Exceptionally pleasant stay in the Charming Room
Our three-night stay in the Charming Room seems like some kind of beautiful dream now that a couple of weeks have gone by. Rarely does one get to experience this kind of hospitality, particularly in such a well-touristed and drop-dead gorgeous town, which served as a respite for us between stays in Florence and then Rome. Gianni's wife Carla welcomed us when we arrived mid-morning from the train station. She explained everything to us in great detail and offered recommendations for dining out. Although she had explained to us, we forgot how to operate the overhead fan—something most will want to use in the warmer months given that there is no A/C—but eventually recalled that there was a handheld remote to control the fan. Because we ate all of our meals out, we only used the kitchen to make coffee (long espressos) with the automatic espresso maker and to keep beverages in the ample small refrigerator. The bath was simple but sizeable enough for an accommodation of this size (think NYC apartments of a certain generation--the kitchen and bath are about the same size). The bath has an anteroom with built-in shelving, which is a nice touch given that the sink itself does not have a lot of room to place things. A sizeable number of three panel light switches, usually with only one operable switch, are scattered haphazardly throughout—I don't believe we ever were able to remember which switch turned on which light. In fact, it took me forever to find the switch for the overhead lamp above the table—it turned out to be nestled in a little nook in the wall by the table just above floor level. We found this all amusing. The bed was adequate, though the pillows were a bit hard and flat. They (and the bed) were fine by me, but my wife thought they could be improved. I only mention this because my wife mentioned it once after the first night, not because it is any real shortcoming in the room. The window looking out is right next to the gelateria, so during the day, and in addition to waves of tourists passing in front of the window, you'll see people, well, eating their gelato. After about 6 pm, though, it gets quiet in terms of human traffic. The entrance to the building is not the entrance to the room. It opens up into a small foyer with two doors, one for the room the left, and another one right in front as you enter. That other door is used by employees of the Il Gambero Rosso, the restaurant with multi-colored umbrellas a few doors down, which uses the space for storage. During the day, you may well either run into one of the employees or hear them. The wifi was not high-speed of course, but it was adequate and consistent with the speeds one usually gets in good hotels (i.e., ~8Mbps download). I really cannot say enough about the room or the graciousness (and communicativeness) of our hosts, Gianni and Carla. I don't see how anyone would not treasure staying here. All in all, the room is an unmitigated delight..