Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2986: Owner, Apartment Dante (#47011)
1bed/1bath apartment near SMN train station, Florence
June 30 to July 7, 2007, One week
Very conveniently located on the Western section of the historic centre. Just a few minutes walk from the train station, the Uffizi, the Duomo, the Oltrarno, etc. The street itself, Via dei Federighi, is narrow and very quiet, other than a bit of noise in the evenings from the back door of the restaurant across the street.
In the immediate neighbourhood is a caffe, several restaurants (including Il Latini, Osteria no. 1, La Spada), a butcher shop, a pasticcheria/tabbacchi, and a small grocery store. Everything we needed was within a three minute walk (except postage stamps - for those I had to go to the "big tabbacchi store" by the Duomo!) The Mercato Centrale is a ten minute walk away. There is also a fabulous gelateria (La Carraia) just across the river, maybe a five minute walk.
The building dates from 1750, but was renovated in 1999, with A/C added in 2007. The apartment is on the third (top) floor, no elevator. The owner also has the apartment across the hallway (Apartment Beatrice). The kitchen is at one end, the bedroom at the other: in between is a hallway, living area, bathroom and loft with sofa bed. Tile floors throughout.
You can view the apartment directly: Apartment Dante.
No outside area.
There were two comfortable upholstered chairs and a desk with another chair. Also a bookcase with a good selection of reading material, including English novels and guidebooks. There was no separate dining area, but there were four chairs at the kitchen table. The entire apartment was very clean and appears to be well cared for.
The bedroom had a queen size bed, a dresser with mirror, and lots of closet space complete with clothes hangers, spare pillows and bedding, and an ironing board. Linens and towels are provided. The loft had a fold out couch that sleeps two, a dresser, table, bookshelf, TV, the A/C unit. The clothes line is outside the loft window. Roof windows have Velcro coverings to keep out the light when desired.
The bathroom contained a sink, toilet, bidet and shower, and was also stocked with toilet paper, soaps, hair dryer and miscellaneous toiletries. The toilet is between the wall and the shower, so would be a tight squeeze for people of above average size. The shower had strong pressure, but temperature was a little hard to control.
The kitchen is bright and well equipped with a four burner gas range with oven, clothes washer, small refrigerator, microwave, espresso pot, and basic supplies such as olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dish and laundry soap. A variety of pots and dishes were in the cupboards. I easily cooked a meal of pasta, with a meat sauce and vegetables.
Problems or Bonuses
We were very pleasantly surprised to find that Elena had installed an A/C unit the week before our arrival - hooray! The only other surprise was the exceptional value and quality of the take away meals from nearby La Spada restaurant. A tasty supper for four, including a bottle of house wine, for less than €20 total ... why bother cooking?!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We rented directly from the owner, Elena. She was warm, welcoming and very accommodating about our arrival and departure times. She gave us directions to restaurants, the neighbourhood grocery store, "the best gelato in Florence" and offered to help with reservations and sightseeing. She works in the travel industry and speaks fluent English. In July, we paid only €580 for the week, plus €35 for A/C and €30 final cleaning. Elena also provided a complimentary bottle of her father's Chianti (very tasty!)
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, we will absolutely stay here again and heartily recommend it to our best friends! I have already told my mother and sister that we must stay here when the three of us return to Florence. We were completely satisfied with the apartment, the location, the price, and the lovely owner, Elena.
Things to do in this area
I loved the area around the apartment because there were so many little streets that we had a great choice of routes when walking "home" from sightseeing. The restaurant La Spada (on Via della Spada) has superb takeout, and also runs the butcher shop across the street. There's a hardware store in the area (where I bought my own espresso pot to take home.) The apartment is also right between two of my favourite churches: Ognissanti and Santa Trinita. And finally, I absolutely loved ending each day with an evening stroll across to the Gelateria, sitting on the Ponte alla Carraia watching the sunset over the Arno, then walking the few steps "home." Pure bliss!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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