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Review 166: TuscanHouse, San Miniato


Review by Tom from CA

1bed/1bath apartment, Florence


Sept. 15th Ė Sept 22nd, 2001, 7 days


Florence (Boboli Gardens area)

To make things easy, the agent who took us to this apartment met us at the south exit for Florence off the autostrada. We followed her into the city and drove up the hill and into the electric gates of the apartment building driveway. The view just from the parking lot was incredible so we knew we picked a winner. After 1 flight of stairs up from the parking lot, the apartment is another 1 and Ĺ flights of stairs once you enter the building.

The first room you enter is a wide foyer/entry room, which has 2 futonís folded up into couches and a table with a phone and stereo. This room leads into the spacious living/dining room, which is the highlight of the apartment. Two large windows provide 180-degree views of Florence including the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio. We never got tired of looking at this view the 7 days we were there. The living room has its own AC unit which we used a lot, a comfortable couch, but could use 2 sitting chairs to maximize comfort. The dining room table was large with six chairs. Doors off the side of the dining area opened up to a large terrace with an outdoor dining table and chairs and the same incredible views of Florence.

Left of the foyer/entry room is a nice galley kitchen, which includes a stovetop, oven, microwave, full size refrigerator/freezer, dishwasher and washing machine.

Further down the hallway is the bedroom which has a comfortable bed and its own AC unit. There are also doors off the bedroom which open up to the same large terrace. Although the bedroom is small, cabinets have been efficiently designed and installed to allow for a large amount of storage/closet space.

The bathroom, at the end of the hall is a nice basic bathroom with just a shower stall, no tub.

The apartment is a five minute or less walk from Piazzale Michelangelo, although you donít need to go there for the view, because it is the same view that you will have in the apartment. It is about a 20 minute walk to the Ponte Vecchio and although the uphill walk was sometimes exhausting, it was good exercise after all the eating we did. There is a bus stop across from the front of the apartment building for those who donít want to walk.

This apartment served as a great home base for us. It was very easy to drive out of town and head south to Siena or San Gimignano without having to contend with the crazy Florence traffic. By exiting the city from the backside behind Boboli Gardens, we avoided almost all traffic and avoided driving into downtown Florence altogether. We were also able to drive north to Cinque Terre without having to go through Florence.

Another plus is the small parking lot just inside the electric gates. The building probably has about 6 or 8 apartments in it, but parking was always available. Parking would always be a must for me in Florence. FYI - We never saw or heard the other tenants although I know they were there.

The one complaint I have is that there was no toilet paper or soap in the apartment when we arrived so we had to go out and buy these items. For the price of this apartment (which is not cheap), I would expect that these items would be provided. On our last day, the agent met us to turn over the keys and arranged for a taxi to take us to the train station. She was very helpful throughout our stay. Overall this is a beautiful apartment with one of the best views in Florence and we would highly recommend it.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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