Thanks so much for all your help!!! Our first trip to Rome was divine and enchanting...I am sure we will be back. The Roma Centro apartment exceeded our expectations. It was wonderful: beautiful and comfortable, excellent location, charming shops and restaurants all around and perfect for walking. We walked just about everywhere (all 20-30 minute walk): Vatican, Trastevere, Spanish Steps, Capitoline hill, Piazza del Popolo, Trevi fountain, Pantheon. We ventured on the Metro (very easy) and took a few taxis (to the Colosseum and St. John Lateran, and Borghese Gardens).
Our only snafu was a train trip to Florence from Termini. We bought a "voucher" from a Tourist Info stand which turned out to not be a ticket so we missed our train. After an hour of confusion we exchanged the voucher for a ticket from the kiosks and were on our way to Florence. I had purchased other train tickets (Florence to Venice and Venice to Rome) from your website and would recommend that so you have the tickets before you leave home.
Mary Anne S.
We had a really wonderful trip. A few comments below...
Roma Centro apt - very well-located, with lots of character and amenities in the 'hood. It was wonderful to stroll to the Piazza Navona and to try all the restaurants only steps away. The grocery downstairs was very convenient as well, and with our kitchen we were able to do breakfast daily at home before venturing out. We also felt very secure there, which was a plus in more ways than one. Our daughter needed to stay back from sightseeing to rest a couple of times, and we were comfortable leaving her there alone for a couple of hours.
Stefano's tour of Pompeii was a highlight of the trip. He did a marvelous job, and the experience really sparked my imagination. The whole commercial city came alive for us. Stefano is very pleasant and knowledgeable. He also related well to our 11 year old daughter and helped enliven the trip for her as much as possible.
Palazzo Bandino was the second major highlight of the trip, and hands-down our favorite week of the vacation. We were treated like kings and queens in every way--coffee any time for the asking, fabulous meals where our every desire was remembered from one day to the next and anticipated, lovely people on staff, well-planned outings to complement cooking school. My daughter and I enjoyed the cooking classes very much. Chef Luciano and his translators were informative and helped us understand Tuscan cooking traditions and culture as much as recipes and preparation. The accommodations were nice although the showers are very small. Gabriel and Marta were a treasure; my daughter was almost in tears over leaving Marta behind. The scenery is gorgeous, and the setting was very peaceful. And again--the FOOD! Unbeatable. We also enjoyed the wine tasting; PB has some very good ones. A great place to sight see, relax, breathe deeply, and eat well.
Our outings to Pisa and Venice were good; Venice better than Pisa (was a long walk from train to the tower in hot weather; I recommend a cab for folks with kids). We spent a quick overnight in Venice and stayed at the outstanding Hotel Abbazia. It is around the corner from the train station, and the staff here was the best of any hotel we experienced. They went out of their way to ensure we had a wonderful time in every way possible. While we gave up our room in the morning, our train wasn't until evening. They offered us their comfortable lobby with nice bathrooms at any time during the day, and provided drinks etc. at the bar while we waited for the train. Above and beyond the call of duty. Our triple room was small, and we were glad we weren't there long, but it was nice and the beds were good.
Our final stop was Milan and the most underwhelming of the trip. It was awesome to see the Last Supper, however.
Hope all that is helpful. Thanks again for everything! If I have missed anything, I will ask my husband to fill the gap.
Now that I have a chance, I wanted to respond to your questions in detail. First, I would like to tell you how pleased I was with all the arrangements we made through In Italy Online. Every facility we stayed in we liked very much and all the arrangements worked out flawlessly. We were pleasantly surprised each time we showed up in a new location. I would definitely book our trip through you again and I would recommend you highly to others. This apartment was in the best location in Rome. I was apprehensive at first because I had forgotten about the neighborhoods. It was central to mainly locations. You could literally walk to Saint Peter's, the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Piazza Campo De Fiori. The best part is that you rolled right out the door into a neighborhood with restaurants, bars and shopping. We really enjoyed the action. The apartment itself was really comfortable, modern, clean and we felt very safe. We would definitely stay here again too. It was lovely.
