Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2642: Real Rome, Coronari Split Level
1bed/1bath apartment near Piazza Navona, Rome
March 3-7, 2007, 4 nights
Location was wonderful. A few blocks from the Piazza Navona via quaint tiny cobblestone streets. The street where the apartment is located, Via dei Coronari, is a long narrow street with very little car traffic. Almost all of the businesses on the street are antique and furniture stores, most closed in the evening and on Sunday so there is very little noise. There is a church nearby so you can hear the bells ring but only twice daily, not on the hour. No restaurants or bars are on the main street near the apartment, but are available just around the corner on several side streets. However, if you sleep with the windows open as we did, you can hear people walking home at night, if they are loud since the sound echoes.
This area is easy walking distance to many top sights, just a few blocks from the Sant Angelo bridge over to the Castel Sant' Angelo and the Vatican. Also very close to the Campo dei Fiori. About a 15 minute walk to the Spanish Steps (the nearest metro stop).
A few small grocery stores were near the apartment. An outdoor fruit and vegetable market was set up on a side street about one block away during the mornings. Coffee bars, gelato shops and many restaurants are on the side streets off the Via dei Coronari and the Piazza Navona with its many restaurants is about a three minute walk.
The building dates back to the 14th century. The owner had a short history in the packet of information he leaves in the apartment. The original building was two stories high with the top two floors added in the 19th century. It has a small enclosed area just inside the main door on the ground floor where the mail boxes, garbage cans and recycling bins are located. Residents store their bicycles there as well.
It appeared that the apartments are mostly residential. There are four flights of stairs, which are not steep and no lift (elevator) in this building. The owners of this rental apartment also own a two bedroom apartment next door to it on the fourth floor. The building was quiet, we rarely saw or heard any of our neighbors.
You can view the apartment directly: Coronari Split Level.
The building was directly on the street without a garden.
The furnishings were basic but comfortable. The living room sofa was a sofa-bed which we never opened so I can't say if it was comfortable for sleeping but was good for sitting. There was good lighting in the living room to read by.
The dining room had a rustic type table with four chairs which had cushions. There were place-mats and table cloths in the hutch. The dishes were a nice pattern and there were both small glasses plus two stemmed wine glasses, several styles of espresso and cappuccino coffee cups.
There was no light above the table but the living room lights were bright, plus there were candles in the hutch for a nice ambiance. The hutch was decorated with the types of African trinkets that the street sellers were selling. But there were some Italian photos on the wall, mainly of Venice not Rome, to give it a bit of a homey feel. The small living room TV had only Italian channels.
The queen size bed in the loft was firm and comfortable. It was one of the few beds we've had in European apartments that had a single mattress so there was no "crack" down the middle. The bed pillows were a bit flat. Don't expect 400 thread count linens, I found the sheets a bit rough. But all in all the bedroom was fine. It had a very warm duvet comforter on the bed and decent reading lamps on each of the bedside tables.
The ceiling in the upstairs loft was angled quite low at one side. I'm 5'5" and had no trouble on my side of the bed, my 6'2" husband wouldn't have been able to stand on that side of the room. We both hit our heads once or twice on the beams of the low ceiling near walkway past the closets.
The bedroom had two good sized built-in closets with plenty of hangars, shelves and drawers.
The bathroom was small with a low pitched ceiling at one end. But my husband could stand at the sink (just barely). There were shelves on one wall with room for all our toiletries. There was a hairdryer in a box under the sink. The bidet was next to the sink so the toilet was at an odd angle in the corner behind the shower. It had a chain on the lid to hold the lid open with you used it. It suffered from that traditional Rome sewer smell that you find in the city so you definitely want to keep the lid down when not in use. The shower was small and the tile was a bit stained. But the water pressure was pretty good.
The kitchen was partially closed off from the dining area. It was small but functional. It had both the typical Italian style stove-top espresso maker and an electric drip coffee maker (filters provided). There were some leftover condiments (of questionable age) in the cabinets. The pots and pans were very thin and well worn but fine for a quick pot of pasta. Although the apartment was fairly clean I felt better washing the dishes, glasses and pots that we used prior to using them.
It had an under the counter refrigerator, a gas stove top and an oven (I'm not sure if it was gas or electric as we never used it). We cooked one dinner and had coffee (from the stove-top espresso pot) and a non-cooked breakfast each morning.
Problems or Bonuses
The best part of the apartment was the fabulous location. It was nice to be able to stop off in the middle of the day to relax for a bit, have a snack and a glass of wine. It was great to be able to walk around the neighborhood and over to the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain and of course the Piazza Navona for a meal or a great cup of gelato.
We didn't mind the four flights of stairs since we had great top floor views and lots of sunshine from our living room windows. Plus it was good to get our exercise (see the subsequent paragraph regarding the gelato)!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Real Rome was great to work with. Tim responded promptly to my e-mails and sent all the necessary information for us to find the apartment without any problems. He took a credit card to hold the apartment but full payment in cash was made to the owner who met us in the apartment upon arrival. The owner, Francesco, spoke English and was very friendly and helpful. He left a packet of information plus gave us about five different phone numbers where we could reach him or his wife if we had any problems or questions.
I liked the Real Rome website. It had many photos of the apartments and also a good availability calendars for each. I felt like the website gave an accurate depiction of the apartment. Our apartment cost €107 per night for two people during the time of year (March 2007) we stayed there. We would not have been able to stay in even a two star hotel or B&B for that low price.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would stay here again and would recommend it to anyone who didn't mind stairs. It wasn't fancy but a great value for the low price we paid. I liked the fact that we would stay for only four nights since we didn't have time to spend an entire week in Rome. I would caution people not to expect the quality of a four star hotel but it was comfortable and homey.
Things to do in this area
We were within walking distance of three of the best gelaterias in Rome! The Tre Scalini on the Piazza Navona has wonderful Tartufo and chocolate flavors. Giolitti is a few blocks from the Pantheon had the best pistachio I had in Rome. And San Crispo is a block away from the Trevi Fountain with some of the most interesting gourmet flavors.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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