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Review 5016: Owner, Gea (#302215)


Review by Dru from CA

1bed/1bath apartment near Duomo, Florence

kitchen, photo by


May 5-12, 2011, one week


This apartment is well-located because all the sites you want to see are within walking distance, supermarkets and a 99 cent store are steps away, and there's no shortage of eateries and gelato stands. But this location also has inherent problems because the piazza fronting the apartment building is "home" to the homeless and they talk, fight, and scream, literally, all night long. Earplugs are mandatory if you want to sleep.

The other problem with the location is that the apartment is housed in a 16th century building that has delightful character but hideously steep steps. David and I thought we'd have heart attacks lugging our suitcases up those 63 steps, and we dreaded the thought of leaving the apartment each day because we knew those steps would have to be surmounted in order to return.

However, if you're young, have the stamina and disposition of a mountain goat, and can sleep through ambulance sirens (the hospital is one block away and the sirens blare every twenty minutes or so) and the homeless ranting at the world, then this place is for you.

It is beautifully restored, with a well-equipped and lovely kitchen with large refrigerator and dishwasher; one of the nicest showers and bathrooms we've ever seen in Italy; and the nicest bedding and bed we encountered during our five-week vacation. The furniture, indeed almost everything, is Ikea -- fresh and nice. The WiFi worked perfectly, as did the air conditioner and the washing machine. We had assumed from the listing that satellite TV with BBC English stations was available, but that was not the case. The TV receives only Italian stations.

Emily, while the only person requesting payment in advance as well as a damage deposit when we arrived, was accommodating and quite pleasant to deal with. She was right on time to return our damage deposit and call us a cab to the train station. We paid 500 for the week plus an additional 40 for cleaning. The damage deposit was 300, which was returned in full when we left.

As we wrestled our suitcases and ourselves down those steps for the last time, we knew this was not a rental to which we'd ever return. Still, for the right couple on a budget, it could be the ideal spot for an Italian idyll.

To read more about our trip, see Tightwad Travel.

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

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