We had one issue with the apartment. We had a car, which you did warn us about from the start. However, we knew we would have to park it in a garage the whole time we were there. We were fine with that part. The part that was a bit strange was when we first arrived. The host really had no clue where to tell us to park so we could unload our luggage. He couldn't even direct my husband to the proper street to pull through so we could get close to the apartment. It was a bit frustrating after driving for 6 hours from Venice. It wasn't that big of a deal, but maybe you can provide street directions on where to go for that purpose, if people are arriving by car. (Note from In Italy Online: it really IS impossible to park anywhere in this location! The pedestrian-only nature of the area is part of its appeal, and we urge all guests to drop their car off before trying to get here).
In terms of Restaurants, we ate in Travestere at IVO. This was very good. We ate in a couple of other restaurants that were ok. I wouldn't say they were exceptional. We hung out in a bar called Botticelli's which was right down the street from the apartment and great fun. The owner was Canadian and spoke English. There was also an American Restaurant called the Big Apple next door. If you are craving American food, it was decent and had good service.
I would recommend to all your clients to book museums in advance. In the cases that we did this, it worked out great. When we didn't, we waited over two hours (e.g., L'Accademia). We waited 1/12 hours for the Vatican Museum.
I want to thank you for helping to make our trip so special and carefree. We really had a great time.
We had a great time and all the arrangements we made with you guys went perfect. In Rome, Roma Centro could not have been better located. It allowed us to walk to everything we wanted to see, enjoy the evening stroll by the Spanish Steps, without any effort. The apartment was great.
Thanks for all your help in setting up our trip. I have told everyone about your site.
We had a wonderful time and everything went smoothly. The Roma Centro apartment near Piazza Navona was fabulous. It was just as you described on the web site, ie, a clean, comfortable, and cozy home away from home. It is also situated in a great location, within walking distance to most tourist attractions and main tour bus stops. There are so many wonderful restaurants and gelato (ice cream) shops steps away from the apartment. We tried many nearby restaurants and really enjoyed the food in "Piazza Notto", in particular. They have absolutely delicious pasta and pizza dishes, even my son, who is a very picky eater, liked just about all their offerings. Best of all, it was just around the next alleyway from the apartment, which was perfect as it rained a lot while we were there.
Catherine was our guide for the Vatican tour. She waited in the ticket line in the cold and drizzling rain at 7 AM for a full 90 minutes before we showed up in a warm car arranged as part of the tour. It was much appreciated as the line to the Vatican Museum was extremely long, even in this off-peak season. So we were able to enter the museum quickly with very little hassle. She was knowledgeable about the history, folklores, and politics behind each notable painting and sculpture. She also made an extra effort to show us the treasures in the Basilica. Because of her guidance, we had a much better understanding of the symbolism and history of the place. Both Catherine and Marco (our driver) were consummate professionals and were unfailingly polite. We would highly recommend this tour to all who are planning to visit Rome.
It was convenient that we had arranged the airport shuttle service. Even though our plane was delayed in arriving in Rome, the shuttle driver was there waiting for us when we arrived. The only minor glitch was that the driver had a hard time finding the apartment and we were the last to be dropped off. So Massimiliano had to wait for a long time for us. He was so patient and showed us how to operate all the major appliances. However, we felt bad that he had to wait for a while.
One note of caution regarding taking a taxi in Rome; we took one taxi ride where the driver did not use his meter and we did not realize that until half way into our trip. When we reached our destination, he charged us triple the price of a normal fare. The route of this taxi ride was one we took several times already and knew how much the normal fare would be. Also luckily, my husband could converse in Italian and we were able to just pay a little more than the usual fare.
Despite a couple of hiccups, this was one of the best oversea trips we had taken. We will definitely use your service again if we decide to visit Italy in the future.
Thanks again for all your help.
