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Travel Blogs from Florence
Next stop: Rome
We visited Florence on an overcast, cold day – I don’t think it was at its prime. I would very much like to re-visit Florence. Lucky I put my hand in the boar’s mouth!
When in Florence:
Climb Giotto’s Bell Tower
Visit museums in Medici Palace
Stop in to the Basilica Santa Croce, nicknamed the Temple of Italian Glories due to the number of Italian maestros buried there.
... wood. It has been destroyed a number of times and rebuilt. The bridge first appears in a document dating to 996. There are shops built across the bridge mainly jewellery shops It was one of the only Bridges in Florence not destroyed by Hitler The Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower is the main church of Florence, Italy. Il Duomo di Firenze, as it is ordinarily called started construction in 1296 and finished in 1436. ...
... ourselves in the midst of a downpour, so do as the Italians do, go eat! After a leisurely lunch we decided to go to the Ponte Vecchio bridge and then walk the fabulous pedestrian areas and shop. Florence is great even in the rain, but for sure we will come back again in the future. Tomorrow we venture to San Gimignano and wine tasting in the Chianti area. Diane and Dan ...
... other venerated person. At one time, producing and selling religious relics was a bit of a con-man's dream--dig up Grandpa Joe and sell him off piecemeal as about a dozen different saints. There's no telling whose bones (and teeth and fingernails and other bits) are actually on display. But that's only half of it. Master craftsmen have created these golden, opulent, jewel-encrusted displays to house these relics over the centuries. We're ...
... cafe for cappuccino before the train station. I understand that all Italians drink cappuccino standing up and lukewarm every morning. We had time for pastries and cappuccino at the train station before boarding the train to Florence. It was a high speed train which got to 274 kilometers at one point. They served us Prosecco and cookies. The trip took us through Rome and on to Florence in about 3 hours. We then caught a taxi to ...
How has this b&b rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Residenza Johlea Florence
Impossible reception: be careful about arriving late for a week-end trip
We had booked a double room for a week-end trip from London at the Reisidenza Johlea and had informed the staff about our late arrival of the plane at the Pisa airport on the Friday evening. The plane was an hour delayed which meant that we got into Florence shortly before midnight. A note at the door informed us to pick up the keys from a hotel in a nearby street. We went there and buzzed as the hotel door was locked, too. A man answered through the answerphone, but refused to open the door and hand the keys to us although he confirmed that he had them. He insulted us with many swear words (of too insulting nature to literally reproduce them here, as the tripadvisor review guidelines prohibit) that I had never heard before coming out of the mouths of a hotelier. It was quite unbelievable and utterly bizarre. The man said that he was the co-owner of Residenze Johlea and that he literally "didn't care" where we would stay that night although we had reserved.
So we were left stranded in a strange city with no place to stay in the late hours of the night, although we had informed the hotel about our late arrival and had booked the rooms about a month in advance. After some driving around, luckily we found a very nice hotel to stay in for the night.
We had never experienced such unprofessional and rude behaviour before and although we received a meagre apology for the incomprehensible behaviour, we found the unacceptable behaviour quite hard to swallow.
Beware!! Call to confirm
I booked Le Residenze Johlea based on some guidebooks and reviews. I made reservations 4 months in advance and received email confirmation of my room (suite) for my wife and 3 children. Our trip is 3 weeks away and I just called to confirm my reservation and they said they have lost it!! I resent the confirmation email and still have yet to receive an adequate explanation as to why my room was not booked. Hopefully I will have better luck at another hotel.
I normally stay in 5 star hotels and this is even more enjoyable. Friendly, cheap, clean, quirky. Helpful staff who told us about Cibreo......best restaurant in Florence .
It is suh a special place that I cannot understand why it has no mimics outside Florence..or if it does please email me!
Lovely B&B in town house 10 minutes walk from Duomo
Nice sized, well kept room with bathroom (bathtub) and airconditioning in room. Self-service breakfast in room (prepackaged pastries) with kettle for making tea/coffee.
No night porter (you have your own keys). Feels more like staying in someone's nice big apartment than a traditional hotel. Very nice atmosphere. Magazines, books and guidebooks available to borrow. Also access to roof terrace at neighbouring Johlea I.
Very reasonable prices - we paid 95 Euro for a double room in September 2004.
Would definitively stay there again.
Best bargain we found in Italy
So it is a little walk out of town? Johlea was such an incredible find. We had a large room, with a very large bathroom (rare in Italy) with all new features. The staff was so helpful, it was like having a private concierge! They helped us with everything from finding restaurants off the beaten path to motorini reservations. After staying at large hotels where there is always someone watching you come and go, getting your own keys to the Johlea is refreshing. The roof terrace is picturesque and the interiors were warm and charming. I would absoluley recommend the Johlea to anyone willing to sacrifice immediate access to all of the tourist sites, for comfort, attentivness and an astounding bargain.
