It is possible to find an apartment in the center of Rome for less than 125 euro per night which is a good deal compared to hotels. A short-term rental in Italy is also a great option if you want to save money on eating out as you’ll have your own kitchen and like the idea of having a living space to relax in.
Although staying in an apartment doesn’t always go perfectly. Every apartment is different, so conveniences and comforts vary. Photographs can be misleading. So, here are some tips that will help you avoid any problems related to short-term rentals.
- Ask what you are getting in advance. Apartments in Italy aren’t like apartments elsewhere. For the most part, they tend to be older. Bathrooms, and especially showers, are smaller. Because the buildings are old, there often isn’t an elevator, only stairs. And many Italians don’t like air-conditioning, so it’s not an amenity every apartment has. Always check the list of amenities for the apartment to see what’s offered. As for breakfast, most apartments don’t have it—at least not in the sense of a breakfast cooked for you in the morning. The most they might have is some breakfast items like fruit, milk and eggs, in the refrigerator. If they don’t, there’s usually a nearby market where you can pick some food up. But you can always ask before you arrive (or book) the flat.
- Remember that verified photos aren’t always better. Some of the websites where you can find short-term rentals have ‘verified’ photos of certain apartments. That means that a photographer sent by the company has visited the apartment and photographed it. The benefit, of course, is that you can be sure the photographs are real. But keep in mind that they’re also taken by a professional photographer—and can make the apartment look more attractive, bigger, or brighter than snapshots taken by the owner.
- You can ask for just a night’s stay and for a discount. The idea that you can’t rent an apartment in Italy unless you’re staying for at least a week is a complete misconception. A few places, particularly countryside villas, do have that rule. But in cities, it’s rare. Some apartments might have 3-night minimum stays, but many others let you stay for as little as one night. Even if you do see a property with a minimum stay that wouldn’t work for you, ask anyway. Particularly if it is low season, the owner may well decide to be flexible. And if you are booking for more than three days, ask the owner if there’s any discount when you first contact them. Sometimes, it’s built into the system—they might offer a 10% discount on a week or more, for example—but sometimes it’s not. And asking is a good way to see if you can get the price down.
- Be aware that you are not staying in the hotel. It is important to realize that while renting an apartment you won’t have toiletries provided and there will be no concierge. You are usually expected to handle everything yourself.