Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2345: Residenza Il Carmine, Apartment
apartments in the Oltrarno, Florence
May 2006, One week
The apartment is located in the Oltrarno area of Florence just behind the church of Santa Maria Del Carmine in a quiet residential area which gives the feeling of 'living there' rather than just visiting.
The apartment -- though modern -- was in a large, older building with character which was located on a quiet, narrow, side street with minimal traffic.
The apartment itself was accessed by a large front door then through another door (both kept locked) and into a charming courtyard/garden area with views of the back of the church of SM Carmine; it was a peaceful oasis from the hussle and bussle of the city outside.
There is a remarkably well stocked mini-market just at the end of the street where I was able to buy all I needed for supplies: milk, cheese, meat, vegetables and various interesting Italian products!
There was also a bakery and grocery/produce store a block away and a shop selling cooked meats and other products just round the corner.
There were two restaurants further up the street from the apartment which looked like they might be interesting (I did not try them); there were also restaurants in Piazza Carmine and Piazza Santo Spirito (about a five-minute walk).
There is a bus stop just at the end of the block which takes you to the center and to the train station.
The apartment building is next to the house where Philipo Lippi was born and seemed to be in good condition; the apartments are in the courtyard/garden and are newly built and very well kept and amazingly quiet.
There was a total of six apartments three of which are in the garden area. I rented a one bed, one bath apartment.
The garden/courtyard area was charming and peaceful: grassed, treed and with some flowers, shared by all the rental apartments but not the whole building. It was pleasing to sit out in the evening after spending the day surrounded by people and traffic.
The apartment was exceedingly clean and well kept. There were four chairs at the dining table and a small two seater sofa, all comfortable.
The beds were comfortable: a 'king/queen' bed that separated into two twins though the twins were each only 80cm(32") wide and I did have the fear of falling out the first night. We put the cushions from the sofa between the beds from the second night. They were very comfortable though and the linens and blankets were decent quality and the pillows were comfortable too; there were also extra blankets in the wardrobe.
The bathoom was large! Toilet, bidet, sink and shower with good presure and lots of hot water; a hairdryer in the bathroom vanity. Towels were of that thin sheet-like 'Roman' variety.
The kitchen was perfectly adequate for what I needed it for. There was a small fridge, gas stove-top with four burners, a toaster. I managed to cook a week's worth of simple meals without much difficulty though anything more elaborate than chicken and rice would, perhaps, be tricky! Enough dishes, cups and cutlery.
Problems or Bonuses
The only surprise was how peaceful the place was!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I booked directly through the owners, Emilio and Miriam. Miriam was there to greet us, she speaks good English and is efficient and business-like. She was helpful with information if we needed it.
Dealing with them was very easy, Emilio replied to my emails almost instantly. I did phone them with my credit card # as they don't have a secure server on their site.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Things to do in this area
I liked just walking around the streets, especially the little back streets, looking into courtyards and exploring the neigbourhood. This is Florence! There is so much to see and do. Go out, explore, enjoy!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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