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Review 3982: Owner, Happy House (#19643)

www.vrbo.com

Recommended
Review by edgarharry from Australia

3bed/1bath apartment in Prati, Rome


When

Dec 1 2008 to March 31 2009, 4 months

Location

The apartment is on the 1st floor (2nd floor in USA) of a 20th Century apartment building in the Balduina district of Rome and within easy walking distance of the Vatican.

Nearby Amenities

We like the neighbourhood as there are a lot of small local businesses for shopping. These include a couple of grocery stores for basic provisions as well as alimentari for deli items. There is also a post office, pharmacy and laundry. We enjoy walking to the Andrea Doria farmers market less than 10 minutes away to pick up fresh supplies but also just to enjoy the people watching.

We've enjoyed a range of eating in the neighbourhood including the little cafe on the corner for breakfast and La Fenice for very good eat-in meals or take-away pizza.

Although we both enjoy walking, the 990, 913, and 999, buses which come close to the door and Cipro Metro station are convenient if it's raining. We find the Metro service excellent with frequent trains to Piazza del Popolo, the Spanish Steps and the city centre.

The House/Apartment

The apartment is one of about 20 units, with a small lift useful for those with some level of infirmity or just heavy baggage. It's located on a cul-de-sac so there is very little traffic noise although during the daytime there are occasionally sounds of a concert pianist from the floor below. Balduina is a residential / commercial area with only distant street noise if the windows are open.

The apartment building is well maintained with any public areas cleaned once a week. The living area and bedrooms each have their own reverse cycle air conditioning so we are able to warm rooms we are using and close off other spaces. This helps manage utility charges.

The owner provided a telephone for local calls as well as to receive calls. We use the broadband connection (included) extensively for further Internet research on Rome as well as for Skype.

Garden

There are two balconies for this apartment but as it is winter, we haven't used them.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

The apartment is spacious with older traditional style furniture that is comfortable if not overly stylish. Everything was spotlessly clean and well maintained. The living area is a combined dining/living room, which connects to the front balcony. The rooms have plenty of light from large windows and high ceilings contribute to the feeling of space.

There is a TV and DVD player in the unit and we organised to borrow a few DVDs from the owner. This provides a change from Italian TV (our Italian language skills are very limited).

Bedrooms/Bathrooms

The two large bedrooms have plenty of dresser and cupboard space. The third bedroom is a small single bedroom that we use for storing our suitcases and the drying rack for laundry. There is one bathroom with shower, bidet and washing machine all of which appear to function fine. We use the window shutters which keep the rooms warm, dark and encourage lie-ins.

Kitchen

The fully equipped kitchen has crockery and cutlery for a small army, with a wide range of pots and pans for cooking. We've enjoyed cooking winter soups and trying to create different pasta sauces. There is a small table in the kitchen although we do most of our eating in the combined living/dining room. There is a full size refrigerator which provides ample space for fresh food, dairy etc.

Problems or Bonuses

The landlord/owners live nearby so they had a great knowledge of the neighbourhood, public transport and advice about Rome. They did a terrific job of helping us settle in, giving us a tour of the neighbourhood and providing us with a summary sheet of local information. Their friendliness made us feel very welcome.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

Price was great, especially for our longer term stay. The owners are really responsive to emails as we worked through the booking process. There are limited payment options (cash or bank transfer) and we found the bank in Italy reduced the transferred amount significantly with service fees.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

Yes. We are here for four months during Rome's winter and on cold days appreciate the warmth of the reverse cycle air conditioning. It is proving a quiet retreat for those days when another church or museum cannot be contemplated and we probably cook about 30% of meals here. If you are looking for an Italian neighbourhood, not surrounded by other tourists but close enough to stroll home from good restaurants, then this would fit the bill.

Things to do in this area

  • Walk to St. Peter's Square (and get blessed by Il Papa on Sunday morning)
  • Stroll the Andrea Doria market and buy enough only for the day (like locals)
  • Visit the local cafe for a cappuccino and trecce di crema every morning
  • Go to the Vatican Museum (more than once)
  • Browse the shops along Viale Guilio Cesare
  • Go to Castroni's for all kinds of goodies (including the cioccolato caldo con panna - hot chocolate with cream!).
Now you know why we walk so much.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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