Practical Travel Matters: Florence & Rome Hotels
My Rome hotel experience consists of various budget hotels near Stazione Centrale in order to make an early-morning flight, or the airport Hilton for convenience and least charm for even earlier flights to U.S.A.
Hotel Europa Rome: A decent budget hotel within a couple blocks of the station. Exit to the right side of the station as you walk away from the train platforms, and cross the street, walk few blocks to: Via Varese, 26 / tel. (0039)064462096.
For comfort and excellent location in center of all the historical action, I always prefer to rent a private apartment in Rome’s Pantheon or Piazza Navona districts for longer stays with family and friends to tour the city for a few days. From Piazza Novona and Pantheon you can easily walk anywhere, and traffic is restricted in this historic area.
For non-budget minded travelers, consider any one of the high-end hotels in these two areas, such as the ‘Albergo del Senato' with a drop-dead view (by-request) of the Pantheon, or even the more luxurious ‘Hotel Raphael’ where you may have seen Julia Roberts in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’.
A good location for apartment hunting would be nearby on the antique-shop-lined via dei Coronari which is within easy walking distance of the Vatican.
Florence Preferred Hotel:
I often stay at Hotel L’Orologio if stazione Santa Maria Novella is in play in my travel itinerary.
Search any hotel in Santa Maria Novella or around Via Tornabuoni for current prices and wide selection in this prime and central area, located comfortably away from the crush of crowds near the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio.
This is a newer, and very comfortable, contemporary four-star hotel well-located right on the Santa Maria Novella Piazza and a short walk from the station. Auto rentals are also located just a short walk away. Reference my name with the front desk manager (Laura or Claudio) so they are aware they have a special guest on-hand. There is a great small wine shop in the small alleyway if you exit to the right, walking along the outside walls of the hotel. *Their in-season rates have risen dramatically to above €350+ pn but there are still mid-week deals to find on occasion if their calendar isn't booked full, in the €150-€250 range.