Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4347: Owner, Via Toscanella Apartment (#9714)
3bed/2bath apartment in Oltrarno, Florence
October 2009, 7 days
This apartment is located in the Oltrarno area of Florence, steps from the Ponte Vecchio and the Pitti Palace, but completely away from the crowds. It is on a pedestrian only street, making it a relatively quiet location. Just off a piazza with three restaurants, Quattro Leoni, Caffè degli Artigiani, and Osteria Tripperia (I think).
Anything you need was in walking distance, the bakery Galli in the Piazza S. Spirito was our favorite, followed by the Maioli Bakery on Via Guicciardini (not to be confused with Cafe Maioli just off the Ponte Vecchio -- steer clear of their expensive tourist prices).
There's a daily market in the Piazza S. Spirito, a small grocery store at the Piazza Pitti and numerous wine stores.
The building used to house the bakeries for the Medici family. We found it very peaceful, in the daytime you could hear the patrons at the cafe below, at night it was quiet. Occasionally you could hear the footsteps in the hallway. This apartment is located on the second floor.
The hallway could be dark at night, there is a button on the first floor, and one on the apartment phone to activate a timed light.
There wasn't an outside sitting area, but most of the windows faced interior courtyards. I don't think we had access to them.
The apartment was clean and comfortable, more than enough room for the four of us. It can sleep six to eight, (with two sleeping on the sofa bed). Personally, I think it would be too cozy for me with eight people. The living room had small couch and two chairs, seating for five. There was a large flat screen TV.
There was an area in the common area with large desk, we used for our laptop, the building has free WiFi. The power strip could be used with U.S. plugs, and they also had two adapters for use.
It had a large dining room table that sat eight comfortably, and the kitchen was a joy to cook in. It was well appointed. There were some provisions, salt, olive oil, spices, etc. left from previous guests, something I've rarely found in U.S. house rentals.
Manuals were provided for all the appliances, and along with an entire shelf of guide books, folders were set up for guests -- museums, shopping, restaurants, etc.
The apartment has three bedrooms, one with a king bed, one single and one with three twins, one a bunk, two of the twins we had converted to a queen. The master was fairly large and had an entire wall sized wardrobe and a small desk. The second bedroom had a wardrobe -- it would have been nice to have a small table, but there really wasn't any room; the single room did not have a closet, but did have a dresser.
The "master" bathroom was very spacious, the four of us shared it for showering -- we were happy to find it's not connected to the master bedroom, so we had access at all times. The second bathroom was tiny, perfect as use for a half bath. If you need to use it as a shower, the entire bathroom becomes the shower stall!
The kitchen was fantastic. Great gas stove, oven, microwave and dishwasher. Perfect for cooking full meals. They could use a few more cookie sheets for the oven. Plenty of room to move around, and it's open to the dining area and small bar for people to sit and chat.
Problems or Bonuses
We were surprised how close it was to everything. Looking at the map, I would have guessed it would be a 10 minute walk to the Pitti, but it was practically next door. No major surprises, it was pretty much like it was advertised, the rooms look bigger on their website, but I suspected that.
The washer wasn't working, although the property manager provided us with information on a local laundromat and offered to reimburse us if we needed it. The jets and sauna in the shower weren't working either, and we discovered a leak in the shower also ... they've been alerted on the leak.
The boiler was a little finicky; a few nights after washing dishes for less than five minutes the hot water would run out, and we'd have to restart it. We never ran out of hot water for showers though.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We were treated professionally by the property managers, Stefano and Francesca (on-site manager). The both spoke English. There were no contract, and I had to wire the money to France, which was a little scary, but I read a previous review on Slow Trav, so I knew it was fine. We had to pay a €75 deposit, the balance due at check-in, we chose to wire the money since we weren't all arriving at the same time. The cost was €1090 including utilities and cleaning for one week in October, a fantastic price for what we got. It was exactly as advertised.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Absolutely! I would stay there again in a heartbeat. Can't beat the neighborhood, the amenities and the price.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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