An apartment in Florence, Italy

I am 68 years old and about to follow a dream of studying painting in Florence, Italy for a month. Because I am a much older student I do not want to stay in student housing. How can I go about finding an affording apartment within walking distance to the Leonardo de Medici Art Institute? How do I find a Real Estate agency I can trust to find one for me? Do I have to pay the Real Estate agency? Thank you for any help you can give me.

Posted by Bob
Jericho, NY
38 posts

My family and I rented an apartment in FLorence through a company called HomeAway. The experience we had was glitch-free and the apartment was wonderful. The only downside is that it was on the third floor and the steps were a little narrow and steep but we loved it. Best of all, it was in a non-touristy residential area, the Oltroarno (other side of the river)without hordes of tourists. Florence is pretty small and can be walked fairly easily. Enjoy.

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5737 posts

No need to go through an agency. Try vrbo.com and airbnb.com for starters.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
961 posts

Yes, definitely check VRBO and others that rent vacation apartments (there are several that people here have used that are reliable). I rented my apartment in Paris for a month thru VRBO. Often their monthly rate is much lower than 4 times the weekly rate so if a monthly rate isn't showing contact the owners and inquire.

Posted by Susanna
Charlotte, USA
38 posts

Kathy, HOW FABULOUS for you!!! I used airbnb last September and had great luck. I sent you the link in a private message. I can't say enough about my hosts, great location, quiet, in a neighborhood. Susanna

Posted by shirley
Toronto, Canada
296 posts

Homeaway is just a listing site, so you still need to be careful and check references from prior renters, similarly to VRBO. Another possible website to find rentals is www.homeholidays.co.uk - go to the top right to find English if it comes up in another language. These apartments are also listings by owners so you need to check references. Two good agencies which I recommend are www.windowsonitaly.com and www.halldis.com. They are owned by branch of the Ferragamo shoe family. Also www.florenceandtuscany.it - the owner of this agency is located in Florence and acts as an agent for many owners. She can also comment on suitability of the units you are interested in. The advantage of working with an agency is that you will have a lot of local support if there is a problem. They will also answer questions in advance and tell you about suitability for your requirements. These agencies are related and have apartments at different price points. The agencies are pretty clear about all the charges and fees. You should be aware of the fact that many apartments are listed on multiple sites - so again, just make sure you check out the unit with some past renters. Most of the people I've dealt with will do their best to supply you with email addresses of people you can write to about their rental experience. Good luck! I'm sure you will love your lessons and being in Florence. THe monthly rate should be less than 3 times the weekly rate - sometimes I've been offered a month for the stated price of 2 weeks.