Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2149: Rentvillas, Il Terrazzino
Studio apartment near San Lorenzo, Florence
May 17 - 31, 2006, 2 weeks
Il Terrazzino is located right in the middle of historical Florence, a couple blocks from the Duomo and 1/2 a block from San Lorenzo, on via dei Ginori. The train station is about 10 minutes away.
It is around the corner from the Mercato Centrale and there is a supermarket half a block up so you have close and easy access for all your grocery needs. If you forget any major kitchen supplies, there is a great kitchen supply shop across the street. There is a coffee bar just out the apartment door and several good restaurants are in the Mercato Centrale area as well (ZaZa's, Mario's, Da Nerbonne, Pork's, etc.).
The apartment is located on the very top floor of a historical Florentine palazzo. There are several apartments in the building but I rarely saw anyone that lived in them. There is an old small elevator that takes you to the floor below your apartment and then you have to go up a narrow staircase to get to the apartment. I was a single traveller and safety was an important issue for me. It is a very well kept and safe building.
The apartment is small, but has a little foyer when you enter that contains a coat rack and small table to set down your keys and bag. To your right is a good-sized room with a sofa bed, dining room table and chairs, TV, CD player, etc. Going left from the foyer, you have a very small kitchen with very little counter space, but was fine for my needs. And going further left is the bathroom, which was not huge but was bigger than a lot of hotel bathrooms that I have been in.
The apartment is very quiet. I never heard anyone in the other apartments unless they were in the courtyard below. There are a lot of church bells during the day, but nothing to really bother you. There is some street noise starting around 5 a.m. when the vendors start opening their doors but I only noticed it because I was awake anyway.
There is a small private balcony that I used quite a bit. Plenty of room for one person and two could fit. You have a great view of the San Lorenzo dome and get to watch the swallows.
The apartment and furniture is not new but very well kept and clean.
The shower looked fairly new and the bathroom was spotless. The sofabed is, well, a sofabed, so it isn't the most comfortable, but for a sofabed, it was pretty good!
I made most of my meals in the kitchen and it worked for my needs quite well. My biggest complaint was the lack of counter space, but you make it workable. If you had two people in the apartment, only one of you could be in the kitchen at one time and you may not have enough room in the refrigerator.
Problems or Bonuses
I didn't have hot water for two days, mainly because the issue occurred on a weekend, otherwise, it would have been taken care of earlier. The porter and property manager were apologetic and very good about getting the issue fixed.
I was pleasantly surprised because the apartment was bigger than I had imagined. Also, in addition to the French doors to the balcony in the sitting room, there was a skylight in both the kitchen and the bathroom, so the apartment had great light.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I really can't say enough about Rentvillas. Their website is great and very informative about the properties and how their system works. The agent I worked with answered all my questions (and I had a lot) and everything worked and was just as they said it would be. They made it very easy to book the property.
The apartment property manager spoke English and she spent a lot of time with me when I checked in, showing me how to work the gas stove, pull out the couch, where to find an ATM, hints on where to go, etc. She wasn't always available but there is a porter that is available most of the day. However, he did not speak English. Luckily, I knew enough Italian so he understood I didn't have any hot water!
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would definitely recommend this apartment to anyone traveling alone or with someone you are very close to. I felt very at home in this apartment.
Things to do in this area
It is Florence so there are so many things to see that it is mindboggling! However, my two favorite excursions were going over the river to the Oltrarno and hiking up to see San Miniato/Piazzale Michealangelo and also going to Fiesole. Both were great little breaks from all the crowds in Florence.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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