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Review 4690: Owner (#IT3087), Casa Dino

www.ownersdirect.co.uk

Recommended
Review by Carter from OR

2bed/1bath apartment in Siracusa (Ortigia), Sicily


When

June 2010, one week

Location

The apartment is on the fourth floor of an historic apartment building on via Maestranza, in the heart of Ortigia. It is a wonderful location.

Nearby Amenities

The apartment is in a central location; all of the dozens of restaurants of Ortigia are within easy walking distance, as is the fantastic daily market on the east side of the island. We didn't find a grocery store nearby, but the daily market is an easy walk; the quality of the food available there exceeds any grocery store. There is an enormous Carrefour about two miles from Ortigia that is very easy to find if you have a car. There are other smaller grocery stores in the newer part of Siracusa.

The House/Apartment

The building dates to the early 1800s and was being renovated. However, the apartment is already fully renovated and was in perfect condition. There was some construction activity going on in the mornings but it did not bother us. We heard no vehicle traffic, as the apartment is located within Ortigia's ZTL. There are several other units in the building, but heard no noise from neighbors.

Garden

No garden or common areas, nor is there a veranda.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

The apartment was clean and the furniture was a step above what one expects in a vacation rental. The person who decorated the apartment has very fine taste.

Bedrooms/Bathrooms

One of the bedrooms is in a loft with a fairly low ceiling and no windows, but it is air conditioned and makes a comfortable place to sleep. The other bedroom is magnificent. It has a floor length window that provides wonderful views of the city and the sea beyond. It is also air-conditioned. The one bathroom is a bit small but highly functional and clean. Washing machine is also located in the bathroom.

Kitchen

The apartment has a large open kitchen that exceeded our expectations. The variety and quality of pots and pans was exceptional and there were plenty of glasses and plates. Plenty of utensils. Our only complaint is that there was no dishwasher (no big deal, really) and the twin sinks were quite small, which made washing dishes somewhat inconvenient.

Problems or Bonuses

The pictures on the website depict a beautiful, well furnished, open air apartment with high ceilings and attractive details. To our surprise, the apartment was even better than depicted. Truly a wonderful apartment, and the location could not have been better.

We had a rental car and were concerned that there no parking is allowed near the apartment, but it really wasn't an issue. We never had a problem parking in the Talete garage, which is only a five minute walk from the building and costs only 1 per night.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

We dealt directly with the owner and her daughter-in-law, both of whom are French, but speak perfect English and Italian. All emails were promptly answered and they were a pleasure to deal with; we had no problems whatsoever. The apartment exceeded our expectations in almost every respect. We paid 725 for the last week of June, which is exceptional value for the quality and location of the apartment. We had no problem getting our security deposit returned to us at the end of our stay.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

We would absolutely stay here again and we recommend the apartment without qualification. We also loved Ortigia and Southeastern Sicily. It is an area to which we would love to return.

Things to do in this area

Ortigia itself is wonderful. There is an endless supply of restaurants and attractive shops at one's doorstep. Our favorite restaurant was the Grand Caffe del Duomo (in the magnificent Piazza del Duomo) and Tami (on via Corso) is a great place to buy vini naturale, as well as wonderful olive oils and other artisan products. The island is certainly popular with tourists and has plenty of attractions, but is not overwhelmingly touristy; a perfect balance, really. Fantastic beaches south of town. Our favorite beach was San Lorenzo, just south of the Vendicari Reserve, about a 40 minute drive.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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