Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2001: Sleep in Italy, Largo Santa Cristina Di Svezia
1bed/1bath apartment in Trastavere, Rome
Dec 2005, 3 weeks
This apartment is very well located in Trastevere, the vibrant community just across the river from Central Rome. It is about 150 meters from the Ponte Sisto. You reach the building complex by going through the Porta Settimiana portal; turn left at the next intersection (about 20 meters), go down the long side of the building - the apartment is in the back right corner. That long side shares the street with Palazzo Corsini - one of Rome's famous National Art Galleries, and at the end is the Orto Botanical entrance. You couldn't be closer to one of the liveliest areas of Rome, with numerous shops, restaurants, and night spots.
Trastevere (by the way, it is pronounced Tras-TEV-vere not Tras-tev-VER-re) has so many small shops you can find anything you need. The nearest grocery stores are a bit of a walk, behind Santa Maria in T. or out on Viale Di Trastevere, but the numerous smaller shops have nearly everything. It's a walker's paradise.
The apartment, except for one negative, was comfortable and very quiet. It is a block square building complex, 4 or 5 stories tall. The front entrance is directly across the street from John Cabot University, the "American" University of Rome. In fact, parts of the building have students in them during the day. The front desk of the University was very helpful to us when we had a phone problem.
Now to address the one problem - this is a very quiet apartment, especially at night. You cannot hear any street noise or partying. But right next to the back of the building is a major installation of the Italian State Police. From about 6:45 AM to 8 AM it is noisy right under your bedroom window as they all come to work - some riding motorcycles. The walls are very thick, and the windows have shutters but the noise comes through. I suppose it is also noisy from 5 to 6 PM, but we were rarely there. It is quiet again at 8 AM, so you can go back to sleep, or get up and explore Rome. They never used sirens while we were there.
It is very picturesque out the windows, but no seating areas as it is a street, albeit a dead-end street.
The apartment was clean and comfortable. The bed is true queen size and just the right amount of firmness. The bathroom is large and fine. There is a small service kitchen nook and a table for two. There were enough pots and pans, and nice china. The living room has a large, comfortable couch, TV, stereo/CD player and books left by travelers. It fits two people quite well, especially since you tend to go out and explore a lot!
Problems or Bonuses
We were so tired the first morning there we slept through the comings and goings next door, but after that it did sort of serve as an alarm clock. We got used to it, and went back to sleep after 8 if we felt like we needed more sleep.
Also, if you take the train in from the airport to Trastevere Station we strongly recommend you walk outside and take a cab to the apartment. It will not be very expensive as it is about 1 kilometer. You probably are quite tired by then, and the Number 8 tram is very crowded and, unfortunately, populated with pickpockets looking for travelers with their hands full of luggage. We only lost a cell phone in an outer pocket, as all other valuables were in money pouches under our clothes.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked through SleepinItaly.com and were treated quite well. Giulia Amato was most helpful. We did have trouble connecting with the onsite person - it's important to know how to place both a cell phone call and a regular phone call in Italy before you get there! (We were delayed in getting to the apartment, and he thought we might have missed our flight). We negotiated a fairly sizable discount because we were taking the apartment in the first three weeks of December, when it might well have stood empty. It does pay to go off-season, and we were very pleased with the lack of crowds in all the venues, with the exception of Italians shopping for Christmas.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, we would highly recommend this apartment. It felt like "home" for three weeks. We slept well, and ate all our breakfasts there. You got used to the noises from the police going to work. This apartment worked so well for walking to many, many sites, or catching public transit. We would stay there again.
Things to do in this area
We ate three times at Ristorante Al Fontanone, close to Piazza Trilussa, a modest little restaurant that had the best proprietors and good food. Another was up the street past the Palazzo Corsini about 30 meters. Otherwise, there are dozens of other fine restaurants in all price ranges in Trastevere.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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