We had a great time. The location of the apartment was excellent. On the ground floor was a grocery store and in the morning next to the store there was a fresh fruit/vegetable market. Not but a few steps away were plenty of restaurants/pizza. For our kids this could have not been more convenient. Our favorite restaurant was Taverna Pavione, just a block to the right. The food was excellent and the staff was so friendly. One suggestion: there was no heat or hot water when we arrived and it took several hours to get everything up to temp, and after traveling for many many hours we all just wanted a hot shower and a nap. We saw all the famous sites, but we did stumble upon a church St. Nicholas and a church guide took us into the basement where there were the ancient temples of Janus and Junis. Anyway, his explanation of the archaeological find was facinating.
Dear Friends at In Italy Online,
We did have a wonderful trip and enjoyed our time in Italy where we visited Cinque Terra, Florence, Rome and Vicenza. We also arranged a tour to the Vatican and St. Peter's that we highly enjoyed.
We stayed at Roma Centro which was a very comfortable apartment near Piazza Navona. There was plenty of space for our family of four and the location and air conditioning were great. I did want to let you know that we were disappointed that the apartment was short on supplies that we found at all our other apartment rentals. Specifically, there were only three towels for the four of us, less than one full roll of toilet paper, no bath soap, no laundry soap, and very limited linens. We really loved the location and would consider renting the apartment again but were surprised that it wasn't adequately stocked. Because Marco was leaving town we didn't bother him and went out to buy what we needed, but compared to the other three apartments we rented it fell short of what seems to be standard. I thought that you would appreciate the feedback and perhaps it might help future guests. By the way, Marco was easy to reach to arrange for our arrival, there when we arrived, and easy to understand. Thank you for your assistance and all the best
This May we indeed had a marvelous trip to Italy, for which In Italy Online deserves a major portion of the credit. You were our source for an apartment for our last ten days, a car for the first ten, and a cell phone for the entire time. (We also bought a couple of excellent road maps from your website; packed what you told us to pack; and ate where you told us to eat.) So THANK YOU!
Your "Roma Centro" apartment was the best place we have ever stayed in Rome. Rather than list all the things we liked, I'll mention the three top ones: the central location; the quiet bedroom DESPITE the location; and your two on-site managers.
We rented a car for our ten days outside Rome. Although their supplier, Europcar, could not provide the mid-size car we requested, and the first one they did provide broke down, Auto Europe dealt appropriately with our problems. We would rent from them again.
We wouldn't have thought of renting an Italy-based cell phone without your advice to do so. It proved invaluable, saving our prosciutto at least three times during the twenty-one days, in situations when a landline phone wasn't available.
Several times during our ten days in Rome, we relied on your various info sheets. One BIG piece of advice: please tell anyone staying to the west of Piazza Navona about a hole-in-the-wall internet cafe located in the little Vicolo del Fico just west of Piazza del Fico. The place is open from late morning until 11PM or midnight, charges as little as the others, and sits less than two blocks from "Roma Centro's" front door. One smaller piece of advice: we discovered this internet point because it was on our shortest route to "La Rospa Golosa" restaurant, first on your list. The prices there were as low as you said, but the food quality, in our experience, was nothing to write home about. We went with Italian friends (from Florence, admittedly) who found it only "adequate." If your scouts could recommend any OTHER restaurant among the many close to "Roma Centro," it would be a great service. (All our best meals were outside Rome.)
We want to second the advice on your website about petty crime in Italy. We are experienced enough to keep our money in money belts and to protect our other valuables in public. But the inexperienced are easy marks. At one outdoor restaurant in a small side-street, we heard a Vespa whiz by; its passenger grabbed a purse sitting on a table near ours and was out of sight before the victim could jump up screaming, "My glasses! My glasses!" We doubt she enjoyed her meal.
One nice surprise for us: even though "Roma Centro" is so close to TOURIST CENTRAL (Piazza Navona), we found a grocer, a butcher, and a greengrocer within our block. So cooking and eating in was convenient as well as inexpensive.
In contrast to past visits to Rome, everything we wanted to see was OPEN and hours were generally generous. Many works of art that have been unviewable for years are now on display, and the display techniques are often superb. The best example of this: on the top floor of the Palazzo Massimo (near Termini Station) you can now see a FABULOUS series of frescoed rooms excavated in and around Rome. This is a display of ancient Roman wall-painting (along with mosaics) to put alongside the wonderful collection in Naples.
