I’m in two minds regarding this apartment. Before booking I read many reviews, the grand majority very positive. Only later did I find out that the online booking agent where I booked (which I won’t mention here), stacked all the positive reviews on the first page. Didn’t think much of it at the time, however it has made me aware that you need to read all their reviews, even those on back pages. This apartment is located about 10 minutes walking distance from Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station. It is not hard to find. Address is Via Palazzuolo, 50 (number in red). The apartment is on the third floor, up six flights of stairs. There’s no lift. Before arriving at the apartment we contacted the agent with an estimated time of arrival. When we arrived we rang the bell and were greeted by Laura at the door (portone). She actually took one of the cases, the heaviest one up the stairs. A strong lady, saying she’s been doing it for a while and was used to it. On the landing of our floor there were plastic bags of towels and sheets that needed to go to the laundry. Laura said they were supposed to be picked up but weren’t and would be gone by the next day. They were there the next day and were replaced by clean ones the day after, still in bags. So nothing really changed. Anyhow they weren’t a real nuisance as we had plenty of maneuvering room. Entering you are in the small lounge area with a three-seater couch and the flat screen TV on the opposite side above a cabinet. The kitchen is next door, in an open area, with a dining table and four chairs. The table was unstable. The top was not joined properly to the trestle legs. We put it back as best we could with Laura. Later after she left we tried another attempt and it stayed firm, but it needs gluing for a proper fix. The table top also needs a fresh coat of paint. It had marks and stains that wouldn’t wipe clean. The facilities in the kitchen were very good. Plenty of cabinet space with plates, bowls, cups and drinking glasses, an induction cook top, microwave, small fridge, washing machine, dishwasher, sink and plenty of utensils, pots and pans. There was dishwashing liquid available and detergent for washing clothes in the washing machine enclosed under the countertop. The kitchen windows and those of the main bedroom next door face the side street, Via dei Canacci. The Queen size bed was on the old side, reasonably firm mattress. Sleep quality was OK. There were also two wardrobes. One permanently locked, The other stowed an iron and ironing board, etc. The second smaller sleeping area had a bunk bed for the kids. The bed looked unsafe. It felt rickety. So we decided that one of the kids would sleep on the couch. This little room had its own toilet. The main bathroom was in good condition, with toilet, no bidet and a shower cubicle with hand held and rain shower. The water in the shower didn’t always empty. The TV worked when Laura switched it on but when we turned it back on it did not want to give us a good picture. It didn’t matter on which channel it was on or how much you played with the remote control. It just wouldn’t work. The internet WiFi was good, kids didn’t complain. We didn’t use heating or cooling, just had the windows open. The apartment wasn’t insulated from noise. Something hard to avoid in old buildings. We could hear water coming down a drain from upstairs, also loud voices from another apartment and the usual from the street. There was also a smell early on but with the window open it got better. One positive was the detergent for washing clothes. It gave the clothes we washed a lovely smell. Places where to buy groceries weren’t far. The one recommended to us was the Pam Local in Piazza degli Ottaviani, about 200 metres down Via Palazzuolo heading southeast. There’s also a smaller CONAD about 170-180 metres away. Head in reverse direction (northwest) up Via Palazzuolo turn left into Via Maso Finiguerra and left again into Borgo Ognissanti, the supermarket is 20 metres further up on the left. Both supermarkets had the groceries we needed. The apartment price for two adults and a 12 and 14 year old was moderate. The highlight was the kitchen and the washing machine (after you work it out). Overall because of the TV, the kids bunk bed, the kitchen table, the shower drain, noise, smell, the bags of laundry outside the entrance (and if you want to add the lack of a lift to the list)… I have to mark this place down a little. Would I come back here. Probably not. Would I recommend it? It’s a toss up. If those things are fixed, which I probably think they will, it would pass the test. Personally I would try out some other places, one possibly with a lift.
The positive messages and unicorn theme brings joy to its occupants. It is located in a quiet location and about 5mins walk from the S.M.N station.
There are two bedrooms, one with queensize bed and the other with a double-decker bed. The room with the double-decker bed has no air conditioner but comes with a toilet.
Do note that the apartment is located on the third floor and there is no lift. Those with heavy luggages or mobility challenged may require assistance.
Power trip can happen if you switch on both air-conditioner and the washing machine/microwave oven.
By and large, it is a nice place to stay.