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Afraid of Hostels!

I will be in Florence one day and need one nights lodging. I am on a tight budget and have found a place called 7 Saints Youth Hostel (although I am not a youth!). Has anyone stayed here? I have reserved a single room. Will it be safe to leave my bag there for a few hