Travel Blogs from Florence
... efficient and cheap way to travel, similar to the Sky Train system of Vancouver.
We walked the city center along wide cobblestone streets and arrived at the main Piazza. We were in awe of the Duomo, an elaborate Basilica with an octagonal dome and an exterior facade of pink (Siena), emerald (Prato) and white (Carrara) marble. Max and Myles looked way up to the top and spotted tourists at the upper part ...
... She doesn't have any friends here yet because she hasn't started classes so she only knows my roommate and I. I know she feels a little wierd hanging out with us all the time but we hit it off pretty well. I like her much better than my other roommate who by the way has been MIA for the last week. She usually isn't in the room much but now she full out dissapeared. We have no clue where she could have been all week. I don't understand why she wouldn't tell us. Not the worst roommate ...
... we went before instead of making dinner. We surely got our money's worth, we each had three plates, the food was delicious! While we were there the artist came up to us and discussed tips about living in Florence and about his daughter who also attends our school. It was the perfect start to a great weekend of travel and we finally tried an aperitvo after wanting to for so ...
... the altar, which featured a historically accurate representation of the night sky, as it appeared on July 4th, 1442. Incidentally, this is also the date of the arrival of the King of Napoli into Firenze, where he would go on to convince Cosimo de Medici to open Europe's first public library. The center of this room contains the tomb of a Medici patriarch. In fact, there are no less than fifteen different Medici tombs in this building, spanning several ...
... squeezed into the Duomo piazza. After the preliminary speeches there was a countdown and... nothing happened! It took us almost a half hour to get out of the piazza because there were so many people trying to go one way. There didn't seem to be much organization at the start. People took things into their own hands and the crowd dispersed through various side streets, tired of waiting for the designated path. Because of this there were no officials directing us so I just followed ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Orcagna Hotel Florence
We had a reservation at the Hotel Orcagna, which is a two star and we were upgraded for free to the Hotel Jane, which is a three star across the street owned by the same people. We did look at Hotel Orcagna though and it was very nice inside. Hotel Jane was very clean and the staff was great. These hotels are about half a mile to three quarters of a mile from the city center, so not as far as it may seem on a map (we were assuming at least a mile or two). Hotel was a great deal! The websites said they have bikes, but they only had two because the rest were broken, so dont' count on them. But, it isn't very far and it is probably very difficult riding a bike in the crowded city, so don't worry about it.
Great little hotel!
Family-owned hotel Orcagna was a real gem. It's a bit more "mom & pop" than many of the big hotels in the heart of town, but that was part of its charm. It is a few blocks off the tourist path in Florence, so the streets were a tad quieter and the prices were lower, but it was only about a 10-15 minute walk from the city center. For the price, this hotel was a delightful surprise.
The staff was incredibly accommodating and friendly, and even offered for free services other hotels charge for (for example, we were allowed to access the Internet without charge). They were cheerful and a pleasure to "come home" to each day. Everything ran very, very smoothly.
The room was very clean and tastefully decorated. It was small but included a sleeper sofa and a queen-sized (I think) bed, as well as a bureau and armoir. The bathroom, while small by US standards, was also quite clean. The 13" cable TV accessed the international CNN station so we were able to keep up with the news in English. We had a little balcony overlooking the street, which was a sweet little bonus.
As I'm told is true in nearly all of Florence, the street-side rooms were a little noisy - in hindsight we would have asked for a quieter "back of the building" room - but it wasn't too bad because the location is more of a neighborhood than a tourist district, so the Vespas stop racing around fairly early. And there is something pleasant about being able to watch goings-on on the street now and then.
Breakfast was a nice surprise. In a cheery breakfast room, we had our choice of danishes, yogurts, juices, and cereals, and were offered cafe latte or cappuccino (as well as "American coffee"). I had eaten the free breakfast in a "3-star" hotel in Milan, and this one was far tastier.
Although we did not make use of it, guests were welcome to use a small outdoor seating area in the back of the hotel, and a nice indoor seating area next to the hotel desk.
There are about four steps up to the tiny elevator, so the hotel is not really handicapped accessible (as an ancient city, much of Florence is not). Our room was on the 2nd floor so we generally walked the steps, but the elevator was quite handy for arrival and departure days.
The neighborhood felt safe, clean, and relatively quiet. The hotel is about 2 blocks from a small grocery store that is mostly used by the local residents. Besides being generally convenient, it also turned out to be a good place to buy less-expensive cookie, candy, and beverage souvenier gifts.
The clean, attractive rooms, tasty breakfast, relatively quiet location, and (especially) the cheerful staff - as well as the low price we found through Expedia - were the strongest points of the hotel. The drab exterior is perhaps its one weak point (but how much time do you spend looking at the *outside* of your hotel)?
When we return to Florence, I am sure the Orcagna--and the Hotel Jane across the street, which is run by the same family--will be top on our list of places to stay.