Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 744: Italian Itineraries, Scalinata Apartment D
1bed/1bath apartment on Via del Gambero, Rome
October 2003, 1 week
This apartment is 4 or 5 blocks from the Piazza di Spagna and is in a pedestrian-only area so it's very quiet. It's also one block east of the Via del Corso and one block north of Piazza San Silvestro (a major bus terminus), so it's very convenient for bus service throughout Rome. It's at most a 15-walk to the Pantheon and the heart of historic Rome, so we rarely took the bus or a cab.
The nearest grocery shopping is 5 minutes away, and restaurants and cafes abound nearby.
The building has several apartments per floor, and about 5 floors, with an elevator. Like many apartment builidings in Rome, the halls could use painting or sprucing up.
The apartment has a small interior terrace with wrought-iron chairs and table and nice plants -- no view.
The apartment is very clean, and the furniture is comfortable and in good shape. There are 2 sofas in the living room, and the dining table seats 6. Since this is a top-floor apartment with a sloping mansard ceiling, a tall person has to be careful when getting up from the sofa along that wall.
The bedroom is quite nice, with a comfortable bed, good reading lights, and the little terrace off it. The bathroom has a combination bath/shower with that rarity of rarities in Italy, a shower curtain. There is also a washing machine in the bathroom.
The kitchen is extremely usable, with good quality dishes and pots and pans. It has a microwave in addition to the regular stove/oven, and a dishwasher. There is no problem in cooking full meals there.
Problems or Bonuses
We were surprised by the spaciousness of the apartment (over 800 sq.ft., which is quite large for a one BR apt. in Rome) and the feeling of comfort, indeed elegance, reflecting the owner's taste. There are terracotta floors and wood-beamed ceilings, for example, and tasteful furniture. Our friends rented Scalinata B two floors below, and that apartment would be perfect for a family with 2 children, since it has 2 bedrooms (one with a queen and one with twins) and 2 baths.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Barbara, who owns Italian Itineraries, is a joy to work with, and is easy to contact even by phone, although she's based in Australia. I've never worked with a more honest person -- she refused to rent us one apartment because she had just inspected it and it wasn't clean enough to meet her standards (I might add that another major agency kept this apt. in its inventory, at a price much higher than Barbara's had been). Amalia, the onsite person, speaks fluent English, and when we had a problem with the hot water one morning, the plumber was there in 30 minutes and fixed it immediately.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We would definitely stay here again, as would our friends in their apartment. I also saw the apartment in the same building that Barbara calls "Tetti di Roma" and would love to rent it sometime because of its glorious terraces.
Things to do in this area
I found this area to be a wonderful central location for experiencing Rome, and yet a bit quieter and less chaotic than the area around the Pantheon or Piazza Navona or the Campo dei Fiori. Our favorite restaurants nearby were Matricianella and Settimio all'Arancio, and Il Leoncino for pizza. We also enjoyed Ditirambo (near Campo dei Fiori), La Piazzetta (near the Forum and Colosseum, recently reviewed very favorably in the New York Times), and the Osteria del Sostegno (near the Pantheon, and open on Sunday evening).
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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