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Beginning to plan...Paris, Florence, Rome

Beginning to plan...Paris, Florence, Rome

Oct 19th, 2005, 07:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 148
Beginning to plan...Paris, Florence, Rome

My husband and I just booked our second trip to Europe for early March 2006. We've been together once before, in 2002 (and consequently, ended up engaged in Rome). We'd planned to go to Paris for our honeymoon, but plans had to get moved around last minute.

So, four years later, we are headed back, ready to hit Paris (5 nights), where neither of us have been, Florence (2 nights) (my husband loves it, and I've never been) and Rome (4 nights), which, as alluded to above, we love

So, my thoughts for hotels are as follows...any feedback is appreciated. (I promise to write one heck of a trip report upon return!) The overall budget is between $100-$120 a night, with a hopeful average of closer to $100. Air conditioning isn't important, but cleanliness, character and a general sense of security are.

I've been all over the websites, trip advisor, fodors, etc... and funny enough, the best deals with the most positive reviews are from the infamous Rick Steves suggestions...I haven't used him before, but there's a chance he's on the mark for my accomodations on this trip.

Paris: Hotel du Champ de Mars...this is just what we are looking for--small, cheap, clean, with some character, and close enough that we can wonder through a new city rather easily. I've found several positive mentions, but nothing too recent. I'm curious if fakemark ended up staying there???

Florence: I've had difficulty with this--anything within my price range is not getting a lot of feedback (positive or non). So, I'm looking at Hotel Maxim or Soggiorno Battistero. Hotel Maxim looks a tad nicer, but I'm having a hard time resisting the views of Battistero. Truly, we know NOTHING about Florence, other than that husband likes it--details about where to stay seem to escape him. Thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.

Rome: Last time, we stayed at Hotel Napoleon, a bit out of the way, but HUGE by European standards, great staff. Too bad the cost is double (in US$) what it was the last time we were there. So, two thumbs up for anyone looking for a Rome hotel (it's a bit out of the way, but the Metro is literally at the front door, and the espresso at the shop next door is great), but we will not be staying there.

I am toying with staying nearer to the Vatican (the cheaper rates are appealing, and so long as a Metro is close by we are set), although there is appeal to staying closer to Piazza Navona (where we were engaged). Honestly, that's as far as I've gotten there...can anyone move me farther in some direction??

Thanks in advance--husband says he's worried I may end up booking all of our hotels and then have nothing to do at night! Oh, he doesn't understand all of the things I could research, right up to the moment of leaving

ebiddix is offline  
Oct 19th, 2005, 07:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Hi, Erika! I join in your excitement, as I'm planning our 20th anniversary trip for Sept of 06. We, too, will be doing Rome, Florence, and Paris, along with some other places thrown in there! We did a whirlwind European trip in Sept of 97, and spent four day in Paris. We stayed at the Hotel du Champ de Mars, and loved it! I can't wait to go back! It is the epitome of a quaint Parisian hotel, perfect in its location and charm. There's also a great little Italian restaurant very near it, Pizza Bosquet. We ate there twice, and loved it. I wish you lots of joy in your planning, as to me, the planning is half the fun of the trip!
Burley is offline  
Oct 20th, 2005, 08:36 AM
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Good news! Hotel du Champs de Mars quoted a price of 84 euro...and availability...so cross your fingers that I can confirm the reservation. 1 down, 2 to go!
ebiddix is offline  
Oct 20th, 2005, 08:45 AM
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Hi eb,

The B&B Peterson in Florence provides clean, basic accomodation with ensuite facilities and AC in a safe neighborhood near to the train SMN station at rates within your budget.

We stayed there for 11 nights in Sept 2003.


ira is offline  
Oct 20th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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For Rome, check rates at the Pensione Panda. I haven't stayed there, but I think it's quite popular.
Ditto the Hotel San Carlo, which is near the Spanish Steps, but I think over your budget.
Check tripadvisor.com for comments
elaine is offline  
Oct 20th, 2005, 12:09 PM
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topping, and

I have long files on Paris, Florence, and Rome, if you 'd like to see them, email me at
[email protected]
elaine is offline  
Oct 20th, 2005, 12:23 PM
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Not sure whether you and your husband would be interested in this, but I've rented in Rome on a few occasions. Last time I used Real Rome (realrome.com) for a studio near Campo dei Fiori, about 98 E a night.

See reviews on slowtrav.com.

Good luck.
Leely is offline  
Oct 20th, 2005, 12:31 PM
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I second the Pensione Panda. My (now) fiance and I stayed there when we were just out of college. Basically apartments a block from the Spanish Steps. No reception there. As I recall, WELL less than $100 a night. Shared bathroom (or maybe just shared shower...) but we didn't seen anyone else there the whole time. For cheap accomodations, you may want to check out the Let's Go guidebooks.
AlisaAAM is offline  
Oct 20th, 2005, 01:37 PM
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The Panda is at
elaine is offline  
Oct 20th, 2005, 02:24 PM
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Can't help you in Paris.

Went to Florence and Rome several years ago.

