Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4534: Friendly Rentals, Amore
1bed/1bath apartment near Campo dei Fiori, Rome
April 24, 2010, 1 week
Location was ideal. It overlooked the Campo dei Fiori in Rome. Lots of restaurants, people watching. Easy to walk to most of Rome's sites.
Nearest large grocery store was about four large blocks away. Restaurants next door, and open fruit and vegetable market every day from early to 3pm.
The building was historical and ancient. It was not well maintained. The lift was big enough for one medium size person or two thin people. Only one piece of luggage at a time could go up and not all luggage would fit. A large person would not fit. It is a VERY small lift. The apartment is three floors up (second floor). The apartment was very noisy at night as the square becomes a party place each evening with restaurants and wine bars.
The view below to the square was very nice, but one of the two windows was wired shut. Apparently it is broken.
You can view the property directly: Amore.
There are four pieces of furniture in the whole apartment. One queen size mattress (lumpy and hurt my back), which sits in a claustrophobic space on a cement slab. One sofa bed, which was comfortable to sit on but had spots on the cushions. We did not sleep on this, a coffee table (ancient heavy dark wood)and four modern and nice bar stools, which faced away from the living area so we never used them.
The flooring and in fact, ALL of the surfaces were poured cement, not to be confused with the fine grain cement counters that are becoming popular in the states. These were the quality of sidewalk cement, with some kind of finish on top. It felt like living in a prison. The only other surfaces were metal cabinet doors described as sleek and modern. These were rusted and did not slide easily. They appeared ancient. There was only one area rug in the living room, which was much smaller than the online pictures. There were no attempts to decorate. The apartment smelled like cleaning solution the whole time we were there (only one day as we could not stand this apartment).
The TV was nice, but unless you speak Italian there aren't really any stations for Americans.
The mattress is on an elevated cement slab. It was comfortable initially, but I woke up with a terrible back ache. The bedroom was not comfortable. There was a washing machine in an adjoining room where clothes could be kept. The steps to this "dressing" room were huge cement with a very high rise. I would guess the step rise was about 14 inches.
The bathroom had black edged peeling grout around the tub. It needed re-grouting. The tub was deep and good quality. The bathroom sink and fixture was nice, otherwise it was again, a cold prison like room. In the night a red bug crawled out from the single floor mat on the cement bathroom floor.
The "modern" kitchen was not easy to work in. The small under counter fridge didn't have a freezer as described on the web page. There were very limited utensils available. No microwave, and the "oven" was an ancient toaster oven. The sink fixture was awesome, the only redeeming quality in the kitchen. The range top was gas but so high, that I could not easily work with it. It is much higher than standard. Linens were extremely limited. There weren't any kitchen towels, pot holders, place mats. I guess you set your plates on the cement counter to eat. The quality of dishes and pans was poor. Not good for cooking full meals.
Problems or Bonuses
This apartment that I was expecting (because of the description) to be modern and sleek was stark, barren and cold. There was NOTHING attractive about the apartment. I realized it was a sort of minimalist apartment in terms of furnishings, but I wasn't expecting a cement prison like cell.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
"Friendly Rentals in Rome" were great. They offered me another apartment in the area, the Gaia apartment, that was 100 times better. It was everything this one was not. The company rescued our vacation and I can't say enough good things about the company. The apartment I was moved to was an upgrade (€300 more) and although we would have paid the difference, they did not expect me to.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would not stay here. I would warn others away unless changes are made to this apartment to make it warmer. If the owner spends some time making this more habitable, it could be very nice. As it is now, no, it is not at all a place I could recommend to anyone.
Things to do in this area
Perfect walking location but expect noise at night. It is a party area and there is a fountain out front which attracts the young adults. I preferred staying on a side street in Rome in the historic district, but not on a square like that.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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