Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4128: Residenza Il Carmine, Domus Apartment
apartments in the Oltrarno, Florence
April 2009, 6 nights
Residenza Il Carmine is located in the Oltrarno, just across the Ponte alla Carraia. Only a 10-15 minute walk to Piazza Signoria/Uffizi. Two bridges to the west of the Ponte Vecchio. Quiet street just off of Via Santa Monaca. A great location away from the touristy area, more of a neighborhood feel and experience.
You can walk to anything you need! Magi Market a block away, great bakeries, bars for morning caffe and cornetto, Internet points, great restaurants just minutes away. Did I mention it's a great location? :-)
The building has been around for hundreds of years. I think Filippo Lippi lived next door or one of the Lippis. I would imagine Brunelleschi himself walked along this street at one time or another! All of their apartments are in excellent shape. I've also stayed in the Mirra apartment. I think there are five other apartments, maybe six.
When you walk into the building off of the street you enter a foyer, which has a staircase for other tenants who live in the building along with mailboxes. You enter another door, which leads you to a long hallway and the Domus apartment door is on the left. Directly at the end of that hallway is a beautiful glass door that leads you into the garden and garden apartments.
A quiet, beautiful garden with roses, lilacs, calla lilies, herbs, I don't know all the names, but it's lovely. This was the first time I was there during primavera and I was delighted with all of the foliage and blossoms. There are a few tables and chairs to sit outside for morning coffee or reading in the afternoon. Binoculars are good to have as there are a lot of birds who fly around the Basilica di Santa Maria del Carmine, which you can see from the garden. Listening to the bells of the church ringing is music to my ears!!
The furniture is in great shape. Domus apartment has a gorgeous dining area with large table and four chairs. There is plenty of storage (with extra blankets and pillows) in the huge china cabinet/hutch. Living room has sofa bed, day bed, chairs, TV, gorgeous bookcase, a small room off to the side has a safe, iron and ironing board.
Comfy beds and day bed. I did not sleep on the sleeper sofa. The main bedroom has two twin beds which can be put together for a double/queen. Large armoire with plenty of storage and coat hangars, also a large bureau with three or four drawers. Large bathroom near the front entrance with shower stall, no bath tub. Small bathroom in the bedroom. Spotlessly clean and great water pressure. Daily towel change. The towels aren't terry cloth, more of a plain cotton feel to them. They are absorbent, but not the same as terry cloth. The bedroom has large windows which face the garden. There are lovely lace curtains which do offer privacy but if you want total darkness you can close the big shutters from the outside. (You may be able to shut these from the inside but I don't know for sure).
Plenty of dishes, pots and pans, French coffee press and moka Italian stove top percolator. The apartment has a stove and small refrigerator, no oven. There is a microwave. I had everything I needed. The door off the kitchen leads you to the garden.
Problems or Bonuses
No problems whatsoever. I love this place so much! The bonus is the wonderful family that owns the apartments, including Maria, their affectionate English bulldog!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Miriam, Emilio and Caterina are so helpful and kind. Their English is very good and they are a joy to deal with. They will help you in any way they can. This is the fourth time I've stayed here and I wouldn't stay anywhere else when visiting Florence.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
How high can one highly recommend a place? ***big smile** As stated before, I love the family, the apartment, the location, the atmosphere. After a busy day of museums, churches, eating and shopping, it's a fabulous, warm feeling knowing that your "home" at Il Carmine is waiting for you to plop down on the sofa and relax, or pour yourself a glass of Prosecco and enjoy it in the garden.
Things to do in this area
So many things to do ... the amazing Brancacci chapel is practically next door. Pitti Palace, Piazza Santo Spirito. Gelateria "La Carraia", Trattoria Sant' Agostino23, Osteria di Giovanni, Trattoria Da Ginone, just to name a few!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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