Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2547: Rental in Rome, San Panteleo
4bed/2bath apartment near Campo de' Fiori, Rome
Dec. 16- Dec 23, 2006, 1 week
Location was spectacular. It was midway between the Campo di Fiore and the Piazza Navona on the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. It was easy walking distance from everything and a terrific neighborhood to explore.
Excellent, with every shopping amenity you could desire. Dozens of restaurants, from fancy establishments to tratorrias and pizzerias. On the ground floor of the building was a superb bakery, so the first person awake was required to go downstairs to get the day's breakfast. Finding a "supermercado" was a little trickier, but mainly because in this city center they seemed disguised. We found two, which were a couple blocks away. One was near Torre Argentina and another was near Via Arenula toward the Ghetto. There was even a little "ferreteria" (sp?) or hardware store 20 meters toward the Campo di Fiore where I found an electrical converter. And of course the Campo di Fiore has an open air market every morning except Sunday, which was fun to explore.
The buiding was old and appeared quite typical of a large building on Corso V. Emanuele. I don't think it has any historical significance. The unit was one floor up, facing toward the Piazza San Panteleo and across the via dei Baullari toward the "Piccolo Farnesina", an historical building which now houses a museum. The via dei Baullari is very busy with mainly pedestrian traffic, though cars, scooters and the electric bus also go down it. The three double bedrooms face out onto the street, but the twin children's bedroom faces a courtyard and is quieter. There appear to be two to three units per floor, maybe six floors with a picturesque central courtyard with a small fountain. There is a tiny lift, which would hold about two people, but it doesn't go to the absolute ground level, and one would still have to be able to climb six or seven steps up to get to the lift. The building was quiet.
The apartment might be a problem in the spring or fall when you want the windows open. It has central air conditioning for summer, and we were there in winter, so with the windows closed it was not at all noisy, but with windows open it would be. The windows seemed new and of good quality and blocked noise well.
You can view the apartment directly: San Pantaleo
Small central courtyard in the building. No terrace or other outside area for the unit.
The living room had two large sofas. The TV had satellite and DVD (European standard). The photos on the web site were accurate, tho the sofas had ugly throws over them. The only annoyance was the lighting. The lighting was entirely provided by overhead indirect fluorescent lights. (Two table lamps would have made a world of difference.) The lighting was adequate but ugly.
There were four bedrooms. Three had queen sized beds. Two mattresses were firm and good for couples, one seemed mushy, but OK for the teen boy who got that room. Each room had VERY ample closet space and a small desk or table. Lighting was uniformly awful, again with glaring overhead lights. One bathroom was off the hall, the second (huge) bathroom was off of one bedroom. The bathrooms were modern. The fourth bedroom was across the hall. It had two twin beds and children's decorations. A tiny balcony off that bedroom held the washer. No dryer, but clothes line-rack was present.
Excellent kitchen. It took me a bit to figure out the cooktop. Siemens dishwasher. High quality dishes (Villeroy and Boch), ample cups, glasses, etc. Full pots/pans etc., provided. No microwave. Table in kitchen nice for breakfast.
Problems or Bonuses
Limited hot water. After a week there I still couldn't figure out the hot water. I showered at night when there seemed to be more of it. I have lived in Manhattan apartments with odd hot water, but this was still strange. There WAS plenty of heat from the radiators. Also, it took us a while to figure out the towels. I know this sounds stupid, but my first impression of what turned out to be the towels was that they were tablecloths and napkins. They were nothing like I am used to. They were made out of a thin waffle weave material, not fluffy stuff. They were very large and worked fine, but it took us a bit to figure out that those WERE the towels!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I had no problem with the rental agency. Everything went smoothly. There were no hidden charges. Deposit went through Paypal, the balance paid in cash to the owner's representative who met us at the apartment. The owner's representative seemed to be the cleaning lady. She spoke no English, communication was limited, and she gave a very cursory tour, but it was OK. She did leave us the owner's phone number (Signora Eleonora) but we had no need to call her.
Rental in Rome responded to my emails promptly. They seem to have gotten some bad reviews here lately, and I was a bit apprehensive, but had no problems. I confirmed with them by email about two weeks before the trip and they also responded promptly. We also used them to arrange a car from the airport which worked well. The same apartment (San Pantaleo) also seems to be listed with another agent as "Casa Eleonora" at a higher price.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, in a second! It worked well for our large group. We were a group six people, made of two families, each family with one teen. (One boy, one girl, hence the need for four bedrooms.) We paid about $2800 for the week before Christmas, which is expensive, but it worked out to $1400 per family. or $200 per night, which I felt was good value for our week as "pretend" Romans. The location was everything I had hoped for.
Things to do in this area
I will add some separate restaurant reviews. I loved just walking the tiny, ancient streets. We went on two tours booked with ContextRome which were excellent. Also a private tour of the Vatican Museums (€175 per person, 20 minutes alone in the Sistine Chapel, priceless!) and the Scavi tour below St Peter's. Cul de Sac (enoteca) is two minute's walk and Gelateria di Teatro (my nominee for best gelateria in Rome) is 10 minutes away off the Via dei Coronari. I'm already fantasizing about going back!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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