In March 2011, my husband and I went on our honeymoon to Italy. We were gone for about two weeks and visited Rome, Siena, Cinque Terre and added in an impromptu overnight trip to Florence. I think about this trip incredibly often because of the wonderful memories it holds for me. Anytime I know someone is planning a trip to Italy, I tell them a bit about ours and let them know of our favorite places we visited and where we stayed in each city. I loved each of our hotels and highly recommend them to anyone planning a trip to the country. They were all well priced for down season and situated in great neighborhoods. Below are some pics of our trip and more details about our recommended hotels!
Veneto Palace (Rome) – Loved the location of our Rome hotel! We were able to walk everywhere (except for Vatican City which was only about two miles away) and got a room upgrade once we arrived, so our room was incredibly spacious. The hotel is about 1/8 of a mile from the Spanish Steps, a little more than a 1/4 mile from Trevi Fountain and just under a mile from the Colosseum. Termini train station is also close by which is a huge plus if you’ll be hopping around from city-to-city once you’re in Italy. The only thing I didn’t like about the hotel is that they didn’t offer complimentary early check-in. Our flight arrived in Rome in the early morning and we were hoping for an early check-in to get some rest, but would have had to pay a hefty fee for it even though our room was ready. I understand not being able to check-in hours early, but even after we left for a little walk and grabbed some lunch and came back 45 minutes before check-in, we were going to be charged. They did hold our bags for us, though, which we appreciated.
Hotel Athena (Siena) – So, Siena is my second favorite place in the entire world (my first being San Francisco). I could write a whole post (or like 500) on how much I love it. I found this hotel through an internet search and it was a great pick for us. The hotel is a 5-7 minute walk to Il Campo (the heart of the city) down the most wonderful roads I’ve ever walked. There are great restaurants and shops along the way and one of the best meals I’ve ever had was close by (more on that to come in a separate post). We didn’t get to enjoy the terrace while we were there (it was pouring rain), but we did have breakfast in the restaurant one morning. The staff was incredibly kind and I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again or recommend it to anyone planning a trip to Siena.
Hotel Ca D’Andrean (Cinque Terre) – This hotel is located in the village of Manarola. It is up a large hill, and if you’ve ever been to Cinque Terre, you know that vehicle traffic is very limited, so you have to lug your bags up said large hill. When we did it, it was pouring, so it was quite the adventure. The rooms here are comfortable and the staff was great. I honestly felt like I was staying in a room in their home. From the looks of the website, the hotel has been renovated since we stayed and the rooms look like they’ve gotten an upgrade. Several other friends who have visited Cinque Terre have stayed there, so it came highly recommended to me for the location and the price. I must also say that the staff are incredibly flexible. High season here begins after Easter and we were there about a month before that. It was pouring rain, so all except one of the trails that connects the five villages were closed as were many of the restaurants and shops. Because of this we decided to leave a night early and head to Florence and the owner did not charge us for the night we didn’t stay there, even though we told him we were willing to pay for it. When we stayed here four years ago, we had to call to book our reservations, but by the looks of the website you can do so online now, so that’s an added plus!
Bellevue House (Florence) – Since we made a last minute decision to visit Florence, we made this reservation hours before arriving to the hotel. We found it in Rick Steve’s Italy and were not disappointed by our room. It’s a third floor walk-up (meaning, no elevator), so come prepared for that. There are only six rooms at Bellevue House and we stayed in this one. The room was huge and the hotel is walking distance to the Duomo, the Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio and the city’s main train station. The man running Bellevue House while we were there was a delight and even told us to make sure he was there when we checked out so he could say goodbye and wish us well. We’ll definitely stay again should we find ourselves in Florence in the future.
Well, there you have it. I hope my walk down memory lane can help you in future vacation planning!
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