change in plans

After reading both Chiocciola’s post and Sandra’s post about their indecisions on which hotel to stay at while in Bologna and how they both have been able to get some good offers on room prices, it got me thinking about my stay in Bologna. If you have been reading my blog, you know that I have been very happy staying at Hotel Porta San Mamalo. Even so, it would be a treat to stay right in the center of town. I thought about this idea for a short while, but then decided why mess with something I know is good. Like Sandra said, I could end up in the “smallest double in the back over the garbage containers”.

I then started thinking about my stay in Arezzo. I wrote about my difficulty decision about staying in Arezzo or possibly Orvieto or Florence here. I have been very comfortable and even excited about staying in Arezzo and did make a reservation at Hotel Patio but I am still not feeling great about my hotel reservation there. I do not have visions of being put in a room over the garbage containers, but I would feel much better if I knew a little more about this hotel.

And then Florence popped back into my head again. After reading about the deals both Chiocciola and Sandra found, I started wondering if I would be able to find any good deals in Florence. I ended up spending almost the entire day yesterday searching for hotels and B&Bs offering non-smoking rooms in Florence. I narrowed my search down to two B&Bs.

Residenza d’Epoca, Bed and Breakfast in Florence – In Piazza della Signoria, a luxurious B&B with rave reviews, located just a few steps away from Piazza della Signoria. A laptop is available for free use, the B&B provides assistance with reservations, the breakfasts are supposed to be wonderful, as well as many other amenities.

AND Bed and Breakfast Il Salotto di Firenze, a B&B with beautiful rooms and great reviews, located steps away from the the Duomo (Santa Maria del Fiore). This B&B provides free internet connection (which would mean I would need to bring a laptop), basic breakfast, many other amenities and there is a helpful person there in the mornings for assistance.

I wrote to both B&B’s. I heard back from the Residenza d’Epoca, B&B In Piazza della Signoria with an offer of a small discount since I will be staying 5 nights. With the discount, the cost would be 20 euros more per night than if I reserved one of the available rooms at the B&B near the Duomo.

Late last night, I made an impulsive decision and booked a room at this beautiful B&B near Piazza Signoria. With the great location and the luxurious accommodations, I no longer was concerned about dealing with jet lag while in Florence. I am now dreaming of climbing towers, strolling along the Arno River, spending time in the Bargello, and getting to know Florence a little better.
I just have one more decision to make now. Which room to reserve?

Beatrice ~ Double room located on the main floor where most of the rooms are located. This room has an amazing Jacuzzi bathtub and original frescoes on the wall. It looks like there may be a small balcony (need to check) although the view is nothing to rave about. I fell in this room right away. I think it is the color that hooked me. I am usually more of a shower person but the bathtub in this room looks heavenly (click on the room link for more pictures). I have this room reserved at the moment.


Machiavelli ~ Double room located on the same floor as the breakfast room and the lounge. This room has a view of the roofs of Florence. The bathroom has a bathtub and shower. I would be happy to have the shower available. I could also hang clothes to dry there. Having a view might be nice, although the window is not as big. I am also not sure if I would prefer to be on the floor where the breakfast is made and people hang out in the lounge area.


So which room would you choose?

And do you think I am crazy to splurge on this fabulous B&B? Especially since the other B&B looks very nice? I figure no major shopping sprees while in Italy, lots of tuna sandwiches and almond butter sandwiches for lunch for the next few months, and no new tiny travel computer I have been thinking of buying for my trip would allow me to afford this splurge.

21 thoughts on “change in plans

  1. I am so jealous. I adore Florence and took Alessandro for 3 nights in October 07. I only get to go there for a day trip later this year.
    I know I can’t have everything, but the time I stayed there for 3 weeks once…. makes me know what I am missing.
    The 3 nights with Alessandro was heaven on a stick!


