Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4481: Owner, Apartment (#274986)
1bed/1bath apartment near Santa Croce, Florence
February 2010, 6 nights
The apartment is located at Borgo Pinti 42, a narrow one way street just a few blocks away from the Duomo and Santa Croce. It felt like a nice neighborhood. We passed the same families walking children to school in the morning.
There are three grocery stores nearby, a Standa, a Centro and a Billa. The Billa is quite close and very busy. It seemed to have a nice cheese and vegetable/fruit inventory. There is also an open air market, Mercato Sant' Ambrogio nearby but we never got there. We went for coffee each morning close to the Duomo because the staff was so friendly but there are bars closer to the apartment, one just a few doors down. The owner recommended Trattoria Accadi at Borgo Pinti 56 and we loved it. La Giostra is also just down the street but we didn't get to try it. There is an internet cafe a block or away.
The apartment is located in a lovely historical building. The common areas were clean and the apartment was quiet. There is no lift and the apartment is on the (top) third floor but the climb did us good. There is an intercom to buzz people in though we did not have occasion to use it. Other than when we arrived, we never saw any other occupants.
You enter the apartment into one of the two living rooms, this one with the pull out sofa which was already made up for my son. From there you can go right to the master bedroom, straight to the bathroom or left to the second living room which is next to the kitchen The apartment is quite large for two people.
There is a small interior terrace off the master bedroom, just large enough for two to sit outside. We didn't get to use it because of the cold but it did allow us to check the weather each day before venturing outside.
The apartment is tastefully furnished and decorated. It was spotless. There are more than enough places to sit, even when one of the couches is opened into a bed. It is evident that the owner took great care to insure that people feel comfortable during their stay. Tables are placed right where you might need one and there is ample drawer space to tuck things away. The floors in the bedroom and living ares are lovely refinished wood with nice area rugs and the bathroom and kitchen have tile floors.
The master bedroom is huge and airy. A floor to ceiling wood closet covers one of the walls. There is a large window and the door to the terrace. The bed is larger than a queen with high quality linens and two pillows. It was covered with a quilt and wool blanket, which was almost too warm during our stay. My son slept on the sofa bed and it was as you'd expect. Also nice linens, pillows and a quilt. The TV and DVD player are in the master bedroom and there are two lovely side chairs as well. The lighting in the master bedroom was great.
The bathroom was modern and immaculate. There is a window, which we did not open. There is a large mirror and several towel racks. Hand soap, fluffy terry cloth towels and a bath mat were provided. It has a powerful stand up shower - the handset can be placed at two different levels. The toilet, bidet, shower configuration is novel but works well. One step up and then you pull the shower curtain to separate all three from the remainder of the room. Shower shoes are helpful in case you need to use the toilet before the floor dries.
The kitchen is small but functional and very clean. There is a table for three next to a big window which would be lovely to open when the weather is warm. Again the owner made sure that the kitchen was equipped with all that one would need to prepare a nice meal. There is ample cutlery, dishes, glassware and pots and pans, all very nice quality for a rental. There is a full size refrigerator, oven, microwave, stove and I believe a toaster. The cooking area is more of a galley but certainly large enough. There was the typical spices, oil and vinegar, etc. It was nice to find a variety of tea. There is also a washing machine that we did not use.
Problems or Bonuses
No negatives at all. Nice surprises/bonuses:
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I selected this apartment in large part because of my initial contact with David. I had posted a brief inquiry on VRBO because it was a new listing and there were no reviews. A few moments after I posted our telephone rang and it was David calling from Florence. He spoke perfect English and patiently answered every question I asked. He forwarded additional photos of the bathroom, which was not well depicted, and gave me the links to the same apartment which had been listed on Homeaway and Holiday rentals so that I could read the other travelers' reviews.
He responded promptly to all of my emails and seemed genuinely interested in making sure that our stay in both the apartment and in Florence was perfect. He made himself available by telephone during our stay to answer questions about the WiFi and the water and arranged for a cab the day before we left. I felt so reassured knowing that I could call him during our stay and that he would help, even if it had nothing to do with the apartment.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Absolutely. My son and I went on this trip together and left my husband and other son home because of work commitments and college. From the moment we walked into the apartment we wished that the rest of our family had come too. Florence is beautiful but our trip was so much nicer because we decided to stay in this lovely apartment. What a pleasure it was to return each day. I look forward to booking it again.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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