We could go on and on---and it seems we have. Thank you for helping us enjoy a memorable three weeks.
Frederick & Alison K.
We are now back in Stockholm after a fantastic stay in Rome. The apartment was very good and its location nearby Piazza Navona was perfect. Everything went smoothly. We threw a coin in Fontana di Trevi so when we will go to Rome again we know were to book our accommodation.
Anders & Elisabeth H.
Thank you, Jessica.
We had a lovely trip. The Roma Centro apartment was in a great location. Everything you can imagine is just outside the door. We parked our car at the Rome airport and taxi'd into the city. It was great. Somehow I thought the apartment was two bedrooms. It's not, but that was just fine. The couch in the living room folded out to a bed, so it worked very well. My only negative thing about your recommendations was that one of the restaurants we went to, while good, decidedly ripped us off. Oh well. Everything else was great.
Our Vatican tour guide, Amy (from Boston) was awesome. We recommend her to anyone! All-in-all, everything was wonderful and all of your recommendations were great. We can't thank you enough! We told everyone we met and everyone we've talked to since about InItaly.com. We think you're the greatest.
p.s. we had a great car, too!
Our trip to Europe was fabulous!!! Thanks for recommending the Roma Centro apartment - we highly recommend it to anyone who is more concerned with having a good time than nit-picking about accommodations! It is perfectly located and very reasonably priced. Massimiliano was there when we arrived to show us around the place and pointed out how to lock and unlock the door, use the stove, the washer, the air-conditioning, etc. Unfortunately, we did not actually pick-up the phone to listen for a dial tone, and 24 hours later, when we needed to make a local call, we realized the phone was dead. Since it was Saturday afternoon, we just decided it wouldn't be worth the trouble to try and contact Massimiliano. No problems...we found a phone stand near Piazza Navona and made all our calls from there. For the record (and contrary to what you told us), the apartment does not have a hair dryer. A couple of other observations:
*the sofa bed is pretty uncomfortable by U.S. standards, but we didn't have "problems" sleeping!
*there are plenty of pots, pans, cutlery, plates and glassware, so no need to bring anything.
*in one of the closets the owners have "collected" a wide variety of tourist guides to Italy, including Rick Steves and the Eyewitness book on Rome. We had our Michelin guide, but supplemented our readings with what we found in the apartment.
*We bought water, wine, and "cocktail" hour snacks (olives, cheeses, bread) at a great family store right on the corner. The people were soooo nice!
*We had breakfast every morning at Cafe Negresco, two doors down. Actually, the first morning, I strolled in to get four cappucinos and a couple of croisssants to take back to the apartment, and the proprietor lent me a tray and just asked me to return it later.
*We loved the proprietors at the Ecce Bombo, an outdoor restaurant located down the street in front of the apartment. They greeted us with hugs and kisses and we looked forward to many "birras" with them at lunchtime. Normally, we would be out the door by 8AM, and back in our "hood" around 3PM, so we enjoyed having such a welcoming attitude upon our arrival!
*We found a couple of lovely restaurants that we would highly recommend:
---in Trastevere, we "lucked" upon Taverna Trilussa Trastevere, where the maitre d' is a real cutie and the antipasto plate is superb!
---in Campo di Fiore, we loved La Carbonara, especially the zucchini florets, ravioli with spinach, eggplant and tortellini al brodo. We do NOT recommend the house wine.
---near the Pantheon, on Piazza Capranica, you must recommend Capranica, Enoteca e Taverna. This place is amazing! It is beautifully appointed and the wine selection is over the top!
On Sunday, we were going to try to make it out of the city, but we needed a day to recoup! We closed down a bar on the Via Veneto at around 3AM, partied on the Piazza Navona with the "younger" crowd (we were two 50-yr moms with their 20-yr daughters!), and literally "fell" into bed around 4AM!! So, after a late lunch we headed up to the Borghese Gardens and Pincio Park for a late afternoon stroll and watched the sun set overlooking Rome. A great way to end our visit in the Eternal City.
Again, thanks for your help and we look forward to using your services again in the future.
Cathy C. B.