Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3299: Italy Perfect, Michaela
studio apartment near Via Tornabuoni, Florence
January 2008, 1 week
Via della Spada, Florence, just off the Via Tornabuoni.
There was a nice bakery downstairs, plus several alimentari within a few hundred feet where one could purchase the basics. There was a good cafe around the corner, plus a cafe downstairs. Several full service restaurants were nearby, including Buca Mario and Il Latini.
The building is an old palazzo that's been renovated and updated. The Michaela apartment faces the courtyard and is very quiet, and extremely clean. The bathroom was particularly nice, with a hot shower and a bidet, and there's a little two-burner efficiency kitchen. An added bonus was the small office right outside the apartment, with three computers and two printers.
The Michaela is on the same floor as the Prisco and Strozzi apartments, also offered by Italy Perfect. I saw the interior of both, and they're equally clean and comfortable. There's also an interior hallway with antique furniture, including two old chairs that looked nearly as old as the palazzo.
No outside sitting area in the Michaela, and no pool, but since it was January and I don't swim, it wasn't relevant.
The furniture was in good condition, and the entire apartment was spotless. The dining area seats three, and the sofa bed folds into a couch. I had no complaints at all. There was also a small TV that got CNN, plus a loaner cell phone.
The bed was very comfortable (exceptionally soft sheets and pillows), and there were plenty of extra blankets. There was also a terry cloth robe and towels for two, plus shampoo, body wash, soap, and a hairdryer.
The bathroom was very clean, and had a bidet as well as toilet, shower, and sink with plenty of mirrors. There's also a heated towel rack.
There's a small galley kitchen on one wall, with a two burner stove, utensils, sink, refrigerator, etc. I liked having a drying rack for dishes above the sink. There were enough utensils and dishes, plus dish-washing liquid. I was able to cook simple meals with no trouble. The hosts, Miki and Franco, had a bottle of wine and some packaged breakfast pastries waiting for me in case I was too tired to buy anything for breakfast my first couple of days, which was a sweet touch.
Problems or Bonuses
The apartment was exactly as promised, and the Internet was fabulous. I'm a quilt historian and had gone specifically to research early Italian patchwork, and being able to upload my pictures to my blog every day was a godsend.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Italy Perfect handled everything very well. Lisa, the owner, was very clear about what was offered and what wasn't, and sent me good information on using phones in Italy, the neighborhood, and Italian vacation rentals in general.
On site, Miki and Franco were delightful - they don't speak much English, but we had no trouble communicating, and Miki gladly arranged for my cab the morning I left (at 4:45am!).
I paid about $750 total for the week, which was low season, and felt safe and secure. The apartment was perfect for my needs, and about five minutes from every tourist attraction in the city except the Palazzo Pitti, which was about fifteen minutes by foot.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would stay here again in a heartbeat, and have already recommended the Prisco and Strozzi apartments to friends. No qualifications whatsoever - it was a delightful place to stay, and I hope to return in the next couple of years.
Things to do in this area
Oh God ... the Piazza della Repubblica is about a three minute walk, while the Ferragamo shoe museum is around the corner. There's plenty of high end shopping (Roberto Cavalli is directly across the street!), plus a couple of bookstores and galleries on the Via della Spada and nearby streets.
The Uffizi, Palazzo Vecchio, Duomo, Accademia, San Lorenzo, Palazzao Medici-Riccardi, Santa Croce, Bargello, and Santa Maria Novella are all within a five to minute walk, tops. The Palazzo Pitti is about fifteen minutes away. This is a dream location for an art lover.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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