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Review 243: Florence Villas, Santa Croce 2

www.florencevillas.com

Recommended
Review by Barbara (and Art) from KY who is a SlowTrav Contributor

2bed/1bath apartment near Santa Croce, Florence


When

May 10-18, 2002, 8 days

Location

The location was wonderful, just around the corner from Vivoli! The apt faced an inner courtyard, so it was very quiet, and the street (via Torta) is hardly what you would call a main thoroughfare! The apt is on the top floor (3rd floor for Americans) up approx 62 steps, some of which are quite steep! There is no danger of anyone sneaking up on you, because you will hear them gasping for breath long before you see them. I didn't mind the steps, as they gave me the justification I needed for gelato every day!

Nearby Amenities

There is a large Standa gorcery store about a 5 minute walk away, and near to Vivoli were 2 small markets and a butcher shop. Towards the end of the week we found a news stand close by. Every restaurant in Florence is accessable by foot from here.

The House/Apartment

An old building, but in very good shape. We only saw one other family who lives in the building, and there is an adjoining apt that can be combined for a larger group.

Garden

No garden or outdoor area.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

Nice furniture, nothing too fancy, but a nice double bed with iron frame in each of the BR's, and a dresser and armoire. LR/DR had a loveseat, 2 large chairs, table for 4, a large cabinet for dishes, etc. My only request would have been for a mirror over the dresser, or a full length mirror in the armoir door ... the only mirror in the whole apt was the one in the bathroom, so with 4 people trying to get ready, I would have been more than happy to have gone to my BR to fix my hair, etc, but couldn't.

Bedrooms/Bathrooms

Yes .. nice firm matresses ... I think they were some kind of very dense foam .. they didn't squeak at all! The bedrooms were very nice size ... we kept the ironing board set up, along with a rack for drying clothes, and never felt cramped. The bathroom was quite large. The washing machine was here, and a nice big tub with a shower. Surprisingly, no bidet.

Kitchen

Strange kitchen arrangement ... there was a hob (stovetop) but no oven, and the sink/hob were set in a large cabinet with glass doors ... it sort of looked like a china cabinet, but every time you wanted to cook or get a glass of water, you had to open up the cabinet. Of course, this also made it look nicer when everything was closed up. We only fixed breakfast here, but never had any problems ... plenty of dishes/glasses/cookware.

Problems or Bonuses

I was worried about hanging the laundry out the window, but it was no problem ... that area got plenty of sun. Good water pressure and plenty of hot water. The toilet was an electric flush, so as long as the power doesn't go out, you're in good shape! Good lighting.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

Everyone we dealt with - Kelly, Meaghan and Janie - were all extremely helpful. We had originally booked the apt before 9/11, and when the other couple backed out, they offered to let us keep the same apt but at a reduced rate. We ended up finding another couple and paying the full price ($800/week, plus $114 for the extra night), but thought this was a nice gesture. We dealt with Janie once we were in Florence, and she is English, so communication was no problem.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

Yes, for this price I think this is a wonderful apt with a fantastic location!

Things to do in this area

We were extremely disappointed with our service at Osteria del Caffe Italiano, just past Vivoli on via Isola d. Stinche. We felt we were ignored, and Art even went back in to tell the manager how disappointed we were. We went to Acqua al Due, which is just a 2 minute walk from the apt ... we had no reservations, so we just got there before 7:30 when they open. The food was wonderful as usual, but just as we were getting ready to leave (and believe me, we are the typical FAST American eaters!) our server actually asked us to leave, saying that he needed the table!!! We were in the cellar, which has 4 tables, and the other 3 were empty, so my only guess is that a large group was going to use the whole room! I did send an email to Acqua, and had a very nice reply from the owner, who did offer his apologies! Had this happened anywhere but Italy, I would not have been surprised, but to happen in Italy where people spend HOURS on their meals was somewhat surprising! The Yellow Bar, just across from the Bargello was not someplace I would have gone into had it not been recommended to me, and it was very good. I thought it looked like a tourist trap from the outside, but the food was delicious!

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

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