Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1834: Owner, Rome is Home
1bed/1bath apartment near Campo dei Fiori, Rome
September 2005, 3 weeks
The apartment was located on the 4th level (3rd floor in Italy) on Via dei Chiavari. It is fifty paces from Campo di Fiori, through a nearby connecting passage way, and the apartment building itself is located essentially at stage left of where the ancient Pompeii Theatre would have been.
The location is such that we could walk to the Roman Forum or to the Vatican in about 30 minutes. It is 5 minutes to the Piazza Navona and 10 minutes to the Pantheon or 20 minutes to the Fontana di Trevi. We walked everywhere and saw everything from there without having to rely on transportation.
There are amenities everywhere, literally within a city block. It is very important to explore the neighbourhood because the appearance of the front of the building, or the doors that may be closed, reveal nothing about what might be behind them. There is a full service grocery store around the block from the apartment, a baker (forno) 20 paces to the left of the front door as you exit, a large discount clothing outlet called Baloon, 20 paces to the right of the door. At the end of the street past the bakery is a most incredible, albeit pricey, delicatessen and wine store.
Every morning you can head out to the Campo di Fiori and buy fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, and fish as well as spices and dry goods at an open air farmers market. You can get there in 50 paces by walking straight out the front door following the street that curves around the front of the building in front (follows the curve of the ancient Pompeii Theatre) and duck though a small passageway into the Campo. We would bring to your attention that the curved building has a theatre which we discovered in our final days.
Keep in mind that the concept of sidewalks is nonexistant on any but the widest thoroughfares. The surface is cobblestone. We were travelling with our baby daughter and if you are to use a stroller you need one with larger wheels or carry them around with a backpack or snuggli.
In short everything you could imagine you need is there and lots of other things that you might not imagine!
Finally in terms of restaurants we won't recommend any other than to say we never had a poor meal. In our experience, food in Italy is always good and plentiful. You can generally eat at the pace you like (but not fast!) as Romans enjoy the experience of eating as much as the taste of it. We will recommend a Trattoria called Der Pallaro (on the square by that name) that is about 40 paces to the right as you exit the front door of the apartment. They serve a fixed price set meal (20 Euro/per) which is very much a homemade experience with mother and father in charge and the rest of the family serving.
The apartment was located four stories up and was a one bedroom with lots of light in both the bedroom and living room. The windows face the street and the view is as seen on their website. With the shutters and windows closed the noise of the street is faint. There were windows facing an inner patio space in the kitchen and dining room as well providing light there. Anyone staying here must remember that this is the heart of Rome and life goes on 24 hours a day which means street cleaning, kids going to school, workers doing renovations, people going to dinner, and people coming back from parties. It is an energizing feeling! All that being said, we had no trouble napping or sleeping once the shutters and windows were closed.
The building itself, we were told, dates back to the 12th century but the apartment is completely renovated and modern and retains the character and feel with the floor finishing and the exposed beams in the ceiling. The space was fully furnished and tastefully decorated with lots of storage and closet space. Massimo and Biancamaria have not overlooked any amenity and if there is something you can suggest that may be a useful addition we are sure they will be happy to supply it.
The apartment is a classic European space which is efficiently laid out with the entire space being usable. There is a washer/dryer unit, a fridge, 4-burner gas cooktop, a small countertop convection oven and a dishwasher. In short, anything you might wish to have is provided for.
The apartment exceeded our expectations and we would recommend it as a first class destination for someone looking to experience living in Rome.
There was no garden but lots of rooftop gardens were visible from our window!
As mentioned above the apartment was comfortably furnished with a love seat couch, coffee table, seating chairs and 4-seat dining table. A small stereo with a CD player as well as a television were available. Massimo and Biancamaria provide a cell phone (or mobile) and you can buy time credit for it at any shop that sells the appropriate phone cards. Once a week, by prior arrangement, a cleaner will come and thoroughly clean the apartment and change the linen.
The bedroom was spacious and bed a queen size. It was comfortable. The only comment about the bathroom is that the shower was small - mind you, I am big! My wife thought it was OK. There is no bathtub. Our daughter bathed in the kitchen sink.
We brought a travel playpen for our daughter to sleep in and set it up in the bedroom while we were awake and moved her into the living room space once we went to sleep. It worked very well.
The kitchen was small but everything we needed was there with a good set of utensils as well as sauce pans and serving dishes. Our only comment was that the kitchen knives were not sharp.
Problems or Bonuses
The location exceeded our expectation. We had decided htree years previous to return to Rome after a couple of short visits we had there in the past. We wanted to live in Rome and experience that life -- we did!!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The information about the apartment, in our view, understates the experience we enjoyed. However the reviews and descriptions that we found on Slow Travel do the apartment justice.
Massimo and Biancamaria were wonderful hosts. In advance of our trip they replied quickly to any emails or questions we had. A car and driver were arranged for us, at our request, to pick us up and to take us back to the airport. We recommend that you take advantage of this service as it costs about the same as a taxi and there is no question that the driver knows exactly where they are going.
They checked with us a couple of times in the first week to ensure we were settled in and confirm we did not need anything. They came in with the cleaner and we had the opportunity to spend time with them over coffee and a meal while the apartment was being cleaned. They are genuine people who are curious about life and how we spend our days and happy to share their experiences. Massimo and Biancamaria are a couple, whom with their young daughter, we happily count as friends in our lives.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes absolutely - we will be calling Massimo and Biancamaria the next time we plan another trip to the Eternal City!
Things to do in this area
We ate in many places and, as we said, the experiences were great and appropriate to the places we went into.
The two places we would like to comment on specifically is first the baker down the street, mentioned above. They were excellent and helpful and absolutely wonderful with our daughter - she always left with a piece of pizza bread in her hand. The second place is literally 10 paces to the left as you leave the door and across the street where leather articles and furniture are handmade. We found the shop and artisans to be wonderful and highly recommend the place for gifts for yourself or others!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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