Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4141: Owner, Rome is Home
1bed/1bath apartment near Campo dei Fiori, Rome
April 2009, 2 weeks
The apartment is located in the Centro Storico of Rome, on a quiet cobbled street - Via Chiavari - just moments from the Campo dei Fiori. The central location of the apartment makes it a perfect base for exploring Rome on foot. Both the street and the building were very quiet despite the fact of being such a short distance from some of the major piazzas and transport hubs and arteries of the city. The apartment is on the third floor of the building, accessible by both lift and stairs, and both the area and the apartment had a very safe feel about them.
We walked everywhere from Chiavari - be it to the excellent bakery 30 metres from the front door, to the Campo dei Fiori (five minutes stroll away) for our provisions at the market and the surrounding butcheries, delicatessens and more wonderful bakeries, Piazza Navona (10 minutes), and the Pantheon (15 minutes) where as a bonus you will find Rome's best coffee (Taza D'Oro) and Gelato (San Crispino's new shopfront). There is a small supermarket and automatic banking machine just around the corner from the apartment, and good quality, non-touristy cafes and restaurants abound in the vicinity.
The apartment sits in the area of Pompey's Theatre, and we are pleased to report that we were not haunted once by Caesar's ghost during our stay. The apartment itself is beautifully renovated - warm brown terracotta tiles on the floor, white walls, high ceilings, plenty of air and light, and the bonus of the original wooden beams exposed in the bedroom. It strikes the perfect balance of antique warmth and fresh modernity. There are several other apartments in the building (we never counted exactly how many) however it was a very quiet block with virtually no internal noise, and very little street noise. Even the church bells that regularly chime are turned off at night until 8am in the morning (very considerate).
There is not external sitting area or garden, however the large windows that look out onto the neighbouring tiled rooftops (yes the picture on the website is exactly what you will see) and open sky are a perfect example of the concept of borrowed scenery, so that the apartment feels very open and airy.
The apartment and its furnishings are very comfortable and welcoming, inviting you to settle in to the comfortable lounge and chairs. The lounge is a sofa bed (which we didn't need to use as there were only two of us staying in the apartment, and there is a dining table that would comfortably seat four people. The apartment was very clean, and a cleaner came once a week while we were there.
King size bed with a very comfortable mattress, lots of wardrobe space, in a bedroom large enough to comfortably accommodate these and a writing desk and still feel spacious. The bedroom also has large windows and wooden shutters so that light and air can be regulated to match all conditions at various times of the day and night. The combined bathroom/toilet area is good and roomy (with two entrance doors if there are more than one couple staying) although tall people (which we are not) might find the shower stall a neat fit. And most importantly there was always plenty of hot water.
The kitchen was a very workable space, smartly renovated with black and white tiles and marble bench-tops, and again lots of light from high windows with antique glass panes. We prepared evening meals in the apartment for about two-thirds of the time we were in Rome (the produce from the market in the Campo was just too attractive not to be purchased and cooked) and the apartment's kitchen, with its four burner gas top, microwave, full size 'fridge, gave us plenty of scope for this, although the availability of an oven would have given us full rein over all the Campo had to offer. There were plenty of pots, pans, bowls and utensils, including tea pots and various coffee makers. A selection of oils, vinegars and spices were also available.
Problems or Bonuses
Positives - it was even better in reality than it appeared to be on the website. You get a sense of a continuity of guests who add to the warm and amenity of the apartment e.g. stacks of books and tourist information provided by the owner and then added to by previous visitors, and the same with a drinks tray in the lounge area, and flowers on the sideboard.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The family who own this apartment (Massimo, Biancamaria and Delfina) show great pride and affection for the apartment (which was once their home) and this warmth extends to the grace and courtesy they showed to us in all our dealings with them, both during the booking and lead up to the visit, our time there, and follow-ups after our departure. While they were out of town while we were there, they still checked in on us, and really felt present even though they couldn't be there in person. Massimo speaks excellent English, and has quite a wicked sense of humour, which made the whole process of booking very very simple. For the price we would have paid for a mid to low range hotel room, Chiavari was streets ahead in amenity, comfort, location, livability and character.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would recommend Chiavari without any hesitation or reservation (and already have to a number of friends).
Things to do in this area
Rome is at your feet in Chiavari. During our first afternoon we comfortably strolled to Pizza Navona, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps - what an introduction to Rome. For a colourful restaurant experience some 20 metres from Chiavari's front door Dar Pallaro is it - no menu, you eat what La Signora (Paula) is cooking that night. Our favourite eating place (about a 10 minute walk away) was La Pigna in Piazza Pigna.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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