If you’re visiting a very beautiful city like Verona, Italy for a short time, it matters a lot where you’re going stay.
It would be best, as much as possible, to stay in or near the center, so you don’t spend too much time going from one place to another.
Whenever I use Couchsurfing, I oftentimes don’t have a choice on the location; after all, the spirit of CS is to get to know the locals’ culture. Convenience is not the priority.
When I went to Verona for a day as part of my solo backpacking trip in Europe, I opted not to use Couchsurfing. Just one day will not give me a chance to interact much with my host. I was left then with three choices: hotel? hostel? Or an apartment in the heart of the city?
The answer was quite obvious! I chose the apartment which was very centrally located in Verona. Booked via Roomorama, I found it perfect for my needs: it was just a 5-minute walk from the Arena and Juliet’s House (as well as other tourist attractions in the city), a convenience I would surely have missed out on if I had Couchsurfed or booked a hostel.
The concept of Roomorama is very simple. They are an online marketplace for short-term and vacation rentals which includes apartment units, houses, and even villas.
You can even find rooms for rent there, which means it would be a lot cheaper than staying a hotel without the disadvantages of hostel stays. It’s like Couchsurfing, but there is payment involved, and a lot more security.
Booking was very simple. I signed up at the site and then looked for units available in Verona, Italy. I found quite a few, but I finally chose one that stated it was in the center of the city.
Staying only one day in Verona made me favor convenience more over other considerations, and all I can say is that I was so happy I had chosen the unit I did.
I clicked on the “Inquire Now” button, and within a day, I was sent an email saying the property was available. I was to contact Paolo, a local guy who owns the unit. Once I confirmed my reservation, it was just a matter of showing up at the apartment!
I had a bit of trouble finding the unit, not because of its location, but because of language differences with the host. It would have been loads easier if I spoke Italian or if I was given detailed instructions to the place beforehand.
It turned out to be surprisingly easy to find, just a few minutes walk from the bus stop. When Paolo did arrive on his bicycle, he took me up to the top floor, and I was given a glimpse of how local Italians lived in the city.
The apartment was very nice, and best part is that I had the whole place to myself! The bathroom was small but clean and functional, the bedroom was good for two, and there was food and coffee for breakfast.
As a travel blogger, having a good internet connection was very important to me, and I was glad that I had that as well.
The best thing I loved about my unit though was its proximity to historic churches (though I’m by no means religious). At the bus stop is the San Fermo Maggiore church, which is a huge and imposing 8th century structure that looks really impressive outside. If I had had more time in Verona, I would have gone inside there.
My favorite, though, is the one that’s almost across the apartment, the Chiesa dei Padri Filippini, or the Church of the Philippines (or Church of the Filipinos). Imagine seeing a church for my country in beautiful Verona? Built in 1759, it was subsidized by the contributions of Filipino fathers. I didn’t know our priests were very rich then!
Roomorama is really an idea whose time has come. I hope that the next time I travel abroad, I’ll be able to use it again.
For other hotels in Verona, check out the link.
Disclaimer: Although Roomorama sponsored my stay in this unit, all opinions are my own.