Saturday, April 9, 2016

Self-catering Apartments - Are They Right For You? Part 2: Florence Aurora Apartment

  Yes, there are a myriad of choices when it comes to finding lodging in Italy, specifically in Tuscany. Villas, hostels, campgrounds, hotels, apartments and, even convents. Whatever your preference, do your homework by reading reviews, visiting websites, studying photos, mapping out the location, contacting owners with your questions and  talking to friends who have already visited. Having done all that, you can be pretty confident with your choice for places to stay.

   When we first began looking for an apartment to rent in Florence back in 2011, we were so impressed with the Tripadvisor reviews for the Aurora Apartment (see photos and reviews) and its owners that we immediately requested a reservation. Much to our disappointment, the apartment was already booked for several of the days of our stay, but Gabriele, the owner mentioned that he had a three bedroom apartment, Casa Iris (please see my previous post), that was undergoing a complete remodel and would be ready in time for our stay. We did rent that apartment in 2011 and in 2014 when we returned with friends.

   Contacting Gabriele while making plans for our last-minute adventure to Tuscany in September 2015, we asked if Aurora would be available? Fortunately, we were able to reserve the apartment this time for our seven day stay in Florence, after spending three days in Milan and 3 days in Bologna on the way. Aurora is on the same street as Casa Iris but closer to Piazza della Liberta.
Via Madonna Della Tosse looking toward Piazza della Liberta.

Via Madonna Della Tosse looking toward the parking garage entrance.

   So, fast-forward to November 14, 2015 when we got our first in-person look at Aurora. Just perfect! The building is very safe and secure.  While smaller than Casa Iris, it is fully equipped with stove, refrigerator, clothes washer, pots & pans, dishes, microwave, dishwasher, toaster, coffee maker, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, TV/DVD player, heat and air conditioning (that you control) and everything else you might need. The bedroom is spacious (much like Casa Iris) and the sofa converts into a double bed.The quiet apartment is also decorated perfectly by Stefania with antique pieces including a huge armoire that is hundreds of years old! The Internet and WiFi work very well. You can't go wrong here, but be aware, there are two flights of stairs. There is even a small, nice and very quiet caffe/bar on the street level and, believe it or not, there is a German style pub right down the street.
Kitchen at the Aurora Apartment.

   We stayed with what we knew by renting this apartment. Gabriele and Stefania, once again, helped make our third visit to the wonderful city of Florence a memorable one. By returning to their wonderful apartments, Florence is beginning to feel like a second home to us. With the help of our hosts, we have learned which buses to take, where to get groceries and wine and where there are some great restaurants nearby. You can reserve one of their apartments with confidence, especially, if it will be your first trip to Italy.
Debbie and me enjoying Florence in October 2014.

  Next up, Part 3: a delightful apartment we rented in Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre in 2014.


  1. Thanks Barry. I might look into those apartments for next time.

  2. Lori, I don't think you'll be disappointed if you do. We just love the feeling of going home after a long day of seeing the sights.

  3. you guys are looking good! wish we could see you again in person. I can see that you really enjoy Italy and I enjoy your articles. larry sorry, don't know what a profile is!


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