Monday, December 15, 2008

Rental in Rome

My last exam was today, but enough of that, I am already moving on to new things, namely finding a flat for us in Rome. If one can believe the internet, Rome is teeming with unoccupied, furnished flats for the use of travelers. Indeed, the choice is so wide, I am becoming confused. On the other hand, eliminating all the flats that don't sleep six people narrows the field somewhat. Each flat looks so beautiful in the photos, I am succumbing to delusions of living like a family of sultans while we take our little two-week vacay. I found one flat that I absolutely love, but have since learned that it is already taken. The rental agent sent me a link to an alternate apartment, which, prior to my exposure to the first flat, would have been perfectly adequate, is now decidedly second rate. I didn't like the slipcovers on the sofas, and there is no charming built-in desk in the master bedroom, and the kitchen is somewhat less charming and there is no washing machine! Boo.

Clearly, it is time for a reality check. I am rejecting this apartment because I don't like the slipcovers? It's a FLAT in farking ROME!

Then there is the issue of the rental agencies. How do I know they are honest? What if I fork over the Euros, expecting a fab apartment in the Trastevere, and we are taken to a hovel next to a McDonalds in an industrial suburb? Of course I know that no rental ever looks just like it does in the photos. I was amused by the pictures of one flat in which every room was cluttered with empty wine bottles.

Also amusing, the text at one of the rental websites, cautioning renters that living in a flat is like living like a regular Roman family. There will be no maid service, no room service, no porters, and you will be cooking your own meals. That's exactly why I prefer an apartment to a hotel. I want myself and my children to experience something of what it is like to live in Italy, not just visit it. I wonder what sort of spoiled customers that particular business got.

If anyone has ever rented an apartment in a foreign city, over the internet, and has some tips for me, I would not be averse to hearing them.


  1. I've never rented a flat anywhere, so I have no wisdom to share. But I am very excited about this trip you're taking!

  2. Oooooo, this sounds dreamy. I loved Rome. You can just walk and walk and walk. My mom was hoping I would find religion while I was there, but I just found pizza . . . by the pound!

    Lonely Planet has some great message boards that might be helpful.

  3. At first I wondered if it was really Rome in Italy. Oh my! I have a cottage in Galway Ireland bookmarked that I visit occasionally when I need a "happy spot." What a great vacation plan you have going!

  4. I've never rented a flat, but I have been to Rome and loved it. I'm planning to do the 4 month thing there like in Eat, Pray, Love after I get these kids out of the house. I'm skipping India and Indonesia, though.

    Anyway, when are you going? I can't wait to hear all about it.

  5. We're planning to go in June, if it all works out. I wired a deposit on a flat Friday and I hope it went through and we can get a confirmed reservation.

  6. That sounds great. Are you all learning some Italian phrases?