Milan, Florence, Rome hotel recommendations?
June 19, 2005 5:11 PM   Subscribe

I'm travelling to Italy in late August and am looking for hotel recommendations for Milan, Florence, and Rome. I'm looking for not the most expensive, but not the least expensive. Maybe 3-4 stars? I'm also looking more for an "Italian" experience than a big chain hotel. I'd be happier in something that is smaller and older (if well kept) or more of a boutique-type place. I'll be travelling by train and won't have much more than 2 days per city, unfortunately, so a central location is important to me. If there are any Italians or Italy travellers who might be willing to advise me, I'd really appreciate it!
posted by gen to Travel & Transportation around Italy (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I stayed at the Hotel des Artistes in Rome, and it was fantastic; I'll definitely stay there if I have the opportunity to return. We loved it because the price was low enough that we, as students, were able to afford it - and we were pleasantly surprised by how luxurious the rooms were. Also check out the pictures of the rooftop commons area! Have a great trip!
posted by roundrock at 5:47 PM on June 19, 2005

I really recommend Rick Steves' recommendations! I"m giving you the link for his web site, but really, you want the books. They are in every library and bookstore. His recommendations for accomodations are typically economical and in great convenient locations. Also, make sure you check out his reader's recommendations on the Graffiti Wall.

Oh, and in Rome, DON'T stay in the Campo di Fiori. It's a great place during the day (flower and produce market) and in the evening (gorgeous piazzas with hidden little restaurants to die for). I'd been there on my first trip to Rome, but when you sleep there, it's NOISY!! It becomes party central a few hours after dark.
posted by abbyladybug at 6:42 PM on June 19, 2005

I've never stayed here, but in a former life used to book college students and faculty groups at the Hotel Tiziano in Rome. The college still has people stay there, more than 15 years later - it's a 4 star, centrally located, and the management is very nice.
posted by SashaPT at 6:50 PM on June 19, 2005

Best answer: We just got back from Italy and Ireland two weeks ago. In Florence, we stayed at The Orto De Medici. I think it's a three star. It was perfect for us. Included breakfast (of course), the guy on their homepage, if you let it cycle through, is actually at the front desk during the day, and he has great recommendations on things to do, how to do them, and where to eat. (Our first night we got in late and ate across the street at Mimmo - it was great.) Just about everything is walkable from there. We took a cab from the train station to the hotel, I think it was about 6euros, but we could have walked it.

You didn't say you were looking for food recommendations, but in Florence, we at, at the recommendation of a friend, at La Giostra. It was quite an experience.

If you want more information, email's in the profile.
posted by dpx.mfx at 7:32 PM on June 19, 2005

Best answer: The Hotel Savoy in Florence is lovely, centrally located, and quite expensive. The Hotel Spadari in Milan is cool, centrally located, and slightly less expensive. I recommend them both if someone else is paying...

You should eat at Pepò (Via Rosina, tel 055 28.32.59) in Florence.
posted by mookieproof at 7:41 PM on June 19, 2005

Funny that there are two Italy accomodations questions on the same day. I'll repost what I said in the other one:

[repost] In 2003 [in Rome] I stayed at a really nice little B&B "Regina 157," which is at Viale Regina Margherita, 157. Here is their Web site, though I am having trouble getting it to load right now. I seem to recall it being something like 60-70 Euros per night... It has nice high ceilings and is fairly spacious. I really liked the balcony in our room, the ancient elevator, and the giant Roman keys.


Anyway, this place is a little bit away from the historical center of Rome, so you'll need to take the bus or a cab to find the major attractions. But it is much more "Italian" than the large hotels and other places you'll find in the center. That's because you'll be in a real neighborhood, not much frequented by tourists.

I'll take the liberty of suggesting a couple of restaurants too: "Il Ditirambo" at (I think) 77 Piazza della Cancelleria, near Sant'Andrea della Valle, and its sister restaurant, right across the street.

Hope you enjoy your stay. I wish I was going myself.
posted by lackutrol at 7:54 PM on June 19, 2005

Best answer: My wife and I have just returned from Italy and stayed two nights at the Hotel Albion in Florence, at Il Prato 22r, ph (055)214171. It's handy to the train station but far enough away to be out of that touristy area. About a 10 minute walk to the Uffizi etc, just enough to work up an appetite for dinner, and walk off the after-effects afterwards. Our room was a good size, though the bathroom fairly small, as is often the case. The staff couldn't be more helpful and the hotel itself is full of paintings on every wall, on the staircases, on the landings etc. There's free fast internet access for guests too, and car parking in a private garage. Cost us €120 per night including breakfast, which was about average for a city that size we thought.

And if you're looking for a great restaurant try "Le Botteghe di Donatello" right by the Duomo on the east (quiet) side. We were starving and were sceptical of finding a good value-for-money place right by such a major tourist attraction, but it was superb. The pasta is made fresh on the premises each day - none of that pre-cooked microwaved pap you often find in the tourist zones. Lovely to sit outside and gaze at the Duomo while sipping Chianti. The only detraction (or bonus depending on your point of view) was the hollow-eyed youth who came round at about 10pm laying a crack pipe on everyone's table. *Sigh* In the shadow of the Duomo.
posted by TiredStarling at 11:22 PM on June 19, 2005

I'd recommend pretty much anything available through Cross-Pollinate, which is affiliated with the folks who run The Beehive in Rome. Most everyplace hooked into their mini-network fits your requirements: older, nicely kept, and affordable (but not cheap). This website saved my ass more than once while gallivanting around Italy last June, thanks to the relative ease of booking a good room with little to no notice. They're limited to Rome, Florence, and Venice, however.

Grab the Rick Steves Italy guide, if only for the restaurant recommendations, which are pretty damned long as you go after 8pm. There's a tiny old hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop in Florence that simply cannot be missed, though I can't remember the name of it offhand. Also in Florence--avoid staying anyplace that overlooks the Straw Market, unless street noise at all hours doesn't bother you., I wanna go back to Italy...
posted by Vervain at 12:05 AM on June 20, 2005

I second Rick Steve's books. If you don't want to buy them try the library.
posted by BoscosMom at 12:06 AM on June 20, 2005

I would recommend tripadvisor for this kind of question, there are stacks of user-contributed reviews for popular destinations like Rome. At least check it out before you book.
posted by teleskiving at 1:31 AM on June 20, 2005

It may be too late to advise (I didn't log on this weekend), but I've stayed at the Hotel Bodoni twice. Family run, it is well away from the train station, but still in the old part of town and very close to St. Croce. It is not at all fancy, very reasonable, safe and clean. My 74 y/o mother and I stayed there and she was fine with it.
posted by dbmcd at 9:48 AM on June 20, 2005

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