Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2721: YAIF, D'Annunzio
3bed/2bath apartment in Oltrarno, Florence
2006-2007, 7 months
The apartment is one of eight in a building on a hill rising from near the Ponte Vecchio, on a quiet street ascending to a side entrance to the Boboli Gardens. This apartment and the one above are the only two in the building with views over the city.
The apartment is near the Ponte Vecchio, so most of the facilities within a few hundred feet are tourist-oriented and priced. Excellent local markets are a half mile to the west and to the east of the apartment.
The building is an old palazzo converted to apartments about 10 years ago. The three bedrooms are compact, with a small living room. The kitchen is very compact, permitting really only one person to cook at a time. One bathroom is adequately sized, the other very narrow.
There was no garden or outside sitting space. The apartment above (Stendahl) has two patios, the upper via precipitous steps, with nice views, but poor maintenance of the flooring.
The apartment was in poor shape when we arrived and little was done for three months until we negotiated repairs and a rent reduction. The painted walls had two colors of paint slopped on some walls in different areas, foot marks and dirt everywhere (that we washed off). The furniture was inadequate. Two small sofas had torn upholstery and were recovered after two months and complaints. There were no comfortable side chairs in the living room. Flooring was buckling up from old water leaks. The ceiling in the dining room showed evidence of a marked water leak.
The beds (six persons, all singles pushed together) were uncomfortable. Mattresses were old and soft, finally replaced (four of six) with new mattresses after three months, with two showing evidence of old dirt and stains.
Insufficient furniture in bedrooms, only one chair in each of two bedrooms, none in the other. Not enough table lamps by the bedside. Corrected after one month of complaints. The first bathroom had a problem with sewage backing from its toilet into the toilet of bathroom two. Bathroom two had a shower with improper drainage causing a permanent mildew smell and requiring that the window had to be left open all year, with the bathroom door closed. Owner's plumber said that it could not be fixed.
The kitchen was small. There were very few implements to cook with. Complaints led to a small number being supplied after one month. Not enough plates or glasses, six large glasses and six small glasses (cheap) for a six person apartment. Complaints brought a doubling of the number.
Microwave broke after one month, replaced after three months. Appliance instructions were missing, except for washer/dryer (realtor told us that we only had a washer - wrong). Stove dirty and required thorough cleaning inside and out. Kitchen walls filthy and greasy.
Problems or Bonuses
Apartment was marketed as luxury. When we brought up these various issues, we were told that whatever we had seen in the website photos was all we could expect (furniture had been moved around to show it in different locations, not all aspects of apartment shown in photos). We were told that luxury in an apartment is different than in any other kind of place like a hotel.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The Windows on Italy staff, who managed this apartment, treated us arrogantly, in good English. Only when our local agent from YAIF, through whom we rented, interceded did they begin to respond in a meaningful way and acknowledge the problems while only correcting some. The initial monthly rate of €3200 was reduced to €2700 and even that was too much but we were here, settled and working.
YAIF has since stopped listing this property on their website.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would not recommend this apartment building until the owner sells it and it gets refurbished and maintained as a luxury building again. While we were satisfied with YAIF, the Windows on Italy management staff were generally not helpful and often outright unpleasant.
Things to do in this area
We enjoyed our time (outside of the apartment issues) immensely in Florence and especially in the Oltrarno area, with its proximity to small shops, restaurants, the nearby countryside.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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