Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4545: Roman Reference, Piazza Costaguti 34 (#378)
Studio apartment in Jewish Ghetto, Rome
April 2010, 5 nights
We loved the location of this 1st floor (2nd American) apartment in Rome's historic center, in the Jewish quarter near Portico d'Ottavia. We walked everywhere. It had a nice neighborhood feel, and though, as in all of the centro storico, there were plenty of tourists strolling around, it was a bit quieter and more laid back.
We found everything we needed nearby; groceries, bakeries, cafes, restaurants, retail stores and banks were all within just a few blocks.
The apartment is in a beautifully restored building that dates back more than 500 years, according to the owner. Given the architecture, we think this is an accurate description. The apartment had gorgeous woodwork ceilings; some of its original brick walls were left exposed; the stairwell featured the original stone steps.
The layout consists of a main living area, which includes the kitchen area; a bedroom; and a large bathroom. The bedroom had a queen bed and a sofa bed, which was open during our stay to accommodate a third person. This made the bedroom feel a bit small, but if the sofa bed had been closed, the bedroom probably would have felt spacious.
There was no outside sitting area.
The apartment was recently renovated and very clean, with lovely wooden floors and a large, very nice bathroom. Overall, the apartment is about 50 meters square, and there is no door between the bedroom area and the living-room area. The kitchen is not a separate room -- it's shaped more like a kitchenette -- but it has everything you need, and the appliances are new, including the clothes washer, which came in very handy. There were four chairs around a small table in the living area, and, thanks to the fold-out sofas, four people could stay here, but this is really an ideal space for a couple. We were a couple with one child, and we were perfectly happy, but if you want more privacy, or to cook big meals with a larger group, this probably is not the place for you.
The queen bed was beyond comfy; it had a lovely feather-top mattress. It was hard to leave in the morning, especially when jet-lagged. We also used the fold-out sofa in the same room, which the owner opened and made up for us prior to arrival. It was comfortable, though in comparison to the feather top, well ... it's not really a fair comparison. The linens were very nice.
The bathroom was large and spotless. Nice shower, with great pressure and plenty of hot water. The towels were in excellent shape.
We didn't try to cook full meals there, but the kitchen seemed to have everything you'd need. The appliances were nice and new, too. It's just a small space.
Problems or Bonuses
No bad surprises. We could tell from the pictures on the web site that the place was not huge. We were three people, but if we'd been just two, it would have felt quite spacious enough.
We were pleasantly surprised by the neighborhood. We'd expected to like it, but it was even more convenient, friendly and enjoyable than we'd expected. We loved it.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency, Roman Reference, was responsive to all my queries prior to our trip, but there were some inaccuracies in the apartment description at first. (In response to our inquiries, they changed the description on the web site.) I don't think the agency was purposefully misleading, but I also don't think it verifies owners' information. In this apartment's case, I think the mistakes had more to do with translation into English than anything else, because we had a very good experience with the owner and his representative when we met them. They were very helpful, and they take very good care of the apartment. In fact, you can rent this apartment directly from the owner by going to Sweetly Home Roma. But we didn't know that until after we booked through Roman Reference. That said, I'd rent through Roman Reference again, but I'd scrutinize a listing before committing.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I absolutely would stay here again. In fact, if my husband and I return to Rome, we will try to stay here. We loved the apartment and the neighborhood. We also had a very good experience with the owner and his representative.
That said, I wouldn't recommend this apartment for four people, and I would recommend it for three only if you don't plan on doing much cooking. I think this apartment is preferable to a hotel room for three people -- cost and comfort-wise -- but if you are looking for a larger space where you can cook a large meal and shut the bedroom door, you should probably look for another place. We were a couple with a child, and did minimal food and beverage prep, so it was great for us.
Things to do in this area
Try the little bakery on the corner across from Antico Forno for yummy breakfast treats and challah bread. Antico Forno is well known, but I don't know the name of this little gem.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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