1st time in Rome - apartment advice

Dec 29th, 2014, 03:35 PM
  #1  
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1st time in Rome - apartment advice

Hi all -- in the process of planning my honeymoon which will include 4 nights in Rome at the end of May 2015. Even though it's our honeymoon we don't want to spend a ton of money on a fancy hotel and are looking for a small apartment that's moderately priced.

We live in Brooklyn now so are fine with smaller studio spaces and walk-ups. A central location is most important to us and I've concentrated my search around the Piazza Navona area because it looks like a good home base to do a lot of walking to the big sites. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Free wi-fi, laundry and non-smoking are also important but those look pretty standard in the listings I've seen.

So far I came across the listing below that looks like it has potential (this should also give an idea of the price range we're looking at).

http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-ren...4597vb#summary

http://www.pantheonroyalsuite.com/default-en.html -- was also recommended to me if we want to spend a bit more and go the hotel route.

Would love any insight on the unit/hotel/area or suggestions of others that are forum favorites!

thanks!!!
jrf252 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 03:54 PM
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I would encourage you to get an apartment for the extra space and the privacy of having breakfast together. The first apartment is lovely and extremely well located. However, it doesn't appear to have air conditioning -- and the end of May can be warm in Rome. Opening windows at night in Rome lets in a lot of noise. So you and your fiancee need to discuss realistically whether you really need an apartment with air con if you end up with a bit of a heat wave.

Here is the agency I like to use for apartment rentals in Rome so you can see if anything fits your needs.

http://www.romeloft.com

Have a great time!
sandralist is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 03:55 PM
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If you state your budget, you will get plenty of suggestions. If AC is a must, make sure you will be able to use it in May.
kybourbon is online now  
Dec 29th, 2014, 05:03 PM
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thanks - i will investigate romeloft. I'd like to spend no more than 200eu/night but if we can do less, the more we have to spend in other areas. In this trip we will be spending time in rome, paris and barcelona so if we stay somewhere more expensive in one city, we will compensate in another.
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Dec 29th, 2014, 05:18 PM
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from rome loft -- another possibility - this one with a/c:

http://www.romeloft.com/3018-pantheo...ing-apartment/
jrf252 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 06:02 PM
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This isn't in the same area. but as first time to Rome visitors last June we stayed here and loved it-and easily walked everywhere! Campo di Fiore is a fine area, Polly was the BEST hostess, and the apartment was awesome.

https://www.flipkey.com/rome-and-laz...y_confirmation

Happy Honeymoon!
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Dec 29th, 2014, 07:11 PM
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I would try to spring for A/C in May, especially if you're looking at apartments on the upper floors of a building. Some years you don't need it. Many years, you do.

Have you looked at the offerings from SleepinItaly? We rent larger apartments (travel with 4 adults and 2 kids) and have had great experiences with this agency. They have smaller apartments.
TexasAggie is offline  
Dec 30th, 2014, 04:43 AM
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jr252,

The Rome Loft apartment with a/c shown in your link has a fantastic location. It is possible that the air conditioning is only in the bedroom, but even warm May temperatures in Rome don't require an entirely air conditioned apartment. Just so you can sleep at night. One of the reasons I tend to use Rome Loft is that you can pay with a credit card, which is an added measure of protection when renting. But other agencies offer that too and you can keep looking, and sometimes you can find reviews of apartments doing google searches.

(I just gave a quick glance to Rome Loft to see if they had anything in your budget with a terrace in the piazza Navona neighborhood, and this one would appeal to me, but it doesn't have the spacious feel of the one in your link)

http://www.romeloft.com/15237-panthe...terrace-attic/
sandralist is offline  
Dec 30th, 2014, 04:46 AM
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Actually, that apartment with the terrace is closer to the Pantheon, not the piazza Navona. I don't know if May rates would stay within your budget.
sandralist is offline  
Dec 30th, 2014, 07:29 AM
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We stayed in Rome at a lovely apartment closer to the Colosseum but it was within easy walking distance to all of central Rome. It is well within your budget and there are just pages and pages of favourable reviews. They have several different apartments in the same building all opening on a courtyard. In 2013 it was 100 euros per night.
Check out Domus Ciancaleoni. They even took us on a walk around the area so we could familiarize ourselves with the nearby metro stop local markets and of course the Colosseum.
Here are images of that visit.
Rome http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7634677664021/
stanbr is offline  
Dec 30th, 2014, 07:42 AM
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one more note about apartments (including the terrace one that I linked to). A typical "matrimonial bed" in Italy is actually two twin beds pushed together. They can be joined quite well into a very comfortable king size bed with a seamless mattress top, but some of the cheaper or older beds don't fit together well, and the gap between them is evident. This can be a problem in hotels too.

