Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2131: RomePower.com, R290 River
2bed/2bath apartment in Trastevere, Rome
April 06, 5 days
The Apartment is located on the Trastevere/Vatican banks of the Tiber at Lungotevere Santi. It is just beside the Ponte Sisto which brings you across the river to near the market in Campo Fiori. As it is on the quays, there is a good lot of traffic at all times of the day and night. To one side of the apartment there is a small square which was used by very good natured revellers most nights we were there. The area itself is a bit grafittied, and to be honest was a bit off putting when we arrived at 1:00 am. However, we always felt safe walking around, and the luxury of the apartment and the beauty of the building it was in far outweighed the surroundings. It is in an area which is lived in by locals, and walking around in the mornings, we got a good sense of normal life as opposed to that packaged for tourists. In the evenings, lots of tourists came to the area to eat and drink in the profusion of restaurants and bars.
Everywhere was walkable. About a two minute walk from the apartment there was a lovely bakery with fresh and wonderful bread for breakfast, and in the other direction a little grocers for milk etc. About 10 minutes away there was a Standa shop (supermarket/clothes etc), which had everything you could want. Five minutes across the bridge was a fantasic delicatesen with incredibly patient and tolerant staff as we wanted a little bit of everything communicated in sign language. However, the place to shop was really the markets, Campo di Fiori was 10 minutes across the river, 10 minutes to Via Trastevere, and the must go is the market at Porta Portese (20 minutes walk) on Sunday, which is a huge flea market with every sort of clothes, footwear, household items etc.
The place was surrounded by restaurants.
The apartment was in a beautiful 18th Century four-story detached building. It had massive wrought iron gates, leading into a marbled hallway at least 30 feet high. The common areas were immaculately kept by a concierge, and the building was an oasis of calm from the crazy Roman traffic. We seemed to be the only rented apartment there and the other 20 apartments were private. We only saw about two other inhabitants in the five days, but we were out a lot. There is a small very old lift with double doors that my children really loved, or a marbled stairs to reach the apartment, which was on the second floor.
The apartment was absolutely fantastic, talk about gracious living. You open the big heavy wooden doors (about 10 feet high) and go straight into a big hallway. The whole apartment is floored with marble. To the right is the twin bedroom, then the dining room and the living room directly in front. A corridor to the left leads to the double bedroom, kitchen, two bathrooms and utility area with washing machine.
The living room was very large with two couches (one of which converted to a huge double bed), a big business desk and TV (Italian stations only apart from the ubiquitous MTV). It had views over both the river and the square. The dining room was bright and airy.
The building was built around a central courtyard, but the apartment was cleverly designed so that only the kitchen and bathrooms face over this and the rest have outside views. All the windows run from about four feet off the floor to the ceiling and open outwards. They are shuttered to keep out the heat and light when needed, but the shutters can be lifted easily.
There was no garden or outside sitting area, but then with Rome on your doorstep, we didn’t need one.
There were plenty of chairs for us, but with eight people you might have had to bring chairs from the kitchen to the dining room.
Throughout, the apartment was furnished with high quality antique furniture and fittings, interesting pictures on the walls and an overall feeling of opulence. With that it was very comfortable and easy to live in. It was immaculately clean, and also easy to keep clean. We loved it.
There were twin beds in the first bedroom and two single foldaway beds. We put up one of them and there would have been loads of room for the second. The beds were made up for us and the linen etc. were immaculate. There were huge floor to ceiling wardrobes, an antique dressing table, bedside tables etc. Two windows overlooked the square, and the girls reported some problems with noise when they had the windows/shutters open to let in air at night. There was air conditioning, but we didn’t use it.
The double bedroom had a big comfy double bed and faces out over the Tiber, a beautiful view in the morning. Again, you could close off the noise of traffic with shutters but “when in Rome.”
The sofabed in the living room was huge and seemed comfortable, although only children slept on it. It was very easy to fold away.
The bathrooms were all clean, functional and more than adequate. There was a shower in one and a bathtub in the other with overbath shower. Water was heated by a gas device in the kitchen. The only drawback was there were some fluctuations in the shower temperature, which we reported to the agents as we were leaving and they said they would look at.
The kitchen was well equipped, all utensils, dishwasher, microwave, full cooker, fridge, freezer, coffee maker, juicer, lots of storage space, pans, pots etc. It was perfect for cooking full meals. There was a small table and chairs in it, fine for a quick snack, but for a meal or for more than four people the dining room was the place to eat.
The previous users had left some dishwasher tablets behind, which was great while we were orienting ourselves, and we repaid the favour. Given our short stay, it would have been nice to have some more cleaning materials/soap etc.
Problems or Bonuses
On the website it says that the apartment is quiet, and we could not agree with that, even with the windows closed there was a constant hum of traffic and of voices from the square below. The overall appearance of the area was not great, but as I have said, we had absolutely no problems at any time.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
While booking we ran into some problems with Romepower. We originally booked a different apartment, and their website double booked it by mistake. Marco Agretti the agent changed us to this one and told us it was an upgrade, but we would get it for the same price. Through a series of e-mails and phone calls and discussions of different discount packages (including the slow travel one), cleaning fees etc., we felt that the pricing structure was not as transparent as it could have been. However, the apartment was well worth the money we paid (€1500 for five nights in March/April) and was indeed better located than the one we had originally chosen.
Everything else ran smoothly. We were collected from the airport, brought to the apartment, met by Sashe (the RomePower rep) even though it was 1:00 am and settled in. He speaks good English, and left us with phone numbers if we needed him for anything. We didn’t, and he arrived promptly on the last day to close the rental. He took on board the comments we made, and said that we should have contacted him about the shower.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, I recommend this, unless you are sensitive to noise.
Things to do in this area
Well Rome is there. Everything was within walking distance for us, and the joy of Rome is that the journey to the “sights” is just as interesting as the sights themselves. There are tram and bus stops in Via Trastevere (10 mins walk), to take you to most places. There are walks along the side of the river both on the road and under the bridges which were lovely also.
For people travelling with kids as we were (6, 10 and 12 years) I would recommend buying one of the guidebooks that show the ruins on one page and an overlay of how it was on the next. This was really useful in the Forum/Palatine Hill/Circus Maximus area. The only thing we do not recommend is the Time Elevator, a multimedia speed through Roman history, which we found very expensive, very shallow and a real waste of an hour.
Also, try and pick a slack time for the Vatican Museum either very early morning or the afternoon. We went at about 10:00 am and it was too full to see anything properly.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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