In Florence, I recommend the Hotel Pendini, which I just checked their web page and it is in your budget ($110/night for early March).

It is next to the Piazza Repubblica and really very close to the museums, Ponte Vecchio, etc. And it had double windows, so no issues for us with street noise. Very nicely decorated, living area with small bar open in the afternoon, and rooms were charming, showers decent. Breakfast room was on a bridge over the street, which was fun. Staff was multi lingual and very helpful.

If you did want to stay by the Vatican, we stayed at the Hotel Alimandi,just one night before we flew home. It is in Steves book, but we found it in Great Sleeps in Rome (formerly called Cheap Sleeps in Rome). It is pleasant, definitely safe, very good showers, free shuttle to the airport a plus, but I would not say the decor was as nice as the Pendini's.

It is a nice area, near a shopping street called Via Cola di Rienzo, but I think it would be more fun to be in the ancient city area for dinner and an evening walk.

Good luck!

5alive is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2005, 08:57 AM
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Not really understanding the layout of Florence...is B&B in a good location to move around within the city? I get the feeling that the city itself is rather small--am I correct in that?

Thanks to all for the assistance!

ebiddix is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2005, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Ciao ebiddiz - It is going to be tough sticking to $100 in 3 of the most expensive cities in Europe & more so, finding something decent, clean and well located - Just be prepared!

For Florence, try Relais Il Campinile, a nice B&B located 100 meters from the Duomo. They have well done rooms, small but clean and functional bathrooms and they serve you bfast in your room.

For Rome, try Albergo Piave. The rooms are funky, clean and same with the baths. It is a little bit of a hike to the main attractions but you can easily get around by bus as well.
Buona fortuna!
BellaVita is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2005, 12:44 PM
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Hi eb,

You can get a map of Florence at www.viamichelin.com and www.mappy.com

The B&B Peterson is less than 10 min from the Piazza della Stazione.

The historic part of Florence is rather small, you can walk most of it.

The no. 13 bus stops right in front of the Peterson. You can take it to Pzza Michelangelo.

Bus maps of Florence are at http://www.ataf.net/Default_EN.asp

ira is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2005, 04:50 PM
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We stayed at the Pendini in Florence awhile back, and liked it. The Piazza Republica location was good, and the staff was great. We really liked the people there.

We sent some friends there last year, and they also found the staff at the Pendini to be super helpful and friendly. They had to make some changes in their plans, and the Pendini staff were great to them.
tuscanlifeedit is online now  
Oct 24th, 2005, 05:36 AM
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I just received a message back from Leonardo at Relais Il Campanile in Florence...he quoted 108 euro per night, with a 5 % cash payment discount...a few questions:

1. Is it bad form to ask if there is a reduction in rate if we do not take breakfast?

2. Is this an acceptable rate in Florence for this property (my gut says yes, my brain says always get confirmation)

3. This has been driving me crazy--with the cash payment discount--how exactly do you pay? Is it actually cash? Or is a traveler's check or debit payment acceptable? I can't wrap my head around carrying 1000+ around with me to pay the hotels...

Thanks--everyone has been so helpful thus far!

ebiddix is offline  
Nov 4th, 2005, 06:23 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 180
Your itinerary for your trip in March sounds lovely.

I don't think it's bad form to ask if there is a discount for breakfast. It's worth checking.

Regarding a cash payment, it does mean cash in euros. You don't have to carry a large amount with you. You can withdraw cash as needed. because there are ATM machines all over. Just make sure that your bank knows you'll be traveling and withdrawing more than usual. Also, you might want to increase your daily limit.

For Florence, I can recommend a very comfortable 6-room establishment, the Badia Guesthouse, which I visited in May 2004: http://www.badiafiorentina.com

Another excellent value and attractive place is any one of the four residenze: Residenza Johanna and Residenza Johlea http://www.johanna.it

Best wishes with your plans. I'll look forward to reading your report.

Suzy Kane, http://www.idyllicitaly.com

IdyllicItaly is offline  
Nov 4th, 2005, 07:34 PM
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Hotel Maxim feedback: Stayed there for two nights in June 2004 (a triple with three twin beds). Room was small but enough room to navigate. Good storage. Shower was in the corner of the bathroom w/ a pull-around curtain. First experience with that set-up though no problem. Tile floor could have used a good cleaning. Bring an old pair of throw away socks or slippers if you are particular. Elevator up from ground floor. Small lobby was full of character. Friendly staff. Sufficient breakfast. Excellent location. Right on the main pedestrian drag leading from the Duomo to the Uffizi. Quiet at night. All three of us were quite happy here! Close enough to walk to/from the train station, too. We had spent three nights prior near the San Lorenzo market at Hotel Belletini. I like to switch locations midway through a 5 day trip to a city. Enjoyed both hotels. Loved Florence.
Janeyre is offline  
Nov 5th, 2005, 03:57 AM
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In Rome, you might check out Hotel Italia. The last time I was doing research it got good reviews and the price was under $100 in low season. It's well located in the city center, near Termini.


JeanneB is offline  

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