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Travel Blogs from Florence
... order to enter (didn't bring a sweater today because it is HOT and we didn't plan to come here). There are stained glass windows on both sides of the church and the dome's interior is covered in paintings. They are quite beautiful. Kyle lit a candle for a catholic friend and her family back home who we were thinking of. There is a crypt below the cathedral that you can pay to enter, but we decided against it.
We were a little ...
Oh the joy of having no class on friday. There is none like it.
Today, Meredith and I took full advantage of our freedom, by planning as little as possible and leaving our fate entirely up to whim. Strolling through the city, down an unexplored street is an unparalleled joy. No schedule. No plan. No stress. It was great! We walked past the irish pub called the Lion's Fountain that has been recommended, but is also frequented by Americans. We found a store called ...
... s wishing for.Our final stop on this seven hour tour is Piazzale Michaelangelo. The view of Florence from this square is panoramic ...
... all very interesting, and we ended up stumbling upon another piece of embroidery so we took a while to leave there.
When we finally did leave, we went off for dinner, margherita pizza, and then walked on back to the hotel.
Becky's Word of the Day: Big
From Sam: Today we went to a breakfast at the hotel where I had some bread rolls with butter. When breakfast was finished we headed for a laundry. The laundry was ...
... penne pasta I was ready for bed. Our hostel was very cute and nice to come "home" to. Squeaky doors and wooden floors with hodge podge furniture and really thick comfy quilts all made it feel very homey. I was still recovering from the illness I developed in London so after a does of Nyquil I was out for the count.
Day 5: Tuesday
On our second day in Florence we slept a little bit later than normal before heading out into the cold to find breakfast. About a ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Albion Florence
A very special Florentine hotel
As a Florentine who has lived outside Italy for the last 37 years without a place of his own to go back to during his frequent visits to his native city, discovering the Hotel Albion ten years ago cured me of that feeling of homelessness that hit me every time my work commitments took me to Florence. The owners and the staff of this hotel have provided me with a true family atmosphere: whatever needs I have, they are invariably met with a sincere wish to make my staying as pleasurable as possible. Always travelling on my own, I particularly appreciate the friendly and humorous chats in the evenings in the foyer, while watching football on tv or relaxing surrounded by the remarkable collection of modern paintings that crowd the walls of the hotel. At the Albion I have always felt discretely cosseted like a friend of the family who needs looking after. The pampering starts in the morning as breakfast is not the meagre experience one often encounters in Italian hotels: at the Albion there has always been enough food in the mornings to give me more than sufficient fuel for a long day's work without breaks. While I am attending my business from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., the staff would buy me tickets for trips and theatres, book a table at a restaurant for dinner, take parcels of any size to the local post office and still welcome me with a friendly smile on my return. No wonder I keep going back.
After a tour through different cities in Europe, no hotel left a mark on me like the Albion.
Don't be fooled by the outer appearance of the hotel; the inside is absolutely beautiful. They have a large collection of artwork from Florentine artists that adds a nice touch to the walls. Having been in many of the rooms from knowing different people from our tour, I know that they were all of good sizes, with comfortable beds. Very clean and tidy, my roommates and I loved to come back to our room to find that they had even folded some of the clothes we had left laying around!
Everything is more than adequate, and the staff is outstanding. Our group was particularly unruly but they never showed any complaints. One of my favorite memories are of coming down the steps every morning to a bright and cheery greeting. While there was no elevator, it wasn't a problem because the staff took up all of the luggage to our rooms (there were more than 30 people in our group!) There is free internet access and they sell the cheapest large bottles of water you'll find; only 1 Euro! The food was especially memorable. I woke up the second breakfast was served every morning; simple but filling, it would last me the entire day. Dinner was authentic and just as good as in any restaurant you'll find.
The location was ideal. Easy to find your way back and close to everything. Walk for 5 minutes and you'll find yourself surrounded by shops, or by the river or a bridge. The views are lovely. You can also easily walk to the Duomo and the Uffizi.
Overall, if I am ever in Florence again, I plan on staying at the Albion. I tell my friends about it, even if they aren't planning on going to Italy, just to rave about the wonderful time we had there and how it was my favorite part of the trip.
Wonderful people, quirky hotel
I have mixed feeling about this hotel - the location was ok, not great, just ok. the building looks incredible on their website, then when you show up - it's shockingly in disrepair (too bad, could be gorgeous). the inside is a very strange, ecclectic, quirky mix of art and framed money from all over the world... feels a little more like you're in a german country lodge than in florence. there is no elevator, which is strange for a 3-star hotel. our room was huge with about an 18-20 foot ceiling (no joke), the bed was fine, the bathroom was drafty but ok - the shower looked a little iffy but actually worked really well. the windows were extremely old and provided no soundproofing whatsoever... and it can be quite loud with young people at night (but felt quite safe). the breakfast was standard but quite nice. and i've saved the best for last - the people were incredibly nice, wonderfully nice, genuinely nice... would i stay here again? ummmmmm, no, probably not - would i recommend it to a friend? yes, if that friend were on a budget and still wanted to be within walking distance of everything. overall, we had a nice stay but it was more the people that left that impression with us, not necessarily the hotel.
