Saturday, February 23, 2008

Italy Hotels

October 9-13, 2007 Rome

Hotel Giardino

Via XXIV Maggio, 51 - 00187 Roma
Tel.: +39.06.6794584 - Fax: +39.06.6795155
Katie, the owner of Hotel Giardino, was so very helpful while I stayed at the hotel (4 nights). The hotel is small, probably about 10 rooms. There is no elevator, so you must go up 2 flights of stairs. No big deal for me, as I needed the exercise. My room, #32, was at the end of the hall down from the reception desk. It faced an inner courtyard (not much to see) and was very quiet at night. My room had a king bed (well, twins placed together), small table, chair, armoire and tv on the wall, and tiny bathroom but manageable (with hair dryer). The bed was very comfortable! The room had a/c, which I used a couple of nights.

Breakfast (orange juice, tea, coffee, breads, cereal, cheese, jam, etc) is served in a
small room and there are also three tables (two chairs each) on a very small terrace, which is nice in good weather.

The location of the hotel is very good: Near the Piazza Venezia, the Quiranale and Trajan's market. On the main corner is a bus stop. The trevi fountain is about an 8-10 minute walk and the colosseum/forum is about a 15-minute walk south.

Katie was kind to make my dinner reservations (a must in Rome for any popular place) during my stay, as well as reservations for the Vatican museum and Sistine Chapel tour.

I had booked the hotel last year and since I paid in cash, she honored the 2006 prices (125 euros per night); however, I believe her average price is about 145 euros - still very good for the room quality, service, and location. Breakfast is included with the price.

I would gladly stay at Hotel Giardino on my next trip to Rome!

Italy May 11-25th, 2006


Hotel La Residenza
via Tornabouni, 8
I spent four nights in Florence. I was quoted 100 euros/night for cash payment. I had room 25, which was on the top floor facing the small portion of the terrace. The room was small but perfect for me. The room had a tv, single bed, small table, mini-bar; bathroom with tiny shower (not suited for a large person); hair dryer. The closet has a safe inside so that was nice to have. Because my window was right at the terrace, I couldn't keep my windows open at night. However, keeping the window closed kept some of the noise out.

Service was great. The staff was very friendly and helpful with my dinner reservations. It's located near the Arno river, and about a 15 minute walk to the train and bus stations. Breakfast is included in the price of the room, with typical foods that's served in most small hotels. I would definitely stay here again. Ask for Ms. Lara, who runs this hotel.


Hotel Paradise
Vicolo Cattani 7
40126 Bologna
Tel 39 051 231792
Fax 39 051 234591
Room Rate Quoted 76 Euros for a double room with private bathroom and breakfast.
I stayed in
room 306, which was an interior room. It was very quiet at night, which I liked after staying in Florence. My room had a large bed, tv, desk and two outlets, room safe, large mirror in the bedroom and bathroom with plenty of bright lights; hair dryer. The shower was small but larger than the one in Florence and with an accordian door. The bathroom also had a small window. A/C too! I would definitely stay here again. As in Florence, the service and people were very friendly. Good location, only a 10 minute walk to the main piazza in town. Good restaurants nearby (Maristoca and Il Portico).


Pensione La Calcina

Dorsoduro 780 - 30123 Venezia - Italy
Tel: 041.520.64.66 Fax: 041.522.70.45
I stayed at Pensione La Calcina for 5 nights (May 20th - 25th) and will state right away I will definitely return again! After being in Venice 4 times, this is the best place for me.

I got a quote of 106 Euros per night for a double room with private bathroom, a view of the Guidecca Canal, and buffet breakfast (with cash payment).

I stayed in
room 31, which faces the side canal; however, I could also see the Guidecca canal. My room was small with a single bed, closet, desk with lamp, chair, tv; mini bar; A/C; decent sized bathroom with shower and window in the shower; and a horrible vacuum type hair dryer. There's also a safe in the closet. This room is located on the third floor. No elevator but there is always someone around to lug the luggage up those flights of stairs. On the main level next to the reception desk is a telephone booth to make calls, as well as a computer for free Internet access. There is also a nice sitting area and a breakfast room.

Breakfast, which was terrific, is served either inside, outside on the terrace, or on the roof terrace (for additional 4.50 euros). I enjoyed the terrace outside, as it hung over the water. Cruise ships passed by on a daily basis. Breakfast was always filling with choices of breads, cereals, pastries, eggs, ham, cheese, coffee, tea, and juice. Service from all waiters was fabulous. They were busy all the time but always with a smile. They were very professional in their uniform. It made me feel like I was at a 5-star hotel.