Before you actually book, it is worth getting exchanging e-mails with the owner to get precise descriptions of the bed, and read reviews if you can find them.
sandralist is offline  
Dec 30th, 2014, 10:58 AM
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thanks for the tips all - upon double check it looks like my original find (whttp://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p514597vb#summary) does have A/C so I going to reach out and see if that will work!
jrf252 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2014, 11:47 AM
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Hi jrf,

a few years ago we stayed in an apartment near the piazza Navona, which was reasonably priced and very convenient:

http://www.lacasadiclelia.webs.com

there are a few snags with it - it has perhaps the smallest en suite bathroom I've ever seen, [but there is a bigger 2nd bathroom which when there are two of you shouldn't be a problem] the bedrooms are downstairs, effectively underground [which another fodorite who booked it on my recommendation didn't like] and it's on the ground floor with a front door that opens straight onto the street. OTOH it has AC, it's in an extremely convenient location with lots of nice shops, bars and restaurants nearby, it's very well equipped [the double bed IS a double bed and the kitchen area is excellent] and the owner, Catherine, speaks good english [she is french] and is very easy to deal with.

Good luck with whatever you book, and congrats!
annhig is online now  
Dec 31st, 2014, 05:56 AM
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Got a response from the homeaway owner that their payment structure is 30% deposit via PayPal and then the balance in cash upon arrival... I'm skeptical of this but before I research other arrangements, is this standard practice for Rome?
jrf252 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2014, 06:09 AM
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It is fairly common practice. Increasingly a lot of rental agencies are moving to accepting credit cards, by individual operators can't afford the fees. Are there lots and lots of independent reviews for that apartment that you have been able to track down? That is usually a good sign that you are dealing with a very legit rental and honest landlord.

However, the risk you always run when renting an apartment from just one person who happens to have an extra apartment to rent is that if something goes wrong with the rental that is beyond their control, they don't have anything else to offer you. If you deal with the agencies, they can offer you a substitute.

You can see from a lot of trip reports that most people who book apartment rentals experience few problems. But some small percentage do. You should only do what you are comfortable doing.

If at some point you begin to think you would just rather make it simpler and book a hotel, there are many nice ones in your budget range that are well located and charming.
sandralist is offline  
Dec 31st, 2014, 06:12 AM
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the norm in Italy is to pay the deposit [25-30%] by credit card or paypal, and the rest in cash. unless you find a company operating out of the US, which will allow you to pay the whole lot by credit card up front, there isn't much alternative. and it does mean that they need you to turn up with your cash, so they are unlikely to let it to someone else.

if you have problems getting enough €s together, they will often allow you a day or two extra to get to the bank to draw the money from an ATM [which depending on the cost of the apartment and your ATM limit, you might need to do a number of times until you've got enough].
annhig is online now  
Dec 31st, 2014, 06:38 AM
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are there any other agencies besides RomeLoft which you would recommend?
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Dec 31st, 2014, 07:17 AM
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jrf252,

I've only been dealing with RomeLoft recently, but perhaps some of the other agencies mentioned in threads above would be of help. Also, the Slow Travel website has copious amounts of information on apartment rentals in Rome, and a message board there populated by people who more often than not rent apartments when they visit Rome, and have been doing so for years.

http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/vr/list.asp?r=Rome

http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/listings/rome.asp

I don't think it is necessary to find a company operating out the US.
sandralist is offline  
Dec 31st, 2014, 07:20 AM
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jrf - the agency that we used for our first apartment rental in Rome doesn't seem to exist any more, and I've already linked the one we used last time so i don't have any other personal recommendations.

However, Sleep in Italy has consistently good reviews.

http://www.sleepingrome.com/en/searc...aAjTA8P8HAQ#_1

you could also look at the Slow Travel website where there are a lot of apartments agencies and apartments reviewed
annhig is online now  
Dec 31st, 2014, 03:12 PM
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Apt looks great. In a great area as we usually stay in Campo area. Along Vittorio Emmanuale (the main street) are 8 bus lines and specifically #64 takes you from Roma Termini to close to your apt.

We always stay in apts so you might want to ask about spices, S&P, clothes detergent. Sometimes there's quite a collection from previous guests, other times not. I did notice there is no listing for a microwave, just fyi unless I missed it.

I also noticed rates for hotel were 187 -212Euro a night for your approximate stay in May.
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