When I started to look for places to stay in Florence, I was not surprised that it was quite expensive. I turned to Airbnb to see if I could find an apartment for a reasonable price.
After some searching, I was extremely excited to find an apartment in Florence which fit all of our needs and had very high ratings. Shortly after I requested to book the apartment, I was approved. The responsive host was in touch with me to answer any questions I had and coordinate the key exchange.
The agency that we ended up booking our apartment from had several apartments all over the Florence area. You could tell that they were in the business of renting out apartments, not amateurs that sometimes rent out apartments on Airbnb. He seemed to know exactly what we were going to ask and gave us a rundown of everything that we needed to know about both the apartment and the city.
One thing we learned about Italy is that there is a lodging tax which is not included in the room rate. This tax was only payable in cash and was 2.50E or $2.80 per person per day. We had to leave this money with our keys when we left so the cleaning staff could drop off the cash at the government office.
The apartment was in an older building with a lot of character and very high ceilings. There was quite a bit of space in the apartment. In addition to the bedroom, kitchen and bathroom, there was also a separate wing which had 2 twin beds. We did not end up using this part of the apartment, but it was absolutely perfect for a family or group of friends.
Our bed was very comfortable and the pillows were very nice. We appreciated a nice place to sleep as we had both gotten very little sleep the night before as our flight into Milan did not land until 4am.
Our shower had really good water pressure and had plenty of hot water. The only annoyance was that when we were done showering, there was a little standing water since it could not drain as as as it needed to.
I was pretty excited when I saw that we had a heated towel rack, a luxury that we do not often have. In the end, it was used more as a drying rack for our laundry and less for heating our towels.
When we washed our clothes in Cairo, we did only the necessities. Since we had our own washer, we ended up washing everything that we could. The washing machine was one of the smallest washers that I have seen in my life – so small in fact, that we ended up having to do 3 loads to wash everything.
As we have come to expect with foreign washing machines, it took about 2 hours to wash a load. The washer was equipped with a delayed start option which was perfect for us. We always set the washer to run while we were sleeping or sightseeing.
I would have loved to have access to a dryer, but have come to expect that it is not common outside of the US. We had a large drying rack and utilized the heated towel rack to dry things more quickly.
Eating out in Florence was pretty expensive so we were happy to have our own kitchen. When I thought of Italy, I envisioned shopping at a great green market where I could purchase really fresh items for a fair price. This was not the case as there were only small grocery stores which didn’t have the best selection of food.
We made the best of what we had and were able to cook some pretty decent meals in the kitchen. I think the biggest annoyance was that there were only steak knives, not real kitchen knives. This made cutting vegetables quite a bit more difficult than it needed to be.
After 5 months of pretty consistently slow internet, I was absolutely blown away by how fast our fiber internet was. We set our Google Drive to load all of our photos from Egypt which had not been uploaded as well as all of the videos we had taken since South Africa. In just a few hours, we had everything fully backed up into our cloud, something that makes me extremely happy.
The location of the apartment was great. We were just off a relatively main street which was centrally located near all of the sights that we planned to see.
We took a taxi when we arrived in Florence as it was night and we needed to get to the place quickly. After that first taxi, we walked everywhere that we needed to go. This was not only very convenient for us, it was a great money saver as well.
I would highly recommend anyone staying in Florence to book the apartment that we rented. It was very reasonably priced and centrally located. The fact that we had our own kitchen, washing machine and fast wifi were additional perks that we appreciated greatly.