  2. Beatrice would be my choice. Oh I am so jealous you, you are going to love it!
    I don’t think you made the wrong decision here, everyone deserves a splurge every once and a while, and the B&B does look fabulous. I love your new plans.


  3. I say splurge! I know that when I arrived in Venice in December, it was such a nice surprise to find that I had a room with a bathtub, and I had a great time soaking my tired feet and body every night. Drinking a glass of Prosecco in the bathtub made me feel like I was at a ritzy spa! Having a Jacuzzi would be even better, so go for it!


  4. Hi Girasoli, let me first say that I would choose the Beatrice room! I love the colors too and it just looks like a room that I would feel very comfortable and pampered in!
    I think Florence is a great choice (although I have never been to either Arezzo or Orvieto). There is so much history and art and it’s also a very pretty city. I think you made a great choice!
    I’m totally enjoying reading about you plans! It looks like everything is all coming together for you and the other girls. I’m so jealous now. :)
    Enjoy the rest of your trip planning!


  5. I guess I’d go for the room with the shower although I love the warmth and cozy feel of the Beatrice. Both are really nice. You can’t go wrong with two such choices. Love following your train of thought as you plan. Brings back good memories. I envy you.


  6. Girasoli, I also vote for the Beatrice and the splurge — no question! I suspect you make a lot of sacrifices during the year so you can have a great vacation, and this certainly looks great.
    The Machiavelli also looks good, but I don’t think I would like being on the main floor near with the breakfast room (one person on Trip Advisor remarked on the noise related to that!)
    I agree with you that Beatrice looks very special and that bathroom is really gorgeous!!!! As Annie says, soaking in a deep tub with a glass of Prosecco would be heavenly. And when I click on the photo showing the tub, I see that there is shower hose attached high up on the wall. So, if you can attach the shower head, it might be possible to shower standing in the tub. The sink intrigues, I would be very curious to see how you wash your face without splashing everywhere (but with the tile floor, I guess it doesn’t matter!)
    So does this mean you’ll spend five days in Florence? With perhaps a day trip to Arezzo? That really would be fabulous — Florence is so wonderful, and with several days there you can relax without feeling like you need to cram too many things into too little time!


  7. Beatrice!! It looks so pretty and inviting!
    And how cool that you have a new city added to your plans, how fun! Although I do feel slightly guilty for “inspiring” everybody to second guess their choices… You totally deserve the splurge and I’ll be right here eating tuna sandwiches with you (to pay for my splurge in Rome and maybe a new purse!)


  8. Girasoli, I, too, like Beatrice–it’s beautiful. But–you may want to ask if one is quieter than the other. That would make a difference for me. I know you will love 5 days in Florence. Even when we lived in Greve, a couple times we went into Florence for a night or two. There is just something special about sleeping in that city and waking up just knowing where you are. I’m having fun participating in your planning–almost like being right there with you.


  9. Personally, I like having a shower to wash my hair in, but if Beatrice has a balcony, that would probably be a deal-maker.
    I too think you should splurge. You deserve it!
    Florence is my favorite big city in Italy, so I would choose to go there again anytime!


