Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1991: Sleep In Italy, Via dell'Orso
2bed/2bath near Piazza Navona, Rome
March 2006, 3 nights
This apartment was in a great location, very central - you could walk just about anywhere in the city. Very close to Piazza Navona. The street (Via dell'Orso) is a pedestrian only street and the apartment is directly above the Orso 80 restaurant which is popular with Slow Travel members, although we did not hear or smell anything from the restaurant. I really felt the location was absolutely fantastic for us.
Two cafes are within a block. There are also probably 4-5 restaurants within a couple of blocks. Lagana, just down the street, was very good. The Orsa 80 downstairs was good, best for the antipasti spread. At the end of the street was a fancier place (rated one star by Michelin) but we did not have time to eat there. Piazza Navona is a 2 minute walk and in the area are lots of gelaterias, cafes, restaurants and such. There were small grocery stores and tabacchi also within a block or two, but we did not really do much grocery shopping.
The apartment was a bit dark, but comfortable overall. It has timbered ceilings and lovely tile floors. It is old and my 6'4" husband had to duck under beams in a few areas. Roomy living area with large comfortable sectional. There was no phone, which was somewhat annoying. The only noise I heard was on Friday/Saturday nights. Even though the street is pedestrian only there is a lot of activity on the weekend evenings. The noise did not carry to the bedrooms at the back of the apartment. The heat worked well (it was quite cold in Rome). We did not use the air conditioners. There was adequate hot water for 4 people to take showers and we did not use the kitchen other than to heat water for tea/cocoa in the mornings. Amazingly, I did not hear anything from the bedrooms, even on the nights when the street noise was loud outside. The building was in good shape. This is the only apartment. My daughter did not wipe up a bit of juice she spilled on the counter and there were ants the next morning, but did not see them otherwise. The door opens onto the main street and you walk up one short flight of stairs to the entire apartment on this level. The photos on the website accurately depict the apartment. No phone.
Yes, clean, lots of seating very comfortable for four adults (big sectional and a upholstered chair). Six chairs at dining table, but one was falling apart (stretchers needed to be re-glued under chair). Nice TV, but no English channels. There was also a VCR and a record player.
Beds were comfortable and large. There were lots of extra pillows and blankets. One bedroom has no exterior windows. The other "master" bedroom opens onto essentially an airspace, no view but very quiet and has an ensuite bath with windows. The master bath is ensuite and quite roomy, although there is no shower curtain and water goes everywhere when you try to "shower" in the tub. We did not use the whirlpool feature on the tub. The second bathroom (not pictured on the website) is off the hall and is somewhat narrow/small with only a small shower. There was a hair dryer available and an iron and ironing board.
Kitchen okay, adequately equipped with basic stuff, nothing fancy, pots kind of beat up. I would not describe this as a gourmet kitchen, but it was roomy and adequate. Pans were of poor quality. Dishes/glasses/tableware of average quality. Fridge small. There is a small eating area in kitchen, could maybe seat 1-2. There is a washing machine but no dryer.
Problems or Bonuses
It is directly over a busy restaurant, which turned out not to be a problem. There is NO phone in the apartment. There was an iron and ironing board. The driver called the owner on the way in from the airport and he was there to meet us on arrival - no problem. We were given two sets of keys which was also great. You do have to pay in cash which could be annoying for a longer stay.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I booked through Regent Suites which charged about a 20% higher price than Sleep in Italy. Go with Sleep in Italy directly instead. I think we paid about $850 for 3 nights. The folks at Regent Suites were perfectly fine to deal with, I just don't think they offered anything for the premium charged.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would stay here again, but if I planned to do significant cooking I might want a better furnished kitchen. The kitchen itself is adequate, and has the necessary implements but the pots and pans were pretty cheap/beat up. It was very annoying not to have a phone for local calls, especially at the price charged. It is useful to have a phone to make dinner reservations, call a cab, etc. Of course if you have a mobile phone with you, not an issue. Also you can buy a phone card at the tabacchi down the street and use pay phones.
The location really cannot be beat if you like to get around to the major sites on foot. There is a 116 electric bus that you can catch within 2 blocks that goes past the Pantheon and all of the way to the Borghese Gardens if you would like to access the Via Veneto/Borghese Museum area without a long walk.
Things to do in this area
We enjoyed the Orso 80 and Lagana restuarants within a block as well as both of the little cafes within a block. Essentially, we could have coffee and pastries for four standing at the bar for about $6USD! We also had a great meal at "Al 34" off of the Via Condotti near the Spanish Steps. Serves all afternoon and is a great value espeically in this pricey area. I will post restaurant reviews separately.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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