I had dinner one night at the hotel, choosing their 32 Euro (rather than 22 Euro) menu for hotel guests. It was probably one of my best meals in Italy! Service was impeccable. If you are not staying at this hotel, I still recommend dining here.

The location of the hotel is great, as it's away from the touristy and always crowded San Marco (especially when more than two cruise ships are in port) area. It’s only a 15-minute walk to Piazza San Marco...if you don't stop to window shop along the way. The location is just down from the Zattare vaporetto stop, so there is no bridge to go over to get to the hotel. I highly recommend this place and will keep La Calcina as my choice for future trips to Venice.

Italy May 12 - 27, 2004

Albergo Diana

Via del Molinetto, 11
Lucca, Italy 55100
tele: 0583/492202
Quoted 67 Euros/night (Total came to $162.92), without breakfast, in the main building
POC: Mr. Giovanni Bellucci
We stayed in room 20 in the main building of the hotel, located on the first floor. It was a nice room and very basic. The
room had a king bed, desk, tv, armoire; large bathroom with toilet, bidet, and shower (no curtain - but there was a partial wall which kept most of the water in one spot).

The location of the hotel is excellent just inside the town walls and close to the main sights (well, Lucca is pretty small anyway). Limited parking is available for 5 Euros/day. There is also street parking outside the town walls, but that means about a 20 minute walk to the hotel. I would definitely stay at this small hotel again. The personnel were pretty friendly and helpful with recommendations.

Politian Apartments
via del Poliziano, 32
Montepulciano, Italy
tele: +39 0578 758822
POC: Mr. Giacomo Stuart
Quoted 400 Euros/week (Total of $488 for the week)
Rentals: Saturday to Saturday
We stayed in Apartment #1, located on the third floor of the building. We enjoyed the beautiful views from the living room and bedroom. It's a very nice apartment! We kept the windows open to enjoy the cool breeze that came through. There was terracotta style flooring, a living room with two couches (one fold-out), a fire place, small dining table, books to read, and a CD player with a few CDs. The bedroom was quite large with a king bed, dresser, armoire, nightstand. The kitchen had a small table, 2 chairs, refrigerator, stove, toaster, cooking utensils, pots, pans, etc. The bathroom was tiled and a was a good size room with tub (no curtain), toilet, bidet, sink, and even a small washing machine. Outside the window was a clothes line. In the small cabinet were cleaning agents, as well as a hair dryer (though mine worked much better). The apartment is in an exellent location, only a few minutes walk to the main piazza and restaurants. Parking is available along side the building.

Piccolo Oliveta
Via E.S. Piccolomini, 35
53110 Siena, Italy
Phone: 0577-283930, Fax: 0577-270009
POC: Antonio and Alexandra
This was our second stay at Piccolo Hotel Oliveta. Antonio and Alexandra were wonderful hosts during our first visit, so we booked here again. We stayed again in room G, which was recently renovated. The room is large with twin beds, 2 chairs and a small round table at the opposite end, dresser, t.v.; the bathroom was near the entrance, while the shower stall was at the opposite end of the room. Our window had a partial view of the valley and the reception building. In the reception building, there is a computer/library room, a breakfast room, and a lounge/bar. We were quite comfortable at Oliveta. I can't say enough about Antonio and Alexandra! They were just wonderful throughout our stay.

Hotel Guelfa
via Guelfa, 28
Florence, Italy
tele: 055.215882
Quoted 85 Euros/night with continental breakfast (Total of $312 for three nights)
We stayed in room 24, which was very plain. The room had a king and a twin bed, small table with tv, and armoire. The carpeting needs to be replaced, as well as the "lock" on the bathroom door. The bathroom was very large with tub and curtain, toilet, bidet, and sink. Our room was very quiet as it faced a courtyard. I do not recommend the place based on a few things: Reenie complained about the tub because there was no stopper for her to take a bath; the cat that hangs around proceeded to use the tile floor of the lobby bathroom as its toilet; and the place needs to be updated, such as the carpeting. This hotel was recommended in Sandra Gustafson's Great Sleeps in Italy Book, so it was a big disappointment.

ITALY May 2003

Hotel Caneva

Castello 5515
Church Fava 30122 Venice
Phone: 522 8118
Fax: 5208676
Directions: Rialto stop, walk up Larga Mazzini, 2nd left on Aprile; 1st right C. Stagneri; over the bridge; walk to the right of the church; hotel just at the next corner.