A Romantic Little Residence
My partner and I stayed at Johlea II for five nights in June 2004. What a wonderful place to stay. we had a large double bedroom, tastefully decorated with air conditioning. We even had a love poem/story book on our bedside cabinet. You never saw other people who were staying there so felt as though you had the place to yourself! The public rooms are large too with classical music being played throughout the day at an unobtrusive level. This added to the elegant and understated feel of the residence. The staff were a delight, and nothing was too much trouble. We also used the terraced garden of Johlea I which is partically next door to Johlea II and took with us produce and fine wine purchased at the large indoor market not far from where we stayed. I cannot recommend this place too highly. Go on, treat yourself and go and enjoy! I know we'll be back.
Incredible Bargain in Florence
We loved the Residenza Johlea! In fact, it's such a great place for such a great price, I'm afraid I may never get another chance to stay there after this review. The RJ is near the Accademia, which houses Michelangelo's David. The neighborhood is also home to the University of Florence, so it's somewhat more quiet than many other parts of the old city, unless you have a room streetside where, in the AM during the week, you hear the people lining up at the immigration office across the street. The RJ is sort of a B & B, although the breakfast is extremely minimal. But the rooms are large, the staff is very friendly, and the RJ I--they have two separate properties--has a wonderful roof-top terrace great for a take-out dinner from a rostaceria, or a bottle of wine a loaf of bread and the sunset. And the price! We paid about 125 euros for accomodations I found far better than the Regency--which is 3 times as expensive--or the Hotel Kraft. Wonderful, wonderful Johlea!
Quaint Florence B&B
JUst back from Europe and we stayed a couple of nights at Johlea II. It was an interesting place. It was about 6 rooms on the second floor of a medium sized apartment building. The hotel clerk is only there from about 10:00 am to 7:00 pm so you are on your own the other hours. We had a large room with 2 twin beds and a loft that had a slightly uncomfortable full size couch bed. The bathroom was large. The place was air conditioned but you could not control it. If you needed it adjusted you would have to speak to the clerk betwen the hours stated above. The ceilings were very high and it was quite old but neat and clean. The elevator was definately a rare treat. It only held one person-maybe two if you were smaller. It was quite rickety and I was glad I only had to go up one floor in it. The street was fairly quiet and felt safe but the area was moderately safe looking. Not really close to much--so you had to walk a bit to restaurants and stores, etc. Their breakfast was just toast, jam, pkgd. pastry and coffee. that was left on a tray for you after the maid came - for your use the next morning. It was clean and OK priced. I not stayed in another hotel in Florence so I can't compare.
The best kept secret in Florence. The hotel is small and quiet; 6 blocks north of the Historic Center (you see locals in the neighborhood, not tourists!); bus stop 3 blocks away; nice restaurants close by (highly recommend Da Mimo). Check-in: quick, efficient and friendly (note: staff is on-site only from 8am-8pm; late check-in can be arranged). Rooms: large for Florence, clean, nicely decorated (unusual for Italy). Bathroom: small (par for Italy); clean, HOT HOT water; great water pressure. Breakfast: they do not serve breakfast, but your room has a breakfast tray of hard rolls, hot water pot, tea pot, teas, instant coffee, etc [not to worry, there are several local bars that serve coffee, pastries and light breakfast sandwiches (typical for Italy) within 1-2 blocks -- we found a great place the first morning; went back 4 more days; by day 3 they were treating us like the regular locals!] Staff: friendly and very helpful (made dinner reservations; stayed on the phone for nearly 2 hours until they got through to book reservations to see Michelangelo's "David" while we were out sightseeing, etc). Payment: must be in CASH; however - for Florence - the price you pay is dirt cheap for the quality of room and service you get. Other amenities: a cute little roof top garden (grab a beer or glass of wine and enjoy it up here); community refrigerator stocked with inexpensive bottled water (1 litre for 1 Euro - try to get that in any store) and room for anything you want to put in the refrigerator. The only place I will stay in future visits to Florence.
Stylish, elegant and very comfortable
I was lucky enough this summer to have two weeks to learn Italian. I decided on Florence so that I could do my class in the mornings, and then take advantage of the afternoons for the copious sightseeing.As a special supplement on Florence in the Conde Nast Traveller recommended four hotels owned by the same pair of ladies, I felt I had to find out more. First stop the website www.johanna.it where I could see pictures and compare locations and prices. The original Johanna was closer to my language school and cheaper, but I chose to stay at Johlea I as it had air conditioning in the rooms.A few months later I got there and I had an absolutely lovely time. Walking off the hot July streets of Florence into the air-conditioned hall feels heavenly. Its nice to have the communal room upstairs stocked with books and magazines so you are not stuck in your room and the terrace is ideal for an evening glass of wine, whilst looking over the rooftops of Florence.I had a single room which was fairly small, but that's probably because it had a double bed - nice surprise for me! I caught a glimpse into one of the double rooms and it looked sizeable. This hotel only has six rooms, so book early.
Although the hotel was fully booked during the time I stayed there, I hardly ever saw the other people. The staff are really nice and make your stay even more enjoyable.I found that the feeling of staying at Johlea I was one similar to a boutique hotel, without the ridiculously high price tag. It probably saves some money by not having such hotel 'essentials' like 24 hour reception, bellboys or restaurants.
Personally, I would much rather stay in nice surroundings than have those.