Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4054: Owner, Via dei Cappellari 60 (#21717)
1bed/1bath apartment near Campo dei Fiori, Rome
March 24-31, 2009, 1 week
The apartment is located on via dei Cappellari, a few blocks from the Campo de' Fiori, in the Centro Storico section of Rome. We have stayed in the area before and love it. Via dei Cappellari is a narrow winding street with interesting workshops, and the apartment is near the Chiesa Nuova bus stop on the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II.
The Campo dei Fiori market, with its flowers, fruit and vegetable stands, spice stand, and souvenir stalls, is a few blocks away and is open Monday-Saturday. In the other direction, about three blocks, at the end of the via de Pellegrino, is the Despar market (not big enough to call it a supermarket) where you can buy everyday food stuffs like milk, water, butter, etc.
On the corners of the Campo is Forno de Campo de' Fiori, a great bakery, La Fiorentina, a very expensive butcher, and a Salumeria. Ai Forno, another great bakery, is two or three blocks off the Campo.
A few blocks from the Campo is Roscioli is their bakery and, around the corner, their salumeria with a trattoria in the rear. Within a 10 minute walk in any direction are many cocktail bars, restaurants, trattoria, enoteche, osterias, pizzerias, gelaterias, and coffee bars.
The building looks to be at least 18th century, but a tiny elevator has been installed. The apartment is on the third floor (fourth floor American). The building has four floors and there appeared to be two or three apartments per floor.
Via dei Cappellari does not get a lot of car traffic, but if you leave the windows open in the bedroom, you'll hear the tinkling of the nascone across the street and the sound of people sitting outside of their shops talking. At night it is pretty quiet.
The apartment has been renovated and has modern conveniences such as a microwave, oven, washing machine/dryer, WiFi, and cable television, and in-wall air conditioning units in the bedroom and living room.
The bedroom is huge, with a firm king-size bed, plus a single bed appropriate for a child, two large armoires with plenty of room for hanging clothes and four drawers at the bottom of each, and a desk with a route you can plug a laptop in (we didn't bring one this time). A high ceiling and tile floors is in the bedroom. There are two large windows with shutters that face the street and make the bedroom bright and airy. There are night stands with lamps on either side of the main bed. The bedroom is the only room that faces the street; all other rooms face the internal air-shaft.
The living room has two couches, one of which is a full size fold out bed that can sleep two (can't comment on its comfort, he didn't try it), a coffee table and the TV. The lighting is not very bright in the living room. There a many Italian channels, but only one English-language channel, BBC World News service.
There is no outdoor seating or terrace.
The furniture is comfortable and in good shape. Since 2007, when we last stayed in the apartment, the couches were recovered in red material, instead of the white pictured on the VRBO web site. The apartment is well cleaned and there are cleaning supplies in the apartment if you make a mess yourself.
The bathroom is equipped with a small shower (no bathtub), toilet, bidet, washstand, washer/dryer, and the unit's hot water heater. There was room to put two of the kitchen chairs in, where my iPhone and my husband's iTouch could connect with the WiFi. Never figured out why that was the only place in the apartment we could get it to work, because Claudio had his laptop to demonstrate how to sign in, and he could do so in the kitchen and the living room.
Probably my only complaints about the apartment related to the shower. The threads on the mechanism that lets you adjust the position of the shower head up and down were stripped. My husband was able to fix it using the end of a Lavazza coffee bag, but I don't know if the fix worked after we left. The water pressure is quite weak. You need to run the water for a while, not to get the hot water on, but to let the cold water really get out of the pipes. There's no room in the shower stall to jump out of the way of a cold blast. Otherwise, the hot water heater did bring on hot water in the bathroom and kitchen quickly.
There is an instruction guide on how to use the washer/dryer in the bathroom. Do yourself a favor -- do very small loads and use the timed dryer setting, not the automated setting, or it will literally take all day to do a load of laundry. There is a drying rack and you can hang a few things on the line in the covered air shaft. There is also a dry cleaner on the Campo dei Fiori that also offers a wash and dry service if you have a big load to do. I don't know where there is a lavanderia in the immediate vicinity of the apartment.
The kitchen is small, with tight seating for four around a table. There are four burners on the stove, but we only used two for making cappuccino in the morning and made a simple pasta dish. There is a Moka, not an electric drip coffee machine. The refrigerator is an under-the-counter kind, big enough to store milk, fruit, yogurt, cold cuts, and salad, and liter water bottles. We went shopping for fresh produce at the Campo and had enough room for everything we bought. There is a hutch in the living room with plates, cutlery, and glasses. Plenty for us two, probably enough for a family of four or five.
Problems or Bonuses
Right outside the apartment is a pizzeria, a kebab restaurant, and a quiet wine bar. That's the places to eat within 15 feet of the door of the building. Between via de Pellegrino and the places on via dei Cappellari closer to the Campo dei Fiori, you could probably eat dinner each day and never leave those streets (but you will).
Unpleasant is the Campo dei Fiori at night. It's like a great big frat house. The Drunken Ship, the bar at the corner where the via dei Cappellari extends from the Campo, is loud and raucous. Thankfully the apartment is at the other end of the street, far enough away so that you don't hear the noise or experience the drunken youth of all nations. And that was the last week in March, when the weather wasn't particularly warm.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We have rented this apartment from Claudio before, in 2007, through VRBO. He speaks English well, is available by cell phone (he does not live in the building), and was more than happy to discuss food and places to find it. He accepts PayPal for deposits and usually requests the balance in cash when you check in. We wanted to grab the dropping Euro>US$ rates and we were able to make an arrangements for prepayment. The apartment is €160 per night and we stayed a week so the seventh night was free. We could not have found a hotel in that area with that much space (plus kitchen) for that amount, low season or high season.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
The fact that we returned to the apartment again after renting it in 2007 and am giving it a positive review again should say it all.
Things to do in this area
The apartment is within quick walking distance of the Palazzo Farnese, via Giulia, all the interesting streets on either side of the Corso Vittorio Emanuele, and the Castel Sant'Angelo; a 10 minute walk to the Piazza Navona and the Pantheon (our nightly postprandial stroll), the Torre di Largo Argentina (where you can a number of buses and the #8 tram), the Chiesa Nuova, St. Andre de Valle, Sant'Ivo en Sapiena, Santa Maria Novella (the Bernini elephant and obelisk sculpture), St. Agnes Agone, and a host of other fantastic churches. While you could walk to the Colosseum in 30-40 minutes, we preferred to take the 571 bus, which also goes to the Piazza Venezia, the Forum, and St. John en Laterano. The tiny electric bus 116 goes to the Borghese Gardens (these buses get PACKED quickly).
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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