Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2242: Rentvillas, Dante
2bed/1bath apartment near Piazza Santa Croce, Florence
June 3 to June 9, 7 Days
The location was great, easy to walk to all the pertinent sites in Florence. You do not need or want a car. Museums, shops, cathedrals, & walks all easily within reach of this location. The view from the balcony is a fantastic way to host your breakfast coffee. Kitchen is just the right size for all meal prep and will support a gourmet effort given the quality of food available. They are all small but very helpful. Take advantage of the Accidental Tourist (accidentaltourist.com) and their personalized tours. Great choices of what you can do and great memories to have. Suggest walking up the hill to Piazza della Michaelangelo across the Arno.
Groceries are available two blocks away. There is an excellent butcher/deli tucked in that provides a variety of Tuscan-based choices. There are endless patiserries/bakeries plus chocolate sources. The restaurants run from gourmet to pizza to even a mexican based menu. Excellent choices abound and suggest taking in the bistro that is on same street (turn left out the front door of apartment, go one block), where they serve excellent food out of a very small kitchen. They only take cash but it is worth the effort.
All facilities function properly, i.e. sinks, toilet, shower. Only two issues were no screens on windows to keep very pesky bugs out at night (either use the plug-in bug deterent or close windows); and the noise factor of the street below at the bedroom side. Double windows and heavy draps help immensely so after figuring all this out by week's end it was not a problem.
There is a great balcony with roll-out awnings (needed for those very hot days or when there is the odd rain). Has a view across the Arno. Provides an excellent spot for meals especially breakfast. Just make sure you have the right bakery and coffee to go with the view. Did our own dinner with wine and forgot the time. This is worth the price.
Very comfortable. Nomninal TV but who needs it on vacation. Good beds and bedding. The age and style made it more of a home then any hotel room. The elevator does work, you just have to understand that it is small and old.
Good beds. Just right amount of covers for time of year were there (June). Bathroom was sufficient and had a shower unit (not always found in rental houses). Beware that you will need to get toilet paper. Otherwise it worked well for three adults.
Kitchen had all that was needed. Maybe a new fry pan and average pot, but when on vacation you can survive very well. We did breakfast mainly, some lunches and in between meals, dinner only once. Too many good restaurants close by for attempting dinner. Coffee is an on-stove espresso type, after an initial instruction from property manager it works well to produce high-quality Italian coffee (five steps above Starbuck's). Just remember that water is required to make this work.
Problems or Bonuses
Noise factor had been noted on other reviews. Bugs a bit of a problem, but there was a solution. Location is better than expected and overcomes these minor problems. Location while difficult to locate directly on a map, was the major selling point once there.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Angela, the property manager, was extremely helpful. Spoke English well and was available if there were any problems. She arrived promptly for arrival and departure. Check very carefully dialing pattern for US based cell phone. Luckily the restaurant across the street had a great waiter who helped figure out this glitch on our part.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Would stay here again in a heart-beat. Know the small challenges, would take in even more of the area. It is in the heart of the tourist beaten path, but you can avoid or participate as you choose. Enjoyed and soaked in the atmosphere. We made sure we did something every day, but also appreciated the personal respite away from the crowds. Definitely an oasis to take advantage of after a long day at the museum.
Be very careful with your debit card in Florence. Suggest cash and only credit card usage. Also watch out for the traffic, drivers seem to feel they are on the express way even though the street is in older part of town.
Things to do in this area
Note the restaurant (sorry, name escapes at this moment) on the same street toward the intersection with the stop light (just before it). There is an English style pub, but this is the restaurant that only takes cash. Excellent.
Good shops all around. Suggest buying the local Chianti (note stamp applied to neck of bottle). This provides and excellent host to your cocktail/dinner on the balcony. Olive oil source also abounds. If you need leather, negotiate at the stores, there are many there plus street stalls.
The Uffizi museum is good, buy tickets in advance on-line. You can buy there but may have a long wait in line. Climb the tower and also the interior of the Duomo. Take in Michaelangelo's David statue (there is a line). See note on Accidental Tourist, excellent way to take in the countryside and meet people who live in Tuscany.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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