Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3444: Italy Perfect, Strozzi
1bed/1bath apartment near Piazza della Reppublica, Florence
March '08, 9 nights
On Via della Spada just off Via Tornabuoni. It's two blocks from Piazza della Reppublica right in the center of the old city within walking distance from all major sights.
There are restaurants and places for coffee all within a block. Grocery stores were a bit further but no more than a five-minute walk for some smaller ones.
The apartment is on the third floor (with elevator). There is a lock on the main entrance to the building, to the entrance of three apartments owned by the same owner and on each individual apartment. There is also a hotel style safe in the bedroom. There is a shared computer room with three separate computers (one for each apartment). Two had printers although we couldn't get the older printer on ours to work (and we are not computer illiterate). A cell phone is provided and you are charged for the calling time you use. This was really useful on for us on this visit. Gas and electric (less an allowance) use is calculated at the end for an extra charge. We used no gas (for the kitchen stove), made several phone calls and ran two loads of laundry and our total extra was €5.
There was a small terrace with a table and two chairs, which looked out on an area between several buildings. There were also laundry lines by the terrace.
Everything was quite clean and in good shape. In the living room there was a smaller table and two chairs, a sofabed and coffee table. The sofabed was comfortable as a couch (didn't open it to check out the beds). The living room also contained the "kitchen in an armoire." The TV in the living area received CNN and CNBC Europe. The living room was a bit smaller than it appeared in the pictures on Italy Perfect, probably because it was not perfectly rectangular.
The bed was comfortable - something I find rare in Italy - and there were extra pillows in a closet in a room between the bedroom and bath. The bedroom was decent size. There was a TV in the bedroom that received only Italian channels. There was a small room between the bedroom and bathroom that contained a wall closet and a full size fridge. The bathroom was adequate in size and had a good sized shower with good water flow. There was minimal space on the pedestal sink and small stand next to it. There was a washing machine, which worked quite well. There was laundry detergent, liquid soap by the sink, shower gel and shampoo in the shower but no bar soap. There was a second small terrace off the bath.
There was a small stove/fridge/sink unit in the living room. We didn't use it but were shown a good array of cooking equipment by the owners when we arrived. There were also a variety of staples such as olive oil, vinegar, salt & pepper, and tea.
Problems or Bonuses
There was a bottle of Chianti and water at our arrival. The owners were very nice. The Internet connectivity was definitely a plus.
The apartment was relatively quiet. While we were there a neighbor played the TV fairly loud beyond midnight and had a party one night. This could definitely be heard in the bathroom. I didn't notice it in the bedroom but my husband did and it bothered him a bit.
There were several guide books on the bookshelves in the bedroom as well as several novels in English.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Lisa from ItalyPerfect was excellent to deal with. All questions were answered promptly and the web site gave an accurate description of the apartment. Along with the rental confirmation she sent several documents with useful information on Florence and basics of travelling in Italy (how to use phones etc.) Miki and Franco, the owners, were very nice and spoke enough (but not a lot of) English. We paid €1196 for nine nights in March.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would stay here again (and may this fall if we are in Florence enough days for the minimal rental).
Things to do in this area
Our favorite restaurant in Florence is Trattoria I' Cche' c'è c'è on Via Magalotti between Santa Croce and Piazza Signoria although I have to confess that we have become friends with the owner/chef after going there for many years.
Our favorite jeweler in Florence is Ugo Piccini on Via Por S. Maria 8/11 where we have purchased our engagement and wedding rings as well as had several custom pieces made. Florentine friends of ours say that Mr. Piccini is known for being very fair as well as known as an expert in gemstones.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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