How to find a great Airbnb in Rome

We have visited Rome several times and always enjoyed our visits. Location is one of the most important factors. If you have a favorite neighborhood such as Trastevere, Testaccio, or Campo Dei Fiore base yourself there. Save time and money by being able to walk the areas. In 2017 we stayed near Campo Dei Fiore.  It was a perfect place to explore the neighborhoods and walk to some many places. The Vatican and St. Peters was walkable. Restaurants abounded and shopping for food was close by.

When we booked it, the description looked great. The fact that it was on the Second Floor sounded doable.  Keep in mind the Italian way of numbering floors is quite different from ours. The ground floor or piano terra which is what we in the US would call the first floor. The next floor is the first floor, or primo piano, then on to the second floor which piano second but you are really on the third floor.

Keep this in mind as elevators in the older ( but beautiful) buildings are not prevalent. This is a time lapse of the descent which makes it look easy

52 Steps each time you go in or out

 

 

 

Here are photos from Rome in 2017. Not bad, reasonable space and would return if not for the steps ( 52) 

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This year I began my search by indicating the dates I needed, the number or people and I specifically searched °Campo Dei Fiore°. This reduced the number of locations and I then searched from the map.

 

Airbnb map rome

Viewing each listing VERY carefully, I looked for WIFI, KITCHEN, A/C, and NO SMOKING. When I found all of these I looked at all the photos, and at least the first four pages of reviews. It is important to evaluate a review.  As some one who has stayed in Airbnb in the US and Italy I check carefully and recheck with my wife. One bad review does not make a place unworthy of staying. Keep in mind that the map prices shown do not show what the prices really are if you did not fill in your dates of travel. The time of year makes a big difference.

 

This is a review I posited after a stay in Rome for 18 days in 2017″

“Overall we enjoyed our stay with Marzia. She was very quick to respond to our requests. The location is amazing. Walk out the door to restaurants, shops, a wine bar, and Campo de Fiore. Vatican is about 7-minute walk, save with Piazza Navona. Bus stops on Via Vittorio Emanuele. There is a restaurant on the other side of the building is excellent, Polese, we spent several evenings there. Also,check out the Suplizo on the same street as you head to Campo de Fiore. Great for take out. Kitchen is small but fully stocked with pots pans etc. Small frig but grocery store and the market are so close you will always have fresh food. The bed is comfortable. Hot water works well. WiFi good for browsing and email. AC works, but we arrived in mid September and found building comfortable with out it. The rear has a small terrace which was nice for dinner and wine. It does not have a view, but it was very pleasant. This is an older building and you have 52 steps to get to the room. It was not a bother to me at 74 years old, but my wife took a break going up the stairs. Neighborhood is good and safe. Only problem was major construction going on next to us and loud banging on walls starting at 7 am. I believe this is now finished as far as the wall banging goes. My wife and I enjoyed our stay.”

 

I would add that I was give a refund of 300 Euros to compensate me for the noise.  I would return there again, if I could not find something on a lower floor.

 

For this years trip, we found a great place on the Primo Piano which will make things much easier. Located steps from the Campo Dei Fiore, I look forward to walking to so many sights and attractions. The bus stops are close by and the neighborhood is very safe.

The photos below are of our Airbnb for this year.

 

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This is a decent sized apartment and we are looking forward to it. I will review it in full when we return from Italy in October.

 

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When to go to Italy

It sure is not July or August. In July everyone goes to Italy. Everything is HOT. Unless you can take the heat, wait a bit. August has many shutdowns. Italian shops close for vacation. You may consider a beach vacation, but temperatures will still be sweltering. We spent 10 days in Cefalù several years ago, but our day times were submerged in refreshing water.

The top photo shows Rome hovering near 100 degrees for the week.

Below Cefalù on a hot August day. Evenings were very pleasant.

September through November bring cheaper airfares. We leave for Milan on September 19 and fly nonstop from Miami for the ridiculously low fare of $369 round trip. Carryon is the only way to fly when you will be schlepping your bags. Keep it simple and light.

Last year I arrived in Milan on September 29th and returned on October 8th. No crowds and great weather.

Back in 2014 we went with family to Sicily and arrived in late April. Some days were great and others cool and some rain. It never stopped our enjoyment of the uncrowded streets in Palermo and Siracusa. Later we spend 10 days in Paris but rain and cold temperatures sent us to the shops to buy some extra clothing.

Mt Etna snow covered from the previous day. April 2014 Taken from Taormina

Save money and time. When possible travel the shoulder and off season times. Use Google Flights to see how much you can save on flights. Buon viaggio.

