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2 or 3 star hotels in Venice, Cinque Terra, Florence, Sienna, Rome, and Amalfi

I am planning a beautiful trip to Italy with my 22 year old daughter! We will start in Venice and end in Amalfi for 21 days!
The hotel process is a little overwhelming. So many choices!!! I was wondering if anyone can recommend a hotel ( yes I do have the Rick Steves book) that you have stayed at that is at the heart of each location for ease of walking around the towns.

I would appreciate it!
Thank you!

Posted by
3277 posts

In Rome we've stayed at Hotel Fontanella Borghese a number of times and have always been pleased. It's very nice and the location is great. You can walk to The Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Nuvona, even Vatican City. The staff is friendly and helpful. Ask for a room overlooking the courtyard as rooms overlooking the side street can get noisy. Check them out at their web site which is If they can't accommodate you they have a sister hotel closer to the Pantheon called Hotel Due Torri.

In Florence we've stayed at Hotel California (yep, that's the name) and really liked it. Very nice and within walking distance of all the places you’ll want to go.

In Venice we really like Pensione Guerrato and have stayed there several times. The location is very close to a vaporetto stop, but far enough away from Rialto Bridge to not be in the mob scene. Iit does have some stairs to climb. If you book there let us know and we can give you directions that will eliminate a lot of walking with the luggage.

With all of the above we send an email directly with our request for a booking and get an answer in 24 hours or less.

Posted by
11091 posts

Cinque Terre: La Spiaggia, Monterosso:
For reviews:

They book up fast and early before shoulder and high seasons and, unless things have changed, are closed for a couple of months during the winter. Terrific location: short, level walk from the train station, sea views (must request), and has an elevator. Rooms & bathrooms are small and simply furnished but very clean. Locally owned and managed; very friendly staff (owner Maria is a 10!!!) who are very knowledgeable about the area; breakfast included in the tariff.

Obviously this is located in just one of the 5 small-to-tiny Cinque Terre villages (the largest) so you'll need to use the trains, ferries and your feet to explore ALL of them. :O)

Posted by
859 posts

In Rome my favorite place to stay by far is Hotel Smeraldo. It's just a couple minutes' walk from Campo de Fiori, and maybe 10" from Piazza Navona. It's also an easy walk the other direction (maybe 20") to the Forum, Jewish neighborhood and so much more. It's just a lovely hotel, with rooftop bar/relaxing area, and (some are small but) quite comfy, clean, even plush modern rooms. In Venice, I've stayed at Pensione Guerrato several times and like it a lot. However, I don't like the several long flights of steps necessary to access many of the rooms. My new favorite (stayed there 3 times) is Hotel AL Ponte Mocenigo, just steps from the San Stae vaporetto stop, and an easy stroll to the Rialto Bridge, the Frari church, and then onward to San Marco. However, it's on a quieter street but with wonderful restaurants and shops very close by. Beautiful old building, lovingly restored, and very nice folks who run it.

Posted by
27 posts

Jmauldinuu - We are staying at both Hotel Smeraldo and Hotel al Ponte Mocenigo in September.

Posted by
4629 posts

Lisa, note that the star-rating system in Europe is based on hotel amenities, not on a quality/luxury basis as it is in the states. So comparisons are trickier.

Posted by
5314 posts

Cinque Terre( note Terre, ends in e, plural for lands) Hotel Porta
Roca, Florence Hotel J & J, Venice, La Calcina. I do not pay attention to stars in Europe due to reasons given in earlier post.

Posted by
297 posts

Yes, yes, YES to Hotel al Ponte Mocenigo in Venice! The features listed by a previous poster are accurate. We appreciated its proximity to the San Stae vaporetto stop and the train station. Breakfast is served in a lovely open courtyard. The rooms have absolutely everything you could possibly need. Walking away from the hotel and the Grand Canal you will discover wonderful campos like Campo San Giacomo. At the edge of the campo is Majer, a cafe that has the most incredible food prepared by an incredible chef--- Alesandro. Close to the hotel is Boresso, a cosy cicchetti bar. Across from it is Fontego delle Dolcezze--- a great place for gelato. Really, this to us was more memorable than the crowds at the Rialto or St Marks Square.

Posted by
4 posts

thank you all!! Any other ideas for Cinque Terre? The two that were suggested are booked already!

Posted by
5314 posts

Monterosso in the Cinque Terre, Villa Steno. When are you going? In the fall? I ask since you say the hotels listed were full.

Posted by
17521 posts

It's a little late now, since you did find something, but for future reference, or any one new reading this thread, this group of boards is entitled "Hotel and Restaurant reviews", a place for people to write in about places to which they have been. Your request for a recommendation would have properly been posted on the "Destination Q&A - Italy" board. (Get help planning your trip. Ask a question ...)

Posted by
5314 posts

We were at HotelPorto Roca as part of a month in Italy. The dinners we had there were the best of our trip. And there is a mountain behind the hotel so you don’t hear the trains going by. Enjoy this beautiful spot!

Posted by
637 posts

Another vote for Porto Rocco, one of my all time favorite places in Italy!

Posted by
56 posts

In Manarola, I had a wonderful experience at Aria di Mare. Can’t say whether it’s available but check out the website and see what you think. But I’ll say the location, view and accommodation was on point!

Posted by
509 posts

Hi Lisa we are doing this trip sans Amalfi, end of July-beginning of August. Staying at the Hilton in Venice but its expensive. Hotel Porto Roca in the Cinque Terre. Hotel Glance in Florence. Mercure Roma Centro Colosseo in Rome.

Posted by
29 posts

Stan from the Heartland above makes an excellent point. My wife and I this past September stayed at Hotel Paris in Florence, and then Albergo del Senato in Rome both rated three europe stars. I can recommend the latter as it would be a four star in the US, albeit expensive. Has a rooftop deck/bar right at the Pantheon with great views. Room was a little on the small side but tastefully decorated. Also if you are a member of Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton honors, the NH chain, etc. look at those too.