Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4928: Owner, The Arlequin (#56490)
Studio apartment near Pitti Palace, Florence
December/January 2010-2011, 3 weeks
I'm a single woman and stayed in this delightful flat over the 2010/11 holidays. It was an incredible location and an incredible experience. I felt very safe and it was just a few blocks from the Pitti Palace, also just down the street from Santo Spirito and right around the corner from the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life: Gusta Pizza. Also right around the corner is a bakery where I bought my morning brioche on my way to see the sights. Everything a traveler could ever need is within a few blocks of this lovely flat.
I loved this apt so much I really didn't want to leave. Don't hesitate to stay in the Oltrarno. It is an easy walk across the river and if you're feeling lazy you can always catch the 36 or 11 bus to the main center or back. Also, the little C3 tourist bus will drop you right off in front of Santa Croce. The bus stop is just a block away, right next to a little grocery store that could not be more conveniently located.
This is an artisan neighborhood. You wake up in the morning to the bells of Santo Spirito and to the sounds old world Italian craftsmen.
Everything is close to this apartment. A laundry is only a few blocks away (though I mostly washed my clothes in the bathroom sink and hung them up with my handy-dandy Rick Steve's traveling clothes-line -- I'll never travel overseas without it again!). There are bakeries, delis, sweet shops, wineries, everything all within a few blocks. Bus stops to take you anywhere in the city are close by. You are two minutes walking to the Pitti Palace, ten minutes walking to the Uffizi.
This is small, one-room flat in a real Italian neighborhood. Turn left (toward the Pitti Palace and Santo Spirito) as you leave the apartment if you don't want to practice your Italian. Turn right (towards the interior, less touristy neighborhoods) if you do.
There is a television (no satellite) with a nice selection of DVDs and CDs, a stand-alone radiator for heat (which you can adjust yourself), and the toilet/bidet/stand-up shower combo that is common in Italy.
There is also one wall of old stone, a recessed area for hanging your clothes and storing things and the most gorgeous wood-beamed ceilings you will ever see, all for a budget price.
There is no outside sitting area.
Everything in the apartment was spotless. The owner came to change the bedding and to tidy up once a week. The sofa bed was new and quite comfortable.
I did quite a bit of cooking during my stay and made excellent use of the pots, pans and other utensils. Cooking pasta and sauce was a breeze. I didn't try anything more complicated than that. The flat has everything a single traveler (or a couple) could need, including a four-burner stove, nice sized fridge, bidet, space-heater and the most comfortable sofa bed I have ever slept on in my life. No kidding. A couple of mornings I actually overslept. That's how comfortable it was!
Problems or Bonuses
I have nothing bad to say about my experience in this apartment. I am very much looking forward to staying there again.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I had such a wonderful time in Florence living among the locals in the Oltrarno that I am already planning my next vacation there and hope to be able to stay in this apartment again. The owner is a 100% fluent in English. He is a charming and welcoming host, but never obtrusive. He went out of his way to make sure the WiFi was working in the apartment (a new addition to the rental -- I was the first to use it and there were a few bugs to work out) and you can tell he takes great pride in his flat.
The owner was gracious enough to work with me on dates (I had to change my arrival date a couple of times because of work commitments) and was willing to negotiate on price. I was a single traveler, so this helped bring the price down some, I imagine.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would recommend this flat to single women/men and couples. It is one room with a sofa bed and would be quite small for more than two people.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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