Help me choose an apt in Rome


Aug 1st, 2007, 12:50 PM
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Help me choose an apt in Rome

I'm taking my 71-year-old mother on her first trip ever to Europe for a week in Feb/March 2008 (date yet to be determined) and am looking at apartments that will provide both of us (but especially her) with a really lovely experience. I've travelled quite a bit in Italy but never in Rome, so would really appreciate any first hand experience with the neighborhoods or the actual apartments that I'm considering.

The first is a 1BR/1BA for 1500 euro located on Via dei Chiavari near Campo dei Fiori:

The second is a 2BR/2BA for 1800 euro located at the north end of Via Giulia:

The third is a 2BR/2BA just north of Piazza del Popolo for $1995 (so about 1400 euro for the sake of comparison):

Each has its strong points, and in the end I'm going to have to weigh them, but any specific information (bad or good) would be much appreciated.
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Aug 1st, 2007, 01:12 PM
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All three neighorhoods are perfectly fine.

The Chiavari apartment might be considered best located for a first-time visitor, amidst quaint streets and many popular sights.

The Giulia apartment is just a little further north, but would be closer to the river and therefore more walkable to the Vatican. Via Giulia is an elegant street of palazzi and galleries.

The Flaminio apartment is just outside of what most would consider the center, though just barely outside. Not really quaint--I found the web description surprisingly frank about the Mussolini-era architecture. However, this is a real neighborhood, so you would experience more real life. Few tourists venture beyond the Porta Flaminia. In just a few days you could become regulars at the local market, trattoria, and coffee bar, which could make for a very special experience.
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Aug 1st, 2007, 01:22 PM
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There are many reviews of rome-is-home over at It's a SlowTrav "favorite". Via dei Chiavari is a tiny bit more central than Via Giulia (and also closer to Campo dei Fiori, which attracts a youngish drinking crowd in the evening, which might not be much of a problem in February/March), but the Via Giulia apartment is more than twice as large.

I would vote against the Flaminio; the location is just a bit too much out of the way, and the area beyond the Porta del Popolo does not have very much character.

In my opinion, Via Giulia would be worth the premium, for the location and for the beauty of the street.
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Aug 1st, 2007, 01:23 PM
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Via dei Chiavari is an excellent location. It is close to Campo dei Fiori, close to the main road Corso Vittorio Emmanuel for buses to Vatican, Coloseum, or Termini, and right next a very pretty local church (San Andrea della Valle).

There is an ATM, a great bakery right on the same street, and a nice supermarket, and an internet cafe all within 50 feet or less.

You can walk to Trastevere easily as well.

Just on the other side of Campo dei Fiori you can pick up the #116 mini-electric bus that will whisk you through out the tourist zone if you don't wish to walk too far.
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Aug 1st, 2007, 01:49 PM
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The 116 has two stops on Via Giulia, one at the north and one at the south end. The Corso Vittorio Emanuele with its many bus lines is a blick away from Via Giulia.

It's true that shopping for food is more convenient from Via dei Chiavari.
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Aug 1st, 2007, 03:23 PM
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I love the Via dei Chiavari location and this summer in attempting to save a little money we stayed closer to Via Giulia. While Via Giulia is a lovely street, it is that much more of a walk from the most charming areas. I vote for Via dei Chiavari - loads of shops just steps away and closer to Ancient Rome, Pantheon, Via del Corso, etc.
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Aug 1st, 2007, 04:23 PM
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This is why I like Fodor's so much: not even three hours since I posted my query, and already lots of great help.

And, huge surprise, validation of every last thought I had re each property's neighborhood. I agree that Via Chiavari is the cutest in terms of neighborhood, and were it a two bedroom apartment would already have decided in its favor (even if it were a bit more expensive than the Via Giulia property).

I actually like the fact that the Flaminio apartment is just on the other side of the Piazza del Popolo for precisely the reasons that ellenem lists, but Zerlina's comment re the lack of character is more important than it might otherwise be since this is my mother's first (and probably only, to be quite direct) trip to Europe.

So I think I should just exclude Flaminio from the choices and concentrate on Giulia vs Chiavari. The two are pretty much equivalent in terms of quality of furnishings and fittings, with the exception of Chiavari's having a real clothes dryer (and most of what I'll be washing won't be denim, so not so important). Both apartments are very sunny. Both neighborhoods are very nice, with Giulia being more elegant and Chiavari being more quaint. Hmm, would my mother prefer elegant or quaint? Chiavari's got spendid views (so a big plus), but Giulia's got a lot more space, with separate enormous bedrooms and separate lovely bathrooms.

This last argument is a compelling one for me. My mother and I get along fairly well, but a week together in close quarters could put a strain on both of us. Not really all that close, of course, as she'd take the bedroom and I'd sleep on the sofa bed, and we'd have separate entrances to the bathroom. But still...

The difference in price is 300 euro, so if I ignore other factors I'm spending another 40-50 euro per night for my own room if we take Giulia.

Maybe I should call my mother and see whether she'd rather have quaint or elegant.

Or if anybody has another option to add to the list apartment-wise I'd be delighted to consider it.
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 09:24 AM
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 10:35 AM
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One thing I failed to carefully consider when I rented 4 different Italian apartments in May was elevators/ steps!
None of my buildings had an elevator and it was 70+ steps to the bedrooms in Venice and Florence ("only" about 50 in Rome.) Really, it got to be quite exhasuting. If your mom has any mobility issues, make sure you are clear on the elevator/stair factor!

Yes, Via dei Chiavari is a great loaction!
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 11:44 AM
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Yes, I've definitely considered my mom's mobility in this equation: all three of these apartments have elevators. She can climb stairs, and has stairs in her home that she negotiates without any difficulty, but I didn't want her to have to deal with more than maybe a first floor (so one above the ground). I did look at one apartment without a lift, and went so far as to ask the agency exactly how many steps were involved ("20" was the very nice and prompt answer from the Domus agent).

I'm taking out trip insurance, something that I don't normally do. I'm also considering having my mother surrender her purse (well, put her essentials in mine) while we're out touring so as to avoid tempting pickpockets, and have told her that there's no reason to bother bringing nice jewelry (of which she's actually got quite a bit, so a reasonable thing to mention).
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 09:17 PM
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Hi Therese,
We stayed at a 2 bedrm-2bath apt at 108 Via Giulia- very near where you map says the apartment is. We loved the area! Historic. Walkable to Campo di fiori, piazza navona, Vatican, castel san angelo and very near the bus stop to catch the 64, 40 to Termini Station or 46 to the Colosseum. There was a cafe bar IFO the church at the north end of Via Guilia and we had our morning coffee there. There is a tabac and grocery store only 200 yards down via giulia. The streets are cobblestone and narrow. We would stay in this area again and recommend it.
Just make sure the building has an elevator. These are historic buildings. The apartments have been renovated, but some do not have elevators.
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