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Review 623: Owner, Via dei Cappellari 60 (#21717)

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Review by Amy from MA who is a SlowTrav Contributor

1bed/1bath apartment near Campo dei Fiori, Rome


When

July 2003, Total of seven days

Location

Via dei Capellari is a tiny street just off Campo dei Fiori. The section of street where the apartment is located has many furniture refinisher's shops, with apartments above. Very much a "neighborhood", with residents and shop workers sitting outside chatting during the day and evenings. The buildings have the usual Rome layers of stucco, paint, and graffiti, keeping the well-scrubbed interiors hidden unless you peek through a lighted window at night. The is ocassional car or vespa traffic, but it is primarily a pedestrian street. Very quiet at night, since the apartment is well down the street from the Campo's caffes and the Corso V. Emanuele's traffic.

Nearby Amenities

In and around the Campo dei Fiori are many small alimentaries, bakeries, butchers, restaurants and caffes. And of course, the wonderful Market held every morning but Sunday.

The House/Apartment

The building is a very old four story apartment building with one or two apartments on each floor. The apartment is on the third floor, which means lots of walking up and down stone steps. Good for working off long lunches, but this of course makes dragging luggage up and down less than pleasurable.

This apartment has AIR CONDITIONING, which you pay for separately. It was a godsend in the July heat, and allowed us to close the windows at night to enjoy coolness and quiet. It cost approximatly 6-9 euros a day to run.

The hallway and stairway walls are in very bad repair, looking as if they've kept three conturies of crumbling plaster and bashes from furniture being wrestled up the stairs. The apartments however have been recently renovated, and the ones we saw appear to be well maintained. In this building, you live as a Roman-- and for us that included squeezing through bags of rubble in the hallway from a resident's renovation; hearing children jumping rope at the bottom of the airshaft; and the garbage collector ringing the bell every morning to give you last chance to get your trash out. We loved it, you may not.

Garden

No outside area.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

The furniture was all in good to excellent shape, and the apartment was absolutely spotless. The living room has two comfortable white sofas, several tables, and a tv. One of the sofas flips open to become an extremely comfortable sofabed, though we had difficulty flipping it back in the mornings. Heavy thing. The living room is the interior room, and shares a airshaft window with the adjacent kitchen. The living room feels closed in because of this, but it is a large enough room to not feel claustrophobic.

Bedrooms/Bathrooms

The bedroom is huge! It has two large windows overlooking the street and a neighbor's terrace. The bed has a good mattress, there is an enormous wardrobe for storing clothing, a desk, a single bed, and bedside lamps. The bathroom is very large, beautifully tiled, and the shower has a sliding door. Big fluffy towels, too.

Kitchen

The kitchen was recently installed; with a small sink, stove, small fridge, and table comfortable for 4 people. Simple pots, pans and cooking equipment made preparing simple meals easy.

Problems or Bonuses

The apartment fulfilled several of my criteria for a Rome apartment. It was clean, quiet, characteristic, and air conditioned. A cool, quiet Rome apartment at a reasonable price in a neighborhood we appreciate made up for the downsides of the stairs and windowless living room. One bonus was the neighbors, who after a few days started chatting and made us feel very welcome. My boys felt very comfortable here, and thought nothing of going downstairs to the bar next door for drinks or snacks on their own.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

We initially booked the apartment with Rome Reservations. However, the owner no longer lists with them and rents the apartment on his own. Claudio writes and speaks english quite well, and responds within 1-2 days to e-mails. One possible downside is that he does not have standard checking in or out times. He meets you at the apartment when he can get away from work, which usually means between 1-3; or after 7:30 pm. When this works in your favor it is fabulous, but if he is unable to let you into the apartment when you arrive in Rome, you may need to do some juggling.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

This was one of those places that you have conversations about what you would do if you owned the place. (I'd knock down the wall between the living room and bedroom to make a huge, airy studio apartment; and talk the neighbors into plastering and painting the stairway and hallway walls.) It has drawbacks in the long clomp up the stairs, the dingy hallway areas, and the windowless living room. But a cool, quiet night in Rome's Centro Storico is a rare thing. And if you stay long enough to be of interest to the neighbors, or have children who don't mind getting their hair ruffled, it can only add to the experience.

Things to do in this area

You can walk to almost anywhere from here, or take one of the buses from the stops on Corso V. Emanuele.

For food, the Campo dei Fiori market is open M-Sat. from around 7 to 1; the alimentaries are open mornings and late afternoons (some not reopening Wednesday or Thursdays).

There is a tiny bar called La Fiaschetta just two doors down the street where the friendly young owner makes fantastic sandwiches, cheese and salumi plates, and salads. For 4 euros, you get a glass of wine and assorted crostini. Go twice, and you've got a new friend. A good new trattoria called Taverna del Campo with excellent pizzas, all kinds of interesting crostini, and many other goodies is around the corner at Via dei Pellegrino 163. Good food and service, a nice mix of young Romans and tourists, and an outside eating area. We most especially enjoyed our meal at Al Bric, at Via dei Pellegrino 51. Fabulous meal, wine, service, and ambiance.

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

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