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cheap lodging? Venice, Siena, San Gimignano, Positano, and Rome?

cheap lodging? Venice, Siena, San Gimignano, Positano, and Rome?

Jan 28th, 2006, 11:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 59
cheap lodging? Venice, Siena, San Gimignano, Positano, and Rome?

My boyfriend and I (college students) will be traveling in Italy this May/June and are looking for cheap places to stay (hostels, B&B, or hotels). (Under $75/night for 2...preferably even less than that)

2/3 nights in Venice
3/4 nights in San Gimignano or Siena or somewhere like that?
3/4 nights in Positano, Sorrento, or Amalfi?
2/3 nights in Rome...will need to get to the airport by 6 am one morning (will this be a problem?)

Thanks so much for your help!!
krisabug27 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 11:50 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 314
We went to Venice, San G, Siena and Rome a year and half ago. I posted my long trip report below. We stayed in some budget places, but I think we paid approx. $100 a night.

As per the early morning to Rome, have your hotel call the night before to schedule you a taxi.

3 week honeymoon in Italy review!
We traveled from October 23rd through November 14th. Here is a critique of the hotels and services we used! I also included just a couple of special restaurants worth mentioning! I did not include the museums and major sites we visited because I figured you wouldn’t want to hear about that! Everyone knows what to see according to your tastes! The Knot, Fodors website and the Rick Steve Guide helped us plan it all! Also, I am still a little groggy from returning last night so you may see multiple grammar and spelling mistakes. Please bear with me as I stumble through! Best advice—bring a journal and a roll of tape. Write and tape in everything you can! We put in everything from museum tickets, to train passes, pressed leaves, wine labels, business cards…then you will have even more memories to look at and read!
Rome-Hotel Regno (5 nights). We loved this hotel because of its central location! Right on Via del Corso, we were minutes from the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. It was a very modern and clean hotel, with an elevator and good breakfast. Our favorite restaurants were those we stumbled upon down the side alleys! Also, the pizza was extra yummy! Hotel Regno Via del Corso, 330 Zip 00186 www.hotelregno.com/eng/ind-lingua.htm Tele. (+39) 06 6976361. Under E200 a night. So thrilled we started in Rome to do the crazy site seeing first. I think if we had ended our three-week tour in Rome, we may have not done many sites because we were “museumed” out by the end!
We used www.limoservicerome.com for our transportation to the hotel. They were very professional and on time. Cost was E45. Book at least 4 days before departing.
We then took limoservicerome back to the airport to pickup our rental car. We didn’t want to attempt driving within the city. We rented through Hertz and got an excellent Mercedes A class. It was a simple drive to the autostrada where we were off to Assisi! LOVED driving in Italy! We actually fought over who got to drive! Definitely get off the autostrada and take the side roads. It is worth the extra time if you have it to spare!
Assisi-Hotel Ideale (1 night). We loved this hotel because of the spectacular view! The rooms were very simple, clean, no elevator and had new bathrooms. We had a top floor room on the corner with a great balcony overlooking Assisi to one side and the Umbrian hills to the front. Wish we had stayed one more night just to sit on the balcony and sip wine! Hotel Ideale Piazza Matteotti 1 Zip 06081 [email protected] E85
Siena-Piccolo Hotel Oliveta (5 nights). We liked this hotel for many reasons. The first being its location. Right outside of Porta Romana (one of the city wall gates), it was very convenient with our rental car and free parking. It was about a 15-20 minute walk to Il Campo so if you prefer being closer to the city center, get a hotel within the city walls. We had friends who stayed at Palazzo Ravizza with their car and they said it was not difficult to get in and out.
Our first evening we did the wine tasting with Alexander on the patio overlooking the Tuscan hills. It wasn’t as much a wine tasting but a social event for the three of us. We all got a long wonderfully and ended up drinking wine together for hours. It was a great introduction to Tuscany! I believe it was E50 or 60 for the two of us.
