Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1937: Sleep in Italy, Via del Pellegrino
studio apartment near Campo dei Fiori, Rome
January 2006, 9 nights
The apartment is in the city of Rome, about 2 blocks away from the Campo dei Fiori, on Via del Pellegrino, a beautiful, centuries-old cobblestoned street. An excellent location for easy bus transport all over Rome, and a very fast bus trip to Termini on the #40 express bus, just a block from the apartment.
Easy walking distance to numerous restaurants and the Campo, where you can buy many grocery items. However, there is no supermarket-type store in the immediate vicinity, if that's the kind of shopping you're looking for.
The apartment's on the 3rd floor of a 16th-century building, very pretty, with the common corridors opening onto courtyards. My guess is that there are about 12 apartments in the building. 3 flights of steps lead up to the apartment, none of them very steep, although the last flight is somewhat steeper than the first two. My husband and I live in a 5-flight walk-up in New York City, so the stairs seemed like nothing to us.
It's a very spacious apartment, much bigger than our own apartment in NYC. The bedroom area was created by the construction of sliding doors, which doors have turned a very large studio into sort of a 1-bedroom apartment. The rooms all open on to each other, so don't expect privacy if you're traveling with someone other than your significant other and family, i.e., the people in the bedroom would have to walk through the living room in order to get to the bathroom.
The bedroom faces the street, not very far away from the Campo. It is extremely noisy late at night. Many people who've stayed in this apartment and signed the guest book complained bitterly about the noise. I got to read all their comments when I was awake at 2am, hoping the revelry just below our window would end.
The apartment was clean. The furniture is, for the most part, adequate if unaesthetic. The drawers in the dresser are broken and hard to deal with. The decorative objects throughout the apartment will not be photographed for Architectural Digest anytime soon. We hid away (and replaced before we left) several of the more horrendous tchotchkes on display in the living room bookcase. We also rearranged the incandescent lighting so we wouldn't be dependent on the overhead pinpoint lights. The fabric on the sliding doors should be refurbished immediately as should the cover on the futon.
There's plenty of heat and hot water. I gather there's air conditioning in the summer, but please check, if this is a concern to you. We were there in January - no need for air conditioning.
The bed in the bedroom, besides being in the noisiest area of the apartment, has a sagging and unsupportive mattress. Perhaps someone used to a soft mattress wouldn't mind. We ended up closing the sliding doors to wall off some of the street sound and sleeping in the living room area on the pull-out futon frame. The futon's seen better days, but it was far superior to the bed.
Satellite TV with scads of channels works well.
There's one bathroom in the apartment, very small. I can't imagine anyone over 5'10" or 160 lbs taking a shower in the teensy shower stall. The toilet has a built-in bidet. The owner supplied us with a sufficient amount of towels.
The kitchen seemed well supplied with pots, pans, etc. We didn't cook, just used the fridge, sink, and washing machine - all of which worked fine. There's a large clothes-drying rack, very useful, as there's only a washer, no dryer. We did a little bit of laundry every other day or so. If you prefer doing your laundry all at once and drying it in a dryer, I have no idea where you'd do it in the Campo area. We saw zero laundromats in this part of town.
Problems or Bonuses
The level of street noise coming into the apartment at night was louder, uglier, and more persistent than we had imagined it might be. It was impossible for us to sleep in the bedroom, and it was pretty depressing to close off the doors to half the apartment and pull out the futon frame.
My husband and I kept discussing the apartment thusly: "If we were staying here because a friend was out of town and had given us the keys, well, we'd be thrilled with a free place to stay in Rome. And if the noise was too much for us, we'd just move to a hotel." Sadly, though, the apartment was not free. Even so, we seriously thought about moving to a hotel, and even checked out a couple of places, but in the end we couldn't deal with either moving or the spending more money.
Just a friendly piece of advice that I wish I'd given myself before we committed to staying in an apartment: There's really no recourse if you're unhappy with your accommodations for reasons other than, say, outright filth or safety concerns, for example. If you can't bear the street noise or the mattress or the way the place looks, it's too bad - you've paid for it already. If you stay in a hotel and you're displeased with this kind of thing, you can often get moved to another room (e.g., if noise is the issue) or pick up and move to another hotel without having to pay for your entire stay at the place you've abandoned.
Also, I discovered I like having at least a few hotel amenities while on vacation - some fresh sheets and towels would've been more than welcome at about the halfway point in our 10-day stay.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency was fine. They really did nothing more than take our reservation and give us the owner's telephone numbers. I assume they also contacted the owner about our planned arrival time. The owner was very nice. Between her inadequate English and our inadequate Italian, we communicated very well. The published information about the apartment is, uh, optimistic. We paid the list price of 110 Euros/night for 9 nights in January 2006.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We would never stay here again nor would I recommend it. However, tastes vary. What bothered us may not bother you.
Things to do in this area
The area is superb. No complaints there. You could live here for years and never exhaust all the possibilities.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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