  10. Thanks everyone for your input. Both rooms look fabulous. I think I am going to stick with the Beatrice room. It doesn’t have a balcony, but neither does the Machiavelli. I really do appreicate all of your comments.
    Leslie, I am so happy you are returning to Italy! I hope we will hear more about your trip soon.
    candi, thanks! I feel very much at ease now with my new plans.
    Annie, did you notice that the Locanda Orseolo in Venice is linked under the friends tab on the hotel webpage? That made me feel good to see that. It is always fun to splurge.
    Kathy, I felt the same way when I first saw the room. It really does look so comfy. I haven’t spent much time in Florence for many years now. I will be fun to be back there again.
    Barb, the shower is the only thing that was pulling me towards the other room, but I just couldn’t get past the warmth and cozy feel of the Beatrice room.
    sandra, I read that also (about the noise by the breakfast room). I just confirmed my room choice again and the woman I have been emailing me replied – Good choice!!! She also recommended that room so I feel really good about my choice now. I didn’t even think about the sink. I will now be thinking of you when I wash my face :)
    Because I have been to Florence a few times and have done most of the “must see” things, I plan to take it slow and hang out. I definitely want to go to the Bargello, my favorite museum and of course there are towers to climb. I should make sure to get to Arezzo since that was how this all started, but now I am thinking about Siena again as a daytrip. I might not go anywhere though. I will have to play it by ear. I also need to contact my friends in Empoli (30 mins from Florence) and hope to meet up with them one day.
    Chiocciola, doesn’t it? I will be thinking of you when eating my tuna sandwiches :) I am really glad you got me thinking again about my first stop this summer.
    dana, it really does. It will be the perfect place to relax after arriving…and to be so close to Piazza Signoria! What a treat!
    Jane, according to the reviews neither are terribly noisy (oh except for church bells which I love!) although one person did comment about the noise at breakfast time for the Machiavelli room. I spent 5 nights in Florence in 1999 (first trip to Italy) and 4 nights in 2000. I have also been back for daytrips and overnight stays. I am excited to be going back for 5 more nights this year. I am especially excited with the location of my B&B.
    nancy, unfortunately not balcony but I just could not get past the look of Beatrice. I am really excited to be going back to Florence again.


  11. My intial thought was Beatrice. It looks like a soothing and relaxing place to unwind, regroup, and reflect after a day of enjoyment.
    I am a shower person, so… that would make a difficult deicision for me…
    That “canopy” on the second room may be too much for me… but that is just me… LOL
    I am jealous … green with envy! I am looking forward to your blog from this visit. Lucky you!


  12. Oh how exciting. You made an excellent choice. I think I saw this B&B several years ago and bookmarked it. I thought it would be perfect location. I think Beatice is also a beautiful room. I love to stay at locations with stylish bathrooms. And splurges are good.
    I’m looking forward to reading about your trip. I know how you feel about a netbook. I really wanted one before I went to Borneo but just couldn’t justify it. BTW, I did see another netbook out on Amazon for $299! The small ASUS. I think it would be too small but I’m so surprised at the low prices. I’ve only seen the Acer and HP and I like the larger HP. The HP is prices similar to the Samsung one you like.


  13. Palma, glad you agree. We seem to think alike on places to good to have your vote :)
    Eden, the shower thing was the only thing holding me back. I am also not a big canopy person.
    marta, I found it by luck and then found a review on Slow Travel (guess I should have looked there first). I am really excited about the location.
    I saw either the Acer at Costco but hated the touchpad right/left click buttons. That would drive me crazy. I was looking at the Samsung because of the good reviews. I know nothing about troubleshooting PCs and would be lost trying to fix one. If I do decide to buy one, I will probably contact you for advice. That tiny ASUS is amazing. I wonder how difficult it is to use the keyboard. I will have to see if I can find any in the stores. Right now, I am thinking of just using what is available and my iPod Touch when I can get wireless access for info and maybe very short short posts.
    Carver, I felt the same way about the first room although I am sure both would be fine.
    Cindy Ruth, thanks! I am pretty excited.


  14. Excellent choice! The room and bathroom look gorgeous.
    I checked the link for the computer out of curiosity since my husband just bought one to take along on his trips. He wanted to buy one for me but I’m still undecided (I rather save the $$$ for my next trip). He bought the Acer Aspire and so far he’s been very happy with it.


  15. Hi G: Remembered you were recently in Florence and came back to this blog entry. Would you recommend either of these (especially the Residencia where you booked) as a comfortable, practical and clean B&B? Menehune


  16. menehune, I don’t have any info except what I read online for Bed and Breakfast Il Salotto di Firenze. I would definitely recommend B&B In Piazza della Signoria. Very comfortable, clean, good breakfasts, great location. Just expensive though (at least for me) but it was my splurge stay.


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