Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2838: Italy Perfect, Medici
2bed/1bath apartment near Boboli Gardens, Florence
February 2007, 2 weeks
We loved the apartment and the neighborhood but, honestly, the location was difficult for us.
The Medici is located in the Oltrarno, a few blocks up from the Porta Romana. It is a pretty apartment in a lovely, quiet neighborhood behind the Boboli Gardens.
I was concerned about the distance from the apartment to the bus stop, but I felt reassured by the document provided by Italy Perfect which described the stop as "about a two block walk from the Medici apartment." I also phoned the agent to ask about this, and she confirmed that it was a short walk.
The bus stop is in Porta Romana, which is about a 10 minute walk down from the apartment through a gate into the Porta Romana. But the gate closes every evening at dusk (which was at about 6PM in February). After the gate is closed, you have to walk all the way around the city wall along a busy street (Via Nicolo Machiavelli, I think) to return to the apartment. The alternative is to get a cab from Porta Romana which is a minimum of €4, and cost us as much as €7 one night for that short ride!
When we travel, we sometimes like to return to our hotel/apartment for some "down" time before dinner, but that was difficult, if not impossible for us in this location. And the steep walk up from Porta Romana felt tiring for us after long days of sightseeing or late at night after dinner in the Centro.
There is excellent shopping near the Porta Romana. We purchased everything we needed for the apartment from the local merchants. Italy Perfect provided a comprehensive list of nearby shops and restaurants to help us become oriented to the neighborhood.
The apartment was beautiful, comfortable and completely quiet. It is on the bottom floor of a two-story building. In the evenings, we could sometimes hear the upstairs neighbor, who is a member of the Florence symphony orchestra, playing her flute. Lovely!
The Italy Perfect website has many pictures of the apartment. These pictures accurately depict the rooms, so before you go you have a good idea what to expect.
You can view the apartment directly: Medici.
There is a beautiful private terrace outside the kitchen. In the morning, when it was warm enough, we enjoyed having our breakfast outside while we planned our day.
The apartment was immaculately clean and well-appointed.
The couches in the living area were comfortable, although I rarely used them. There was a TV, but limited satellite. Apparently there was some problem with receiving most channels, including CNN.
All rooms, including the bathroom, had large windows that let in nice bright sunlight.
The bathroom had a small, but good, shower, no tub. Everything was clean and in perfect working order.
The beds were totally comfortable, plenty of cozy blankets and clean sheets.
Fantastic kitchen with plenty of pots, pans and dishes. We never cooked full meals, except breakfast, but we could have if we wanted to.
Problems or Bonuses
The big problem for us, as I have said, is the location. (Actually, other guests mentioned this problem in the guestbook at the apartment.) If the apartment had been closer to the Porta Romana, or to a bus stop, we would have been completely happy with it. We specifically asked the agent about this, and she assured us that it was a short, convenient walk to the Porta Romana where we could catch the bus. We enjoy long walks, and we loved the walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo, but having to walk up to the apartment late at night after our very full days in and around Florence felt too exhausting.
I think this would be a great place for summer or spring when it stays light longer, or for people who have a car, or who like to hike!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Our main contact was Lisa at Italy Perfect. She was easy to work with and always professional. After we returned from our trip, I told Lisa that I thought Italy Perfect should more accurately portray the distance to the bus in the literature that they present to their potential guests. She appreciated my comments and said she would update the information.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We would not stay here again because of the location. I would recommend the apartment to others as long as they were prepared for the walk to and from the apartment.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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