Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 802: Belvedere Italia, Residenza Giubbonari (The Green Apartment)
apartments near Campo dei Fiori, Rome
14 - 23 March 2004, 9 days
The apartment is located on the 4th floor of a renovated building on Via Giubbonari close to Piaza Librari and Campo dei Fiore. This was a great location for walking everywhere, close to the Forum, Piazza Navona, St. Peter's. The most distant sight was the Spanish Steps, but even this was a twenty five minute easy walk. Outside the front windows and down a narrow street we could see a clock tower which struck every 15 minutes, but not at night. The area was very active with many shops located on the street, but the windows were doubleglazed so the apartment was very quiet.
There was a grocery store within a 4 minute walk. Campo dei Fiore has a fresh food market every morning where one can buy just about anything. There were also numerous small grocery/specialty shops selling all sorts of delicious things on via Giubbonari or on the Campo. Blue Ice, a gelato store, was just off the Campo and a less than five minute walk from the apartment. There was a pizza restaurant across the street and several pastry shops.
The building dated to medieval times, but had been renovated and was very modern. There were about 20 apartments in the building with elevator. It was very clean and well-kept. The building was very quiet and we never heard any commotion from the hallway. We could here the bell of the elevator, but it was not bothersome. The back windows and the side windows looked out into small atria and we were occasionally aware of noise from the other apartments, but again this was not bothersome.
There was no outside area or pool.
The apartment appeared to have been recently updated. The floors were tile which were cool in March, but would be perfect in the summer. The living area was a combination kitchen/dining/sitting area. The dining room had a glass top table with six chairs. The living area had a very comfortable sofa and two overstuffed comfy chairs. There was also a thick pillow on which to sit on the floor. These faced the front windows and the Satellite TV between the windows. The TV was nice to have, but it only received BBC World in English. We had fun watching Polish soap operas! The lighting was minimal. There were several weak wall sconces and one lamp beside the TV. To read, we had to move a chair over to the window during the day or right under a sconce during the night. There was an airconditioner in the living room and the master bedroom, but we did not use them.
The beds were great! Although we did not try the sleep sofa in the living room, it looked comfortable. The master bedroom had a kingsize bed with a very firm mattress. There was a ceiling light as well as reading lights on either side of the bed. There was a large double closet with room to hang things and shelves on which to store clothing. There was one window. The master bath had a sink, a toilet and a small shower stall. There was plenty of hot water and the towels were fluffy and numerous. I believe there was a hairdryer which we could have used, but we had brought our own. No soap or washcloths were provided, but we did not expect those. Toilet paper was provided, but we made sure to replace what we used.
The second bedroom had two twin beds, two folding chairs, a wardrobe and two windows. Each bed had a reading lamp on the wall above and there was an overhead light as well.
The hall bathroom had a bidet, toilet, tub and sink. The tub had a hand held shower nozzle and there was a sliding door so showering was possible although we used only the master bathroom shower. The hall bath also had a washing machine and dryer. The owner had very kindly provided directions for using these appliances so it was not too difficult to figure out. The dryer did not vent, so there was a receptacle that filled with water and it had to be emptied frequently during the drying process. Washing soap was provided.
The kitchen was minimal, but functional. I was able to cook easily for four people on several occasions. There was a large storage closet, an undercounter refrigerator with freezer, a dishwasher, sink, two-burner stovetop, and a microwave/grill oven. We could do everything but bake. The microwave came with directions and a cookbook in English! I hardly ever used it, however, prefering to use the stove which was cramped, but it worked. I had to cook in stages, but the fresh food from the Campo market was so delicious I could probably have burned it and it still would have been wonderful! There were several espresso makers, a tea kettle, a teapot, a drip coffeemaker, and a salad spinner. The utensils and pots and pans were adequate. There were plenty of dishes, cutlery and table mats. We did not use the dishwasher.
Problems or Bonuses
Half of the rent had to be paid in advance in cash which made me nervous, but it turned out fine. We also had to pay the remaining rent in cash upon arrival along with a 250 euro security deposit which was returned to us at the end of the stay. The electricity was not included and had to be paid at the end of the stay which was a bit of an unknown. It ended up being 15 euros for the 9 days, which was fine. The apartment is all-electric and does have airconditioning which would increase the electicity use in the hot weather. The owners seem to have an office in the building and have two other apartments. They were extremely nice and helpful and offered that we call them if we needed anything. They could not have been friendlier.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I booked this apartment with some concern because the agency seems to be a small one and I didn't have anyone who could give me firsthand experience about dealing with them, but it all worked out. The agency representative was very responsive and informative. The apartment owners were onsite, spoke English, and were very pleasant and helpful. The apartment looked exactly as it was presented on the website. The agency even sent us more pictures when we expressed an interest in renting. I would not hesistate to rent from them again, in fact I look forward to doing so.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would definitely stay here again and highly recommend it to others who don't want a hotel experience. The apartment is not luxurious, but it is well-furnished and more than adequate. It was cool, clean and uncluttered. Two drawbacks were the low lighting in the living area and the small two burner stove, but each of these were easily overcome by ingenuity and flexibility.
Things to do in this area
The Campo dei Fiori is a hubbub of activity from early morning to about 11 am. The lady selling cheese was very helpful even though she did not speak a word of English. On Sundays, the market includes more than just food and lasts longer. Blue Ice gelato is the best, we thought. Piazza Farnese and Torre de Argentino are both nearby. Piazza Navona is an easy walk and has many touristy but good restaurants.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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