Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 948: Rome Sweet Home, Bergameschi
1 bed/1bath apartment, Rome
October 2003, one month
I see I am not the only one disappointed with the Rome Sweet Home agency. There were several problems during our rental. The first was the noise level inside the apartment. Luckily it was indeed very quiet at night, but the narrow one block long street it faced was the entrance to the Parliment's parking garages. There are over 550 members of Parliment, and they each seem to have a car! It was the agency's constant lying about things that I found most irritating.
There was a problem with the toilet during our rental. The metal button that needs to be pushed in even with the wall would not trigger the flushing. It required several protracted phone calls to Rome Sweet Home, largely with their agent Peter, to have this simple problem fixed. He kept trying to pass it off with various excuses that were almost comical, including that the apartment would have to be without a bathroom for an entire week while this (half hour) repair was done.
I have been in Italy on 14 one month trips, and can speak Italian reasonably well, so there is no question about my not understanding Italian customs and the language. I also happen to know a great deal about plumbing. I nearly had that much trouble with them in having a water pressure problem resolved (which had made the shower unusable for a while).
We were not provided a key to the outer gate which is locked at night. Luckily I was able to find the porter on our first night and obtain entry, and the next day, a proper key. We were not told where the main fuse box was in the basement. Again, my being able to speak in Italian with the porter was our only salvation. The linens were tattered and not in good condition. To the agency's credit, when the cleaning person did show up each week (usually off schedule), there were some new linens brought in.
The apartment was in an excellant location, which was useful. But how a non Italian speaker could have fended for themselves with that agency is beyond me, even though a few of them speak some English. Before we arrived, I had a number of emails with their agent Peter about which apartment to rent. He kept trying to flog off apartments that were totally unsuitable, one particular in a very hilly and somewhat remote section of Rome. I have been there often enough to know areas I do not wish to stay in, and he would not pay the slightest attention to what I wanted.
I did have better luck in dealing with their Georgia, perhaps because I stay every May in a town where she comes from. But I refuse to use that agency again, Peter or no Peter.
No, we are not using them this October. I found another agency, called, "Vacation Rentals by Owner" where we are renting the exact same apartment (in Trastevere) I had noticed on the Rome Sweet Home website for 900 euros less for the entire month. I do not mind paying a reasonable fee, but on a 1,500 euro monthly rental, that would have been a heck of a lot extra to have to pay for lousy service, lack of attention to details, and being b.s.'d constantly.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
for the month of October, we paid $2,600.
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