We rented this apartment on the occasion of our 40th wedding anniversary and brought our children and Grandchildren with us, the time period was November 18th through December 2nd. We needed an apartment that would accommodate 7 people four adults and three children. Everything about the apartment is exactly how you will find it from the pictures. The apartment is a 20 minute walk to the nearest Piazza Santa Croce, the cab fare ran from a low of 6 euro to a high of 16 during rush hour traffic. The apartment is located on a busy four lane road directly across from the Arno river with a lovely walkway the length of the river. We were ok with this location because our goal was day trips to Tuscany in our rented van and to be OUT of the tourist area and to live and socialize with the locals. I am Italian 100% though born and raised in the US and have very minimal Italian language skills. The apartment has a washer but no dryer which is typical of Europe, clothes or linen washed must be hung on the clothesline along the back terrace, this being November was a little difficult and the washer is equal to a small apartment space saver (US version) and only two to three large bath towels can be washed at one time. The showers stalls in the two smaller bathrooms are a 1/4 of the size of the US so ladies I heard a lot of complaints about difficulty shaving legs. The large bathroom with its combo bath and shower did NOT have enough water pressure (hot) to allow usage of the shower without holding the button down. Speaking of hot water there isn't a lot by US standards so try be first. There is a lot of road noise but as the bedrooms are towards the back of the apartment sleeping usually was not an issue and if you're visiting from or grew up in a major US city like NY you will feel right at home. Speaking of noise the walls are very thin one night my wife and I woke to the noise of our next door neighbor snoring. Also the apartment has a very small elevator but it did work flawlessly the whole time and was used often by the residents. My wife who does not use elevators at all walked the three flights with no issues and the hallways are well lit. There is a parking garage provided but beware It is for cars not vans, although I was able to park my rented VW carrelle in the garage it took a concerted effort by two people, one person driving and one outside the vehicle directing and many three point turns. Even the VW golf I had the second week after the children left could not make the turns around the pillars in one shot. The apartment was clean and everything you could need is provided (less groceries) there is a wonderful coffee shop right behind the apartment and a small store for groceries, a butcher shop and some restaurants, The greatest place to shop is the Coop Fi at the Centro Commerciale Gavinan across the river and up the road about a 5 minute drive, its their small mall with other stores and an ATM that is reasonable, though with a $300 euro cash advance limit. I feel I received good value for the money I paid and I was treated honestly and fairly by the apartments owner.
The comprehensive information provided by Piero throughout the booking process and afterwards by way of his website, the documentaries on the tv in the apartment and the literature on the table and bureau was quite exceptional and of excellent quality. This information greatly contributed to our understanding and enjoyment of the history of Florence.
We enjoyed having our meals on the front terrace and after a while became accustomed to the traffic noise. We slept in large comfortable beds in bedrooms with more than adequate storage facilities and clothes hanging space.
We used the excellent Coop, a very modern easily accessible (within 2 blocks) supermarket but for those evenings when we weren't eating in or in the city we also made use of the outdoor eating establishments alongside the River Arno.
The only downside really was in our opinion, the lack of modern kitchen appliances which we felt could do with some improvements. In the course of our stay, we were alarmed by how easy it appeared to be to trip out the electrics.The use of a coffee maker in the kitchen and an iron in the lounge at the same time caused the electricity to trip out. This happened on several occasions. With there only being one available electric socket at work surface height in the kitchen, only one appliance could be used at one time, for example at breakfast it was either coffee before toast or toast before coffee. In addition, from a safety point of view, an electric kettle may have prevented the scalding of one family member's hand caused by using the kettle on the gas hob.
We had a very enjoyable week in Florence and, overall, the accommodation was adequate for our needs.
This is one of the best apartments I've booked on Tripadvisor. It's not very central, but Florence is a rather small town and we could easily reach its center either by foot down the Arno river (30 minutes walk) or by bus no. 14 in 10 minutes.
The apartment is large (it can takes in up to 6 persons), bright, clean and it looks even better in reality than in photos. And, most important, it has two large terraces, the most impressive one facing the Arno river, where we spent long hours in the evenings. Believe me, it is very important to have a green and cooler spot to relax after spending a whole day visiting Florence during mid August, when temperatures are sooo high.
Nevertheless, make sure to discuss in advance about all the hidden taxes. The taxes we had to pay for the utilities were of 30 euros per day for 3 persons and they were mentioned to us only 2 days before our arrival.
This is a spacious and well-furnished apartment. We loved spending time on the terrace overlooking the river after our meals.
The apartment was also well situated; we walked to the center of town in about 20 minutes. There was a grocery store about a 10 minute walk away.
The kitchen was a little untidy, a few minor items did not work, and the apartment could have been a little cleaner.
I never did see a doorman.
Overall, though, staying at this apartment was a pleasant experience.
Our party of four found the Colombo apartment to be a perfect place to enjoy our time in Florence. The clean, well maintained apartment is better than pictured - our host met us upon arrival and provided information on local restaurants, grocery options and information on using local transportation. We truly felt at home in Florence and highly recommend this apartment for couples or families planning a visit. Thank you for a lovely stay!
Lots of local businesses that were very friendly and helpful. Quiet neighborhood considering a busy street and easily located.
Traveling with eight other friends and family members, we were looking for a place where we could all be comfortable and we happened upon the ad on TripAdvisor. It turned out to be one of those serendipitous occurrences, when everything comes together in a perfect way. We rented the apartment and moved in on October 17.
In the beginning we were only 5, but as the numbers grew it became clear that we would need more room and the owner, Piero, offered us another apartment in the same building, two floors higher up, so we ended up renting two separate apartments in order to allow everyone to have their own room. It was a great solution to what might have been a cramped situation.
The building is right on the Lungarno Colombo in an area that is easy to reach by city bus. There are grocery stores nearby and even a laundromat (although there is a washer in the larger apartment, and Piero plans to install one in the upper apartment as well, there is no drier, and the closeness of the laundromat was a convenience). There is also a gelateria where they make their own gelato only a couple of blocks away.
The building has an elevator, but we always took the stairs. We also walked into town every day rather than taking the bus, unless we were going to the train station with luggage on one of our several side-trips. It's about a mile to the Centro, which I consider a little stroll, particularly as the walk is along the river.
As we explored the neighborhood we discovered many little areas with restaurants and caffes and shops, which meant that we began to spend more time in our own neighborhood once we'd satisfied our needs for exploration of the museums and sites in the Centro that make Florence such an amazing place to see and spend time. The city truly is the heart of the Italian Renaissance.
Piero was always available when we needed advice or help. He suggested that we visit nearby Fiesole and so we took a day to explore that little town north of Florence. On another occasion we foolishly locked all our keys in the apartment and Piero drove half an hour to let us in without even making fun of our idiocy! He's a really good guy and went out of his way to make us feel comfortable.
This is the 6th time I've stayed in Florence for extended periods of time, but it was the best of all the places I've stayed. I was actually sorry to be leaving when we moved out on November 7. It felt a little like leaving home. I would and do recommend the apartment and Piero wholeheartedly and without any doubt. He's reasonable, fair and competent, but more than that he's a good man and I think of him as a friend.
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