Room #36; twin beds, head-to-head with a table and lamp in between and the sink in one corner next to the window. The floor was crooked, so we had to make sure the closet door was shut tight so it wouldn't swing open. There was a step up to the bathroom, which had an enclosed glass shower stall along with tile on the walls and floor. There was also a small t.v. in the corner. It wasn't the prettiest room I've been in, but for 90 Euros (100 Euros if you use a credit card), the place was fine for us.

ITALY November 2001

Locanda Leon Bianco ***
Cannaregio 5629
30131 Venice
Phone: 39-041-523-3572
Fax: 39-041-241-6392
Cancellation policy: 48 hours
210,000 Lire per night with taxes, no breakfast
230,000 Lire per night with taxes and breakfast served in the room
Credit cards not accepted

DIRECTIONS: Catch the public boat no.1 and get off at the Ca' d'Oro stop. From the landing stage go to the right on Strada Nuova until the first bridge, cross it and turn right again.

Our room, #5, was very large with
twin beds put together, sitting area with a small round table and 2 chairs in the center, a hugh glass chandelier above the table, a decent size bathroom with toilet, bidet, sink, tiny shower with doors; hair dryer; ample storage space, and an armoire. The floor was marble, probably the original marble when the building was built. This hotel was in a great location, ugly entrance, (to the right the stairs) just a 5 minute walk from the Ca d' Oro stop and a little further to the Rialto bridge. Next to the hotel is an internet cafe, which charges 5.000L for 15 minutes.

Hotel Sole
Corso G. Mazzini, 35
06081 Assisi, Italy
Email: or
Fax: 039-075813706
Cancellation policy: 2 days
Paid with Visa

Room #62. Very basic room, large, clean, comfortable, for 4 people. Great
views from our window down to the valley and rooftops of the buildings below us. 1 King bed, 2 twins (one twin bed is located next to the entrance of the room, large bathroom with tub (no curtain); tv. Terrace with a bench and great views.

Piccolo Hotel Oliveta
Via E.S. Piccolomini, 35
53110 Siena
Phone: 0577-283930
Fax: 0577-270009
POC: Antonio Ginanneschi (owner), Alexandra, and Serena
1 week cancellation policy
200.000L/night with buffet breakfast, parking, and all taxes.
Paid with Visa
This was our favorite hotel! Our hosts,
Alexandra and Antonio, were wonderful. They were very attentive, informative, and helpful to answer any questions we had. They provided suggestions for our stay and visit around the area. The hotel was once a farmhouse, then a student house. Our room "G" was quite large with twin beds, 2 chairs and a round table, dresser, t.v.; the bathroom was near the entrance, while the shower stall was at the opposite end of the room. This room was once 2 separate rooms. Our window had a partial view of the valley and the reception building. In the reception building, there is a computer/library room, the breakfast room, and a lounge/bar. Quite cozy and comfortable. We felt so much at home; were offered complementary wine and cheese one night, and were given small bottles of first pressed olive oil.

s.a.s. di Garbuzzi Alberto & C.
Via de Pinedo 1
21019 Somma Lombardo
Località Case Nuove, Malpensa
Phone: 0331-230821
Fax 0331.230156
160.000L/night with breakfast
Room #4 was nice with twin beds, large
bathrooom and heated towel racks. The hotel's restaurant served o.k. food, but not the best. Dinner was 64.000L.



Vicolo dei Chiodaroli, 9
00186 Roma
Phone: 011-39-06-687-5929
Fax: 011-39-06-8805-495.
We paid L160,000 per night. This hotel is in a great location as it is around the corner from the Campo di Fiori and within walking distance of the Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Trastevere, and other sights. The Largo Argentina bus stop is very close. Take the #64 from the Termini train station. The room was a nice size, comfortable bed, clean, and with our own private bathroom and t.v.

Accademia - Dorsoduro 878/a
30123 Venezia
Tele/fax: 041/520-4172
Ask for Luciano or Stefano, both speak English; L150,000 per night with bathroom and breakfast in the room) next to the Accademia bridge. Great location. The room was very small yet clean. The bathroom was tiny and had a toilet, sink, and shower with a door. We had a room with a view of the Grand canal, though I wish there were balconies from the rooms.

Via Speronari 4, 2023, Milano.
Phone: 02-86-46-1125.
L130,000 with bathroom and t.v. ($75 per night). MC, V.
This hotel is your basic, simple, clean hotel in a good location. The only gripe Tony and I had was the bathroom. Very small! Because this hotel is in a good location, I'd probably stay here, but would ask to see the room first. The hotel is on a small pedestrian street, which has a wine shop and a bakery. The Duomo is just around the corner as well as the underground.

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