June 2005, 7 nights
The La Giulia apartment in Rome was located near the Campo de' Fiori and Piazza Farnese. Piazza Navona was only a few blocks away. It was located in a building on a small street called Via della Barchetta, one-half block off Via Guilia. We like the area a lot. We had been to Rome several years ago and wanted to stay in this area as it is very interesting with lots of restaurants, the beautiful Campo de' Fiori piazza and easy to walk everywhere.
This neighborhood has several convenient grocery stores. One fairly big one (well tiny by U.S. standards) was only a few blocks away and had everything. There were several other stores that had prosciutto, cheese, wine and prepared foods like lasagne very close by. There are lots of good cafes in the area. We went to Cafe Farnese each morning and sat in the sun, read the newspaper and people-watched. We were there in June so the weather was great for being outdoors - not too hot.
The La Giulia apartment is located in an old building in the historical part of Rome. The apartment itself is entered off the building lobby. You go in the front door and straight in front of you -- and I mean STRAIGHT in front - is a spiral staircase that takes you up into the apartment. The staircase is steep and it was difficult to lug our heavy suitcases up. It's a lesson to pack lighter next time! But once you are up the staircase it's super. We like the fact that the entrance is set apart from the other apartments in the building so you really didn't see anyone coming and going or hear any noise from the rest of the building. It felt very private.
The apartment was nicely furnished. There is a small sofa and the bed is in a separate area. It's all one large space so the sleeping area isn't private from the sitting area, but it had plenty of space for my husband and me. It was clean and comfortable. It's on the second floor with two windows overlooking Via della Barchetta so when sitting on the sofa it was fun to watch people stroll by. You can hear people coming and going outside and there was some city noise of the occasional motor scooter or a workman yelling to a buddy at the other end of the street, but nothing that isn't to be expected in this part of Rome. We couldn't understand what they were saying but it sounded like it was along the lines of "Move your car or you're going to get a ticket!"
The mattress was brand new (the person who greeted us told me it had just been delivered the week before) and quite firm. I like a firm bed so this was fine with me. The linens were very clean and well-pressed. The bathroom was tiny! I knew from the description and photos on ItalyPerfect's website it would be small, but hadn't quite fathomed just how small. But once we got used to it, it was fine. The shower is unusual. It is basically a shower nozzle on the wall to your left when you walk into the bathroom. To shower you pull a curtain away from the wall and along the U-shaped curtain rode above and this makes the enclosure. This was not my favorite aspect of staying in the apartment - the curtain would blow and stick to my legs! But we loved the apartment overall so this was a minor incovenience.
Small kitchen was fine and had what we needed.
Problems or Bonuses
We liked the location even better then we expected to. It was so fascinating to walk around the area and then retreat back to the apartment when we got tired of walking. There were no bad surprises, everything went very smoothly.
One thing we learned about booking an apartment is that you have to be prepared for a late-in-the-day check in since the owners need time to clean between guests if there is a same day departure and arrival. If you are taking an all night flight from the U.S. and get into Rome in the morning, we recommend you reserve the apartment starting the night before so that you can check in when you arrive. Otherwise you have to wait until the previous guests check out and the apartment is cleaned - which means waiting around in a jet lagged state. When we booked the apartment we were informed of the check in policy so we decided to spend the extra money and reserve the night before so we could check in upon arrival and we were very glad we did this.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The La Giulia apartment was rented through ItalyPerfect. We also booked the Michaela aparment in Florence from them for the following week after our stay in Rome. 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.
On-site person, Francesca, was very helpful and spoke excellent English.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes we would stay in La Giulia again. It was just right for us and the location was ideal for sightseeing and restaurants. We would highly recommend this apartment to others.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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