MAPS FOR TRAVELERS

Lonely Planet who publishes a number of very good travel books has made the map sections available on line. These are a free download.

A partial view of the Lonely Planet map of Roma.

You can save these to your tablet or smart phone, or do a screen shot like the one above to help you in your travels. There are hundreds of maps.

Here is the link

http://media.lonelyplanet.com/ebookmaps/

Here is a link to the Lonely Planet guide books.

https://shop.lonelyplanet.com/?gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=CjwKCAjwx_boBRA9EiwA4kIELlU24QnYPhodYK4oJ7LLXikOfSajupEYmmR4cksBK8fJKqs1QXUl7BoCcZAQAvD_BwE

Food, Cibo, it makes Italy special.

it Italy it is all about food. The calamari above brings back fond memories. In 2017 we spend 18 days in Rome and ate at ristoranti about 14 times. Our days were highlighted by going to the various markets.

We had an apartment in the Campo di Fiore which is not too far from Piazza Navona. This was a great area with shops, markets, restaurants everywhere.

Fresh produce was all over. You can see this is not Stop and Shop , or Kroger. This is fresh as fresh can be. We loved the market in Campo dei Fiore (Field of Flowers) and the indoor Testaccio Market. The Campo dei Fiore is a bit commercialized, but still a great place if you live in the neighborhood. The new Testaccio Market has many vendors of fresh produce and meats as well as clothing and assorted other items. Sandwiches made to order are amazing and watching the show is well worth the time.

Roscioli is a well known bakery , fornaio , with all kinds of baked goods and an aroma to encourage buying.

Volpetti is a pasticciera with outdoor seating so you can watch the Roman world go by.

The sheet pizza is priced by the pound in this little pizzeria neat the Campo dei Fiore. It is located very close to the “tiny” church Santa Barbara dei Librai which is a must see if you are in the area.

Pizza is everywhere and Roman pizza is buona. Wood fired pizza is typically ready in 3-4 minutes. No twenty minute wait.

A boar “cinghiale”, La trippa tripe below. I have tasted the sauce made with boars meet and it is great. I am not a fan of tripe, but my wife loves is.

Orvieto, take the Finiculare and bus.

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The Duomo Orvieto

If you plan on visiting Orvieto, that incredible hilltop town, and you are arriving by car, plan ahead. Like many town in Italy, traffic is restricted.  The “zona limitato” means you are subject to a multi or fine. Traffic cameras are present throughout Italy. I can attest to their effectiveness. Orvieto maintains a public parking lot at the bottom of the hill where you can take the funicular to the top and catch a bus for the short tine into the centro. Tickets are 1.30 Euro one way and good for 90 minutes. 

 

Here is a link to the short video of the ride and bus trip.

 

 

 

 

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There is a parking area at the base of the funiculare.  Look for spaces that indicate parking is allowed and there is no charge. 

What I Loved AboutTuscany Part one

Tuscany or Toscana is one of the most famous regions in Italy. Since Frances Mayes wrote “Under The Tuscan Sun” tourism in this region has increased immensely. Also property values have increased also. Toscana comprises a very large area. Plan on a week or more to visit the many wonderful sights. The food, climate and sights are exhilarating.  Hills and valleys, morning fog that burns off quickly in the sun. So much to see and feel. 

. NewImage  The movie with Diane Lane helped increase it’s popularity with visions of sunflowers and rustic homes.   There are many towns, cities, and regions the compromise Toscana.  Florence is a good place to start. Florence or Firenze is the capital of to Toscana.  It is a pedestrian city and cars are restricted from the city center.  

IMG 5186Florence viewed from Piazzale  Michangealo. It is worth the walk across the Arno river and the climb up to view the setting sun. At this time people flock from all over the city to view it.   You and have a glass of wine, or a café from any of the numerous bars nearby. I hurried to make sunset and see the spectacular vistas from this perch. 

 

DSC03421The Duomo, Firenze

 

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Am artist on the Arno river.

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Ponte Vecchio Firenze, night time is a great time to walk the city. 

 

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An artist work to restore a sculpture at the Uffizi which is a must see. Purchase your tickets in advance with an arrival time and skip the lines. Use the web for tickets. 

https://www.uffizi.it/en/pages/how-to-book-tickets

 

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Below, beefsteak Florentine 

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Start with a good piece of meat

 

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Served medium rare with a side of veggies. 

If you can visit Trattoria Pandemonio, Firenze. You will not be disappointed. 

http://www.trattoriapandemonio.it

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