Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5634: Owner, #343654
2bed/1bath apartment near the Duomo, Florence
October 2013, 10 days
This is a two bedroom apartment on the third floor of a building which contains plenty of residents, a Music school and a Language school. Students come and go during the day through the main entrance which remains open - caretaker usually at his desk at the entrance - but no noise audible at day time. It is on via Roma between Piazza Republicca and the Duomo. A leisurely 15 min stroll to the station.
Easy walk to central markets. Nearest large supermarket a fair step away on other side of Ponte Vecchio but various little shops nearer. Near wine bars, restaurants, cafes.
The apartment bedroom windows look out to the bell-tower and the Duomo just like the website pictures show. There is a lift and you certainly need it. The twin bedroom has the best views and the main queen size has a little balcony with the washing machine on it.
The bathroom is very modern for an old Italian apartment building with lovely tiles and a very large marble floored shower.
You are woken daily at 7am by the bells. Most evenings were quiet but obviously with somewhere that central you can hear noise from both Duomo and Piazza Repubblicca especially at the weekends. The nearby residents were not noisy.
There is a little kitchen with gas plates and a microwave - no oven. Plenty of equipment - toaster, coffee machines, sharp knives, good pans. Dishwasher. Perfectly possible to cook in.
The living area has one sofa, one armchair, dining table with four chairs. Again a small balcony this time looking out towards other apartments but not intrusively. TV with satellite gives you BBC and CNN in English.
The balconies were nice to open up but not big enough to eat on.
Spotlessly clean, everything in good condition. Would be "cozy" for four but we were mother and daughter so found it spacious.
Plenty of storage, comfy beds, bathrooom excellent.
Kitchen is small but well equipped and easy to make meals in. Just note no oven if you are a very keen cook!
Problems or Bonuses
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owner met us and kindly allowed an early check in. They were just finishing cleaning as we arrived and it was spotless. She gave very detailed instructions (too detailed for people who have been traveling for over 28 hours perhaps) but sensibly backs up with written advice for all appliances etc. Rubbish has to go out to a back street near Robiglio (very good for breakfast as is Gilli across the road). There is a quirk which she clearly warned us about that if you leave a set of keys in the door and go out with the other set you will not get back in without the locksmith changing the entire lock system! Be careful. She was on time to give back the deposit and all her advice about restaurants and shops was spot on and helpful. Her English is perfect.
I think she gave us a discount for long stay, off-peak and just two of us so it was cheaper than advertised.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes. Recommended. Especially for a first timer in Florence. Very central. I attended a conference and to be honest it would have been easier (very rainy period) to have been nearer the Fortezza. Taxis are not easy to find on rainy days early in the morning. But we had some lovely evening walks home after dinner on the dryer nights. This is the peak tourist area - the only more crowded area is the Ponte vecchio. They are all over you walking up the pavements as you exit the door in day time and the streets do not clear until late. This was no surprise to me - we have stayed in Florence several times before.
Things to do in this area
Robiglio and Caffe Gilli for breakfast are just outside the door. All the restaurant recommendations in the apartment were good. Enoteca Alessi has great wine cellar but unpleasant service for a drink at the tables. Verazzano much better for a wine bar snack and drink. We loved the roof bar at the Westin (dont look at the prices). New gelateria Leonardo up Borgo San Lorenzo is excellent - better, cheaper and far fewer people than Perche No.
The central tourist office is appalling. They know nothing at all. They do however produce a list of events for each day if you can be bothered to go in there each morning. We enjoyed concerts at the Town Hall (free) and Orsanmichele (surrounded by the original statues) as well as the opera at St Marks. Daytrips to Lucca and Pisa were excellent - but glad we didn't combine the two into one day. Would have gone to Siena if weather better - been many times before though.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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