Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5228: Owner, 188213
1bed/1bath apartment near St. John Lateran, Rome
November 25, 2011 to December 2, 2011, Seven nights
This is a penthouse/tower apartment near to St. John Lateran and the Aurelian wall.
It is a quiet residential neighbourhood, with a school down the street, lots of shops and apartments. (Quiet does not mean no traffic or sirens, I don't think there's anywhere in Rome with no traffic or sirens.)
There is a street market a short walk away, two supermarkets within walking distance and a great coffee shop with pastries and sandwiches on the way to the San Giovanni metro station. There's a COIN department store on the corner near the metro entrance and a street of street vendors beside it.
The building is not historical, I would guess it was built post WWII, but since it's in Italy, it's beautiful with marble flooring in the entry, wrought iron elevator, high ceilings, thick walls and good windows.
The apartment cooled off quite quickly in the evening but warmed up again quickly once we'd turned the heat on. I imagine that the air conditioning is quite necessary in the summer time, since the greatest feature of this apartment is its 360 degree windows.
The apartment is quiet, we never saw or heard other neighbours. You reach the apartment by taking the elevator to the top, then climbing a flight of stairs.
The apartment has two floors. The first floor is smaller than the second, since part of it is taken up with the hallway and door to the apartment's rooftop terrace. It has an lobby, the bathroom with sink, toilet, bidet and shower and a flight of stairs. The shower is small and the shower head a bit rickety, but fine. There's a storage closet in the bathroom as well with cleaning supplies and vacuum. There's also an ironing board, iron, clothes pins, and hairdryer. Climb the narrow marble stairs to the second floor, which is divided into two approximately 10x20 foot rooms. At the top of the stairs is a galley kitchen, a living room area with table, chairs and couch, and the door to the bedroom which is the second 10X20 foot room. There are two folding chair/beds in the living room and a queen sized bed and folding chair/bed in the bedroom. Technically the apartment could sleep five but it would be cramped. It's better for two or three.
The real beauty of this apartment is its windows. Each 20 foot side of the top floor has three large floor to ceiling windows with small Juliet balconies. You can see the Aurelian walls, Santa Croce in Gerusalamne, and St. John Lateran from these windows as well as the hills in the distance, and miles of beautiful saffron coloured apartment buildings. Sunrise and sunset.
On the same level as the entrance is a door to the shared terrace of the apartment building. It has clothes lines and more great views. Perhaps it is used more in the summer time as a entertainment area, but in November we had it all to ourselves.
The furniture is unremarkable. Not shabby or worn but also not especially great. Just fine. There are enough chairs.
The beds are comfortable, with plenty of blankets and pillows, including thin pillows which we appreciated since we are both stomach sleepers. The bathroom is fine. A bit of a hike at night, but we got used to it quite quickly.
The kitchen is small, and made smaller by a microwave on the counter. I moved it to beside the couch during our stay. The fridge is the under the counter size, not big but enough for a day or two of food. Shopping is so close, it wasn't inconvenient for it to be so small. There's a four burner gas stove but no oven. There were enough pots and pans, but a shortage of lids. I wrote to suggest more lids to the owner, she responded quickly thanking me and saying that she would get more lids. There are plenty of dishes. We cooked most of our meals there.
Problems or Bonuses
Our only surprise was that the apartment was really better than we thought it would be! It looks better in reality than in the pictures and was more convenient to the metro and shopping than I expected.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We stayed at this apartment twice, once with our adult daughter for the night we arrived in Rome before heading to Tuscany to visit relatives and then later in our stay after our daughter had returned to Canada and it was just the two of us. The owner is charming and very helpful, patient with my many questions and plan changes. She speaks English perfectly, provided us with a bulging folder of information and recommendations, provides a cell phone if you need it and is available for any other questions or problems you may encounter.
The apartment is €50/person/night, so we paid €150 for our first night. We received a discount for our week's stay and paid €650. This is only slightly more expensive than the cheapest convent, and a lot more comfortable.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, we will definitely stay there again. It is comfortable, convenient, and by the time we left, felt like home.
On the other hand, I do not recommend this apartment if you are traveling with small children. The stairs are steep, with marble steps and there really is no way to child-proof them. Also, if your kids are Houdini-hellions like mine were when small, the windows would be a concern too.
The apartment is not suitable for someone with mobility problems, though we are both creaky fifty-ish and had no problems.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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