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Review 5308: Cross-Pollinate, Ruggero Bonghi


Review by Gaby from Canada

1bed/1bath apartment near the Colosseum, Rome


May 2012, 2 weeks


Located in Rome, five minutes walk from Colosseum. An apartment building in a very nice residential area. Quiet street, not many cars driving. Across from a large elementary school, you can hear the bell ring and the kids talking in class (windows open during our visit in May) and also when they were let out.

Nearby Amenities

There is a good cafe one block away. A basic grocery store for essentials on Buonarroti, five minutes away. One of the best bakeries in the city for white pizza, Roscioli Pietro, near the grocery store; we picked up white pizza there almost every day for breakfast, and then hopped on the metro. Both a blue and an orange line metro is within seven minutes walk of the apartment.

The House/Apartment

Don't know if it was a historic building. Pretty building. Ten apartments in the building.

This apartment is the first one in the building, up a few steps on the first floor. The photos on the website are accurate. When you enter, a nice-size bedroom to the right, living room to the left, small kitchen and tiny bathroom straight ahead. Small and cozy. Very nicely appointed, very comfortable for two people and a baby. Would be tight if you were two couples (using the pull-out couch).

The living room has two windows. One window looks upon the court yard of the neighboring building, but is private because of the tree in front of it. The other window looks onto the school across the street. Because the first floor is elevated a few steps off street level, no-one can see in from the street. But the kids could see in from their classes, if they were looking out their windows. There are shutters on all windows.

Because it is the first apartment upon entering the building, you can hear the front door slamming shut. Also, the door of the apartment is not flush to the ground, so you can hear people talking as they enter or leave the building. People entered and left at all hours, and the front door of the building slams very loudly. It did not wake us or the baby up because we use a white noise app, but I worried sometimes that baby might wake up. Otherwise, quiet.

You can view the property directly: Ruggero Bonghi.


No garden for us to use, but a lovely flowering tree outside the living room's window. Also, a two-minute walk away is Parco di Traiano, a large park with a playground, fields, ruins, water fountains - amazing! We were at the park every day; one day there were mounted police on white horses riding through the park.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

Furniture in good shape. Apartment very clean. We got a cleaning (included) half-way through our stay, basic tidy-up and sheets changed. Two comfy armchairs in the living room, plus a comfy sofa. We didn't sleep on it pulled out.


Bed very comfortable, queen-size mattress. Bedroom had one large closet with drawers and hangers for us to use; we found it was plenty of room. The bathroom was long, one appliance (or whatever the toilet, sink, shower is called) after another. The shower was not good because the shower head was old and half-broken. It could only aim straight out (right into your face!) when you had it in the holder. When you were holding it in your hand, the water pressure dropped if you turned it in different directions. Needs to be replaced with a new one that is not broken.


Kitchen was usable. Enough pots, pans and dishes, a variety so I was able to cook everything I wanted to cook. However, the knives (for chopping) were small and not sharp. We cooked most of our meals and the knives made it challenging sometimes. Please note, there is no oven (not that we wanted to bake anything, but you should know!). It would be nice to have a small toaster oven on the counter or put away in a cupboard if we wanted to bake something small. There was a dishwasher, which was awesome (who wants to wash dishes when in Rome?), and a clothes washer, which was great because we pack light, so we used it often.

Problems or Bonuses

WiFi, not a surprise, but so good to have. Sometimes was on the fritz and wouldn't work, but then you'd just turn it off for a few minutes (the button on the modem), and then when you turned it back on, it worked fine.

Also, Rome has hard water. The laundry soap I brought didn't work great, so I used the one provided, which was fine. Also, my hair looked greasy even when I washed it. I always wore a hat (it was sunny and beautiful most days), but if you're not used to hard water, you should know. I read up on the Internet, and as per its advice, I boiled water until the minerals settled to the bottom of the pot. Then I used that cooled water to rinse my hair, and it looked good again.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

The agency was efficient. I had some general Rome questions, and they responded by email promptly and thoroughly, and answered my questions. They wrote in English. The website of the apartment is accurate. We paid 138 per night in May 2012.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

I would stay here again. The noisy front door and the lousy shower head are the negatives of the apartment. If they replace the shower head, then there is only the front door (get the white noise app!). The best part is the proximity to the park and the Colosseum - so amazing if you have kids! Also, we saved money because of the kitchen, and the dishwasher and clothes washer made things easy.

Things to do in this area

Roscioli Pietro - white pizza! Also, a branch of Fata Morgana Gelateria opened up in Monti (a 15-minute walk from the apartment) while we were there, but we never managed to go during their opening hours (maybe you will be luckier than us; it's supposed to be really good gelato!).

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

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