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Review 2310: Italy-Accom, Casa Bruno


Review by Andrzej from MD

1bed/1bath apartment in Parioli, Rome


May 2006, one week


We rented Casa Bruno through Italy Accommodation run by a team of Italians and expats from different countries. They speak English and usually respond promptly to e-mails and their page on Rome has pretty good information on supermarkets, restaurants and shopping. They also arrange tickets for papal audiences and offer airport transfers and other services.

Casa Bruno is a modern, well-equipped apartment in a three-storey apartment building. It comprises kitchenette, comfortable bathroom, bedroom with a lot of closet space and comfortable beds and huge terrace. It is economically furnished and although small it doesn't feel cramped. Owner-artist's interest in film, music and video is reflected in the way it is decorated. The three of us liked it and liked returning to it and spending late afternoons and evenings on the terrace.

The apartment, one of about twelve in the building, has everything you need for living but a kettle and a decent espresso pot (there is a small espresso pot sufficient for one miniature cup; if you are two or three you have to repeat brewing coffee two or three times). Pots, pans, cutlery and china are sufficient for simple meals but are dispersed among different cabinets in the kitchenette and the living room, something that in the beginning was a bit disorienting, but it wasn't a big deal. The lack of information about the neighborhood was a hassle, however, we found out everything we needed to know but it took time.

  • A supermarket is about five blocks from Casa Bruno. Go down Viale Bruno Buozzi, make right at the first traffic light to via Giovanni Schiaparelli (a small grocery on via Schiaparelli has fresh cornettos, rolls and breads in the morning and so-so cookies; a small fruit/veggie store has the sweetest oranges we had ever tasted.) Continue on via Schiaparelli until you reach Piazza Bartolomeo Gastaldi. Cross the piazza to reach its north-east corner and walk on via Thedoro Monticelli. The GS supermarket is about 50 yards uphill from the piazza at via Monticelli 9/21.
  • A pastry shop/ice-cream parlor is about five blocks from Casa Bruno. Go down via Serpieri, bear left (notice a small grocery also here) and continue on via E. Manfredi, bear left and continue on via D. Chelini. Pasticceria/gelateria is at the corner of via D.Chelini and Piazza Euclide.
  • A cash-machine is about 30 yards down on viale Bruno Buozzi on the same side as the apartment.
  • We did not try any restaurants in Parioli. Fodor’s recommends Al Ceppo (via Panama 2/4), which specializes in grilled foods and the cusine of Marches, and Ambasciata d’Abruzzo (via Pietro Tacchini 26), which specializes in the cusine of Abruzzo.
  • Three separate garbage dumpsters (one for general trash, one for paper and one for glass and plastic) are on the other side of viale Bruno Buozzi; one on the same side is only for used clothing.
  • To get to the city center you can either take bus 52 from the opposite side of viale Bruno Buozzi to Piazza San Silvestro (you can get off at Piazza Barberini to switch to metro) or take bus 910 to Termini from the corner of Antonelli/Ponzi for 10 stops, get off at the stop Repubblica, go to the stop at the corner of Nazionale/Torino, take the line 40 to Piazza Pia/Castel S. Angelo for three stops and get off at the stop Argentina.
  • To walk to the city center cross viale Bruno Buozzi and take via Domenico Cirillo, which is an extension of via Serpieri. Make left to via di Villa Sacchetti and turn right when you hit “T” intersection. Continue on via Ulisse Aldrovandi. Turn right to vialle delle Belle Arti to be in front of the Galleria d’Arte Moderna, cross the street, go up the steps toward the Villa Borghese garden. Go straight until you see signs pointing to Piazza del Popolo. When you reach Piazzale Flaminio, go under the arch, cross via Flaminia, go under the arch to Piazza del Popolo, cross Piazza del Popolo and continue on via del Corso, which reaches the historic center.

The Italy Accommodation Web site doesn't provide these pieces of information because it covers only downtown Rome and Casa Bruno is located in the Parioli district, home to many embassies and upscale apartment buildings but off the tourist track. We enjoyed the location for it was quiet and not that hectic as the historic center. The fact that we had to commute to all major attractions was only a minor hassle. One afternoon buses on line 52 were running very sparsely and we had to wait for one for more than half an hour. Another day they weren’t running at all due to the strike.

We had asked Italy Accommodation for a car with the driver. He picked up three of us at Fiumicino and took us directly to the apartment. The driver had called ahead and Clemente from the agency already waited for us with keys when we arrived. Clemente showed us around, noticed that hot water was not running and fixed it in five minutes.

We found the terrace, which is almost as large as the apartment, the most charming part of Casa Bruno. Although it faces another apartment block rather than a garden, it is in relatively a quite spot, somewhat isolated from traffic, and we ended up spending much time on it sitting and talking until late in the evening.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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