Treated like a Daughter...Figlia!
My thanks to Sussanna and Massimo and their wonderful staff: Daniele, Jimmy and Niko...for their touching and tender treatment during my stay:
When my uncle (zio) and two cousins (due cugine) and I travelled to Firenze in February, 2004, the Albion was meant to be our hub for many day trips throughout Italy. After only three days, I became very ill with a sinus infection, and ended up spending EIGHT days in bed in the Albion...while my uncle and cousins enjoyed their day trips, with my blessing and envy!
The Albion Family treated me like a daughter, bringing me soup and bread and hot tea, shaking their fingers at me when I ventured into the lobby to write shaky emails, and finally calling a Tourist Doctor for me to get a necessary antibiotic to get better.
While I missed out on many sights, I feel I found something even greater: real friends. Thank you to all the caring folks at Albion.
A Three Star Hotel with Five Star Service
Our experience with the Albion over the past 15 years is covered by a quote from a friend--"a three star hotel with five star service.' Susanna, Massimo and Sara are extraordinary hosts and make sure that your stay is very special. The fact that this family has been in the hotel business in Florence for four generations makes them real experts on all the special places to visit in the city. Nowhere we've travelled have we ever received such personalized service. Sitting in the hotel bar and talking with other guests, we discovered that a huge percentage are return customers--always a good sign. We'd recommend the Albion without qualification.
No other Love but the Albion!!!
I have now stayed at the Albion for 11 of my 13 trips to Italy and plan on staying there each and every time under I can't tour anymore. Rufus and I will spend much time together at that time. Beds and bathrooms are always clean and soap and towels ready. And, when I've needed a quieter spot for more relaxation, a room away from a student tour has always been made available for me.
Sara, Susanna, and Massimo have welcomed me, my family, and my friends each and every time and made accomodations for my elderly Zia on her two trips back to Italy to visit the land of her parents. I was particularly touched by the staff's care of Aunt Bina-- coffee and breakfast whenever she was ready, no matter the time. their suggestions for local restaurants which serve Cuisine di Firenze are much appreciated.
Sara has been a personal concierge for my trips to Venice and Rome so that I never have had to worry about the quality of tours or of hotels on stop-overs before coming back to the Albion. I continually recommend the Albion to my friends and they come back thankful to me for the treatment they received there.
My only regret is that I didn't have dinner with the mother of the groom whose wedding party was in Florence rather than in Georgia..
My best to the Albion staff.
Run down and shabby
My boyfriend and I stayed here recently on a trip to Italy. Compared to everywhere else we stayed this hotel felt run down and shabby. The building outside was dirty and overrun with birds and inside it looked like no work had been done to it for years. The room was large and seemed clean but the balcony was unusable.
The free car parking was appreciated but I would not recommend this hotel to anyone that I liked!
A decent hotel in a good location
I just returned from a trip to Italy and we stayed at the Hotel Albion.
The room was large especially for a quad. The bathroom was great with good water pressure and plenty of hot water. We were on the ground floor and had no view and we were a little put off by the tile floor and the dirty walls but the beds were okay and it was otherwise clean.
The staff was very friendly and helpful and breakfast was simple yet good. I would stay there again without hesitation. It is easy walking distance from the train and everything else.
Special Family-Owned Hotel
We stayed in the Albion during the summer of 2003, based on the recommendations of friends. We found the hotel to be charming & the service to be superb. The staff was the best part of the experience.
The family owners, Susanna, Massimo & Sara have a wealth of information about Florence and Italy. They are very personable and will help make your experience great. Although not on our agenda, we liked them so much we ended up spending a night in their Tuscan villa in Castelfiorintino.
When I had the chance to return for a short trip in February 2004, I quite naturally chose the Albion. Nothing had changed, the staff was great and the amenities very nice. As always they were personable and informative.
The hotel is a not in the center of the city, but that adds to its charm. It is a lovely walk to the center, either through the city streets or along the river. It is quite close to the American consulate and most of the big car rental companies.
I highly recommend the Albion & will have no hesitations to stay there in the future.
We stayed at the Hotel Albion in 2001 for the weekend and thought it was fantastic! Have to admit, their website showed the front of the building and it looked excellent, but walking towards it from the rear it looked a bit old and we thought 'oh no, what have we got here'!
Thankfully when we went inside our worries were unfounded, as it was in great condition. The walls are covered in nice paintings, the rooms are large with basic amenities but very clean and the dining area very nice. Breakfast was the usual continental fayre but there was lots of it. The staff were very nice and knowledgeable about Florence. We loved Florence and want to return, and we'll definitely return there!
PS The owners also apparently have a villa in Tuscany, which you can see from their website, and friends of ours have stayed there and rave about it too!