Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5270: Sleep In Italy, Leopardo
2bed/2bath apartment in Trastevere, Rome
April 2012, 5 nights
The location was one of the greatest things about the Leopardo apartment. There are bustling piazzas and streets lined with restaurants just around the corner, but the apartment looks out on a quiet street. At times, Trastevere felt more like a village than a part of a huge city. It has its fair share of traffic and tourists and party-ers, but the scale of the winding lanes is more intimate, there are fewer new buildings intruding on the ancient facades.
There are plenty of small shops in walking distance and about a gazillion restaurants and bars. We also walked everywhere we wanted to see things in Rome. It was great to not be right in the middle of a touristy area like Piazza Navona but to be able to walk there in 15 minutes. There are also so many off-the-radar things to see in Trastevere itself.
We were told the building was from the 16th century and it did feel old, although of course the apartment had modern amenities. Just the usual amount of Roman wear and tear. We had no trouble with noise, but it's true the apartment shares a wall with the one next door through which noise might be heard.
The main entrance of the apartment is up five flights of stairs and then there are more flights of stairs within the apartment, so it's not for those afraid of a climb. On the main floor of the apartment where you enter, there's a kitchen, bathroom, small dining area, small sitting area, and bedroom. You go *down* a flight of stairs to another bedroom with a bathroom attached. From the main floor, you go up a flight of stairs to a split level area where there are a couple of couches, then out and up to the terraces.
The outside sitting area was the other highlight of the Leopardo: the final climb takes you to a private rooftop terrace with enough room for a table and four chairs. You pass a smaller terrace on the way, but it doesn't have the breathtaking 360 degree view of the main terrace. Although no one else can access the terrace, it is only separated by the (lovely) plants surrounding it from the one next door and you can easily see into a dozen other terraces. But we didn't see anyone else on their terrace during all the many hours we spent up there - maybe because it was relatively chilly and windy for Rome and the Romans were wondering what those crazy Americans were doing up there.
Everything in the apartment was serviceable. There were no signs of dust or dirt but, like I said, there's plenty of wear and tear. There were seats for four in the living and dining areas but we spent almost all our time on the roof.
The bedroom on the main floor definitely has a comfortable bed. The room itself was surprisingly spacious for a European bedroom, with plenty of storage. Our friends didn't complain about the bedroom on the floor below, although they did say the bed was smaller. It was great for each of the two couples to have their own bathroom. Our friends loved the bathtub in theirs. We had the one with the typical tiny shower stall. This was a great setup for two couples, but the apartment includes three single beds/couches that could be used for additional sleeping options for more people. The sheets and towels had all been used many, many times.
The kitchen is probably fairly typical of a European apartment, which is to say there's really only room for one person at a time. We didn't do a lot of cooking, but there seemed to be a good supply of pans and everything else you might need. They had seen a lot of use. One quirk was we couldn't figure out any place to plug in the toaster other than putting it on the floor, but that could have just been our cluelessness.
Problems or Bonuses
Our only surprise was how amazing the rooftop terrace was. You never know if a description is going to be accurate, but this one couldn't adequately convey how much we loved that view and feeling like you're part of the city while enjoying the tranquility up there.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Our booking experience was positive. There was a problem with getting the deposit from our credit card (not due to any funds issue on our end and we did call to warn the credit card company we were making an international payment) but the Sleep In Italy people who emailed us were very pleasant and patient and we ended up using PayPal which was fine. The onsite person was 30 minutes late, but we were able to reach someone using the mobile phone number we'd been given by Sleep In Italy and were assured he was on his way. He spoke English and was very pleasant. We feel we got a good deal at €785 (including deposit and taxes) for two couples for five nights in April.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We would stay here again in a heartbeat. The only people I would not recommend the apartment to are people who can't climb a lot of stairs and people who like things like sheets and towels to be high quality.
Things to do in this area
Our favorite meal was at the restaurant right downstairs in Vicolo del Leopardo (Botticella). Another great one was at Pizzeria dar Poeta, very close by. Churches worth a visit: Santa Maria in Trastevere, San Francesco a Ripa, Santa Maria dell'Orto, and the one you could hit with a frisbee from the rooftop terrace, Santa Maria della Scala. It's an unbelievably short walk to the Palazzo Corsini with its wonderful art collection. And we spent a day just wandering up and along the Gianicolo hill with all its monuments and views. We had an amazing lunch at Antico Arco on the hill.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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