Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3396: Residenza Il Carmine, Domus Apartment
apartments in the Oltrarno, Florence
March 2008, 10 nights
The Residenza Il Carmine is in the "Oltrarno", across the Arno from the historical center of Florence. The Pitti Palace, Santo Spirito and Santa Maria del Carmine are all within a five minute walk. Major sites - the Uffizi, Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio are within 15 minutes walk.
Food. coffee, wine and Internet are near at hand. Cafes, trattorias, bakeries, fruit and vegetable stores are located within a few minutes walk. Magi Supermarket is located around the corner and there are at least two Internet points with a block or two (although I preferred the Internet Train location on Borgo San Jacobo around the corner from the Ponte Vecchio. There are two laundromats within 10 minutes walk and even a Vino Sfuso (they refill your empty wine bottles) nearby.
The building is very old - looks a bit rough from the outside and the entryway is unprepossessing but the apartments are comfortable with all conveniences.
Our ground floor apartment, Domus, was one of several in the building. I think there are five other apartments besides Domus. Our apartment was quiet except for the usual apartment house noise - footsteps overhead, water pipes.
There is a lovely garden shared by the owners and residents. In March the magnolias and primroses were blooming.
Domus was beautifully furnished, sparkling clean and very comfortable. Plenty of furniture to flop in after a full day's sightseeing.
The bedroom was nicely furnished. Beds were comfortable (we didn't try the day bed or pull-out sofa) and the linens were clean and attractive. There was plenty of lighting, a large four drawer dresser and a good sized armoire with plenty of hangers.
There is a large, attractive bathroom with a good sized shower stall. The towels are not thick terry but linen. These were remarkably absorbent!
The kitchen is very basic - don't plan on preparing anything elaborate. There is a small under counter fridge but no freezer compartment; Pots, pans, colander, bread knife and cheese grater but not kitchen knives or other prep gadgets. There is also a Moka and toaster.
Problems or Bonuses
All good surprises:
Crossing the Arno became one of the most pleasant parts of the daily routine - especially since the fabulous Gelateria Carraia was at the end of the nearest bridge to "home."
The public transportation system is is inexpensive, speedy and easy to understand. There are bus stops to almost all locations nearby.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Caterina and Miriam both speak English and were most accommodating and always pleasant. The information and photographs posted on the web site were accurate.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Things to do in this area
Between the Pitti, Boboli Gardens, Santo Spirito and Brancaccio Chapel and the many artisan's workshops, antiques stores and boutiques there's certainly enough to keep one in the Oltrarno for a full day.
Favorite places to eat included I Raddi, I Ricchi Cafe, La Vecchia Bettola, and All' Antico Ristoro di Cambi.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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