Secondly, Alexander, Alexandra and Fabio were remarkable hosts! I let all of our hotels know we were on our honeymoon and this hotel was the only one that offered us a complimentary bottle of wine or some sort of gesture. Definitely a special touch! The rooms were simple, but huge! Also a big plus was the shower in another room, separate from the toilet. E145 Piccolo Oliveta Via E.S. Piccolomini 35 tel 0577.283930 http://www.oliveta.com/
We also booked a private wine tasting tour with their business, Country Tours. Fabbio was our tour guide and it was an amazing day! We started out at the Constanti Winery where we toured the cellars and learned a TON about vineyards and all that goes into making wine. A great tasting of their brunello followed. We bought our first (of many) bottles of brunello here! On our way to the next winery, we stopped at a great Abbey. We reached our second and last winery stop of the day, the Le Presi Winery, an extremely small winery outside of Montalcino. Here we met Bruno, his wife and son. His wife prepared lunch for us all and we wined and dined in their wine cellar. An amazing experience! We ate bruschetta, pasta, fresh turkey, desserts, you name it! One of our favorites was the one-week-old extra virgin olive oil we used on everything. Of course we had to buy a few bottles! Afterwards, we took Bruno to the one café in town for some espresso. With our bellies full we headed back to the hotel. Highly recommend this tour as it gives a personal and interesting look into Tuscan life! Expensive, but worth it! E120 each.
Our favorite part of Tuscany was the exploring we did with our rental car. I am thrilled that we decided to rent a car. It was extremely easy to get around as long as you follow the city signs and not the highway numbers! We knew this beforehand and never got lost. It was incredible exploring the countryside. We visited Montalcino, Montelpulciano, San Gimignano, Pienza, Castellina in Chianti and Radda in Chianti. But the best was just driving around! We were amazed at the landscape differences north and south of Siena.
We bought a case of brunello at Enoteca Fortezza in Montalcino. Shipping to the states was E120. We bought a mixed case a few days before in Radda in Chianti at Enoteca Toscana. Shipping was E160, so obviously Fortezza is a better bet! We bought these bottles to serve as anniversary bottles! When they run out, we must return to Italy, if not sooner!
A MUST do restaurant is La Torre! If you are in Il Campo looking at the tower, take the alley to the left. The restaurant is on the left. A local tratorria where the owner comes to your table and tells you what they have for the night. Listen closely when he tells the table next to you what he has…it will most likely be a different menu! Confused? Watch him go to the bar and swig from his wine glass all night. Entertaining, but even better than the entertainment was the food! Remarkable Tuscan cuisine! The best ribollita and homemade past you can find. We NEVER go to the same restaurant twice, however, we went to La Torre three times! You will not be dissatisfied! Go early, around 7 or 7:30, it fills up and is a small place.
We also went to a futbol match. It was so much fun! The fans are great! Flares, singing and jolly good times!
On our way to Cinque Terre, we stopped in Pisa to see the tower and Lucca to do the bike tour. Dropped our car off at the San Bartolomeo Hertz location in La Spezia and then took the train to Vernazza where we stayed at Carmere Giuliano Basso for 3 nights. A steep climb (pack light or get buff before your trip), but worth every step. Guiliano has made a very comfortable space with a modern bathroom and down comforters. The shared patio overlooks all of Vernazza and the sea. The only minor complaint would be its nearness to the train station. We did not mind because it was cold and we had the windows closed. If you were there in the summer with the windows open, the train may be a problem. Inexpensive and comfortable, we would stay there again. We especially enjoyed drinking wine on the patio with some foccacia and tomatoes! Tele. 3333414792 [email protected] www.cdh.it/giuliano E60
Got to hike the CT. Every minute was worth the sweat. We rewarded ourselves with a beer in each town we stopped in. We did the hike in 2 days.
Florence-Soggiorno Battistero (3 nights) We loved the location of this soggiorno (right in front of the duomo), but did not like the room itself. The room made us feel like we were institutionalized…white, nothing on the walls, no attempt at giving it a homey feel. It was clean and quiet, great for the price. But if we were to go back to Florence, I would spend the extra money to go elsewhere. It was also a hike up the stairs. E90
LOVED the restaurant Aqua al Due. Has a great pasta tasting menu, second course tasting menu and dessert tasting menu. A must do if you love food and a trendy atmosphere. Also had a lot of fun at Il Latini (chianti anyone?), but I don’t think it was worth the stress of standing outside in a mob waiting for them to open and then once they opened, everyone pushed and shoved to get in. If you don’t have a reservation, just say you do. Shout out your name and party number. My husband did this and to my surprise they ushered us right in. I looked at the paper that supposedly had all the reservation names and there were only three names listed. They obviously don’t write them down!
If you like trendy, 20-40 something crowds, have a drink at Slowly. They have a ton of delicious, free munchies to accompany your drink. Helps lessen the blow of the E10 price per drink! A cool spot before dinner! Sorry I don’t know the street name, just ask a local young person.
Leather shopping-we found the best handbag prices at Umberto on Via Guicciardini near the Ponte Vecchio. I bought 3 for myself and 3 for gifts! Whew!
For a great view of the duomo and people watching, grab a beer at JJ Cathedral Pub on the square and take it upstairs to the balcony if its unoccupied. There is only room for 2 people.
If you have time, check out the Science Museum and ask the workers to demonstrate some of Newton and Galileo’s experimental machines. We really enjoyed ourselves in this museum.
Took the eurostar to Venice where we would spend our last 4 nights of our honeymoon at Pensione Accademia. We took a taxi to the hotel (E45), and it was worth every penny not lugging all our stuff on the public boats. ADORED this hotel! Very clean and comfortable, with a perfect location near the Accademia Bridge. Our room, #28, had a nice view of the side canal and Grand Canal. Breakfast was great, no elevator. Dorsoduro 1058 Zip 30123 Tele. 0039 04 152101 88 The hotel runs a free taxi to Murano for a tour. We of course came home with some great pieces! E183
We went to symphony Interpreti Veneziani in San Vidal church and it was breathtaking! A terrific way to spend an evening! Tickets were around E22 each.
Having a glass of prosecco at the famous Gran Caffe Chioggia was wonderful. We sat on the stage with the pianist and bassist, while looking at St. Mark’s and people watching.
There is also a huge and wonderful Dali exhibit at Palazzo Grassi that will be there through January. I highly recommend the audio guide.
If you need a restaurant that’s opened after 10pm, we ate at Casin dei Nobili near the Accademia and it was decent.
An excellent restaurant near the Rialto Bridge was Ristorante il Paradiso on Calle Deparadiso. This place is incorrectly listed in Rick Steve’s as Miguel and Lucia’s private home dinner. We booked it and they told us they had moved and opened a restaurant. Disappointed that it would not be in their home, we decided to go anyway. Expensive, but the seafood was amazing. This was our last splurge and the last dinner of our honeymoon!
Had our hotel arrange a taxi to the airport. E95…ouch! Then a double ouch for the E20 shuttle to the airport (less than 1km). We had a 6:30am flight and no other option because the E1 bus wouldn’t be coming for an hour!
Hope you enjoyed my review!
JennaJ is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 01:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,336
Try StudentUniverse.com for recommended hostels in Italy. Also in Venice, I can recomend LOCANDA LEON. I just booked it for my daughter and friends, and it ran about $65/night for a double- very good location just in back of St. Marks Square.

Good luck!
Weadles is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,155
Try Alma Domus in Siena about65 euro a night. telephone 0577-44177 fax 0577-47601
Henry is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 11:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 35
Try Alloggi La Gondola. $75 Canadian/ night for a double right on the Grand Canal by the train station.

juliastephanie is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,450
There is a FABULOUS hostel in Venice that I stayed in for several nights in 2002. It is in an old convent and is very nice and quiet. It isn't social like many hostels which is probably why I enjoyd it. Just a peaceful and immaculately clean place. My room was large and had the classic Venetian high ceilings with dark beams. There were 4 beds in my room. I am pretty picky and this was a very nice hostel. I believe I paid somewhere around 16€ per night after the 2€ student discount.

The name is Ostello Santa Fosca.

There is also information on this website:


You need to telephone to make a reservation. They do book up so I'd call a week in advance at least.
TexasAggie is offline  

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