Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5498: Domus International, Via Giulia (GIU2)
2bed/2bath apartment near the river, Rome
Dec 23, 2012 through Jan 4, 2013, 12 nights
The location of this apartment was perfect for us - about 20 minutes walk to the Vatican and 30 minutes to the Roman Forum and other ruins. Another place we had considered was near Campo de Fiori, and I'm really glad we chose Via Giulia instead as it's much, much quieter in the evenings and at night. Not a lot of vehicle traffic either, but more than we're used to in our little CA suburban neighborhood at home. The area was very safe and major streets (for navigation purposes) were easy to reach.
We were able to walk everywhere on our "hit list" without difficulty. Groceries were just around the corner, as were coffee shops and gift shops. We didn't eat at any of the restaurants nearby as we usually weren't home at that time of day, so I can't say anything about that. But there are choices nearby for quick pizza or panini as well as for more substantial meals.
The building is 15th century so don't expect wide stairwells, big elevators, and giant bathrooms! But there is a small elevator which worked well for getting our suitcases up to this third floor apartment. Some street noise was loud enough to notice very early in the morning, but Rome is not a quiet city and Via Giulia is quieter than most streets. Overall the apartment building is in good shape, well maintained, and very clean and quiet.
There isn't an outside sitting area, no pool, but that's clear from the listing.
The furniture was all in good shape and comfortable. The dining room table had enough chairs for us (5) but there weren't any extra chairs in the living room - only the couch. So the only time we watched TV we used the dining room chairs for extra seats. The tile floor throughout the apartment was kind of cold, so if you visit in cold weather you'll want slippers to keep your feet warm.
The apartment was laid out as advertised. We had two girls in the room with two single beds - this room tended to be much colder than the rest of the apartment but they survived with extra blankets. This bedroom could easily sleep another person and they will move in an extra single bed if asked. We had our son on the pull out couch in the living room and he was quite comfortable there, the mattress was much better than expected. Our son and daughters shared the bathroom just off the kitchen without much drama. My wife and I were in the queen bed with a bathroom attached. All fixtures worked well.
The kitchen was quite fine. The owner found out we wished for an oven to bake our customary Christmas morning dish (it was clear from the listing there was not one) and had one installed the day before we got there! Bonus! It's a small kitchen so "two's company three's a crowd" is the rule. But who needs more than two cooks anyway? We cooked four full dinners and three breakfasts without problem. No garbage disposal so plan on scraping your compostable refuse into a bag for placement in the building's recycle bin.
Problems or Bonuses
Having an oven was a great surprise! We weren't ready for the Italian recycle program(compostables/recyclables/trash all need to be separate) but that's not a problem of any kind, just noting because it was a surprise of sorts. There isn't a lot of closet and drawer space but sufficient for our stay. Bonus - there's a clothes washer (no dryer), but surprise - it's not in the apartment it's on the ground floor off the courtyard, so you'll have to carry laundry up/down. Again not a problem, just a surprise of sorts.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Domus International was fantastic to work with (thanks Paola)! I was very nervous wiring a substantial deposit from the US but everything was exactly as advertised. If something wasn't clear to me I'd shoot Paola an email and she'd answer me quickly,completely, honestly, and accurately. Domus arranged transport to/from the airport and both drivers were professional and arrived on time (even at 345am for our flight out of Rome!). The agent who met as at the apartment, Stefano, was very polite, answered all our questions, showed us how to work the appliances, and didn't leave until we were quite comfortable with the apartment and had given us his recommendations for restaurants. He left his cell number in case we had problems/questions (we didn't).
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would stay here again, yes! I'd probably also ask Domus if there were any other such apartments in different areas just to experience a different section of Rome, but if I wanted my family to be near the Vatican in a quiet area I'd gladly stay at Via Giulia again.
Things to do in this area
We didn't spend much time in the immediate area, we took some day tours to other cities near Rome. But we visited the Vatican/St. Peter's three times, that's only 15-20 minutes by foot. The Roman Forum and Colosseum were maybe 30 minutes away (hard to say exactly we didn't walk in a straight line - too many other things to see on the way). Piazza Navona for New Years night was 20 minutes away. Campo dei Fiori for the market was 10-15 minutes. The grocery store around the corner was two minutes, so was panini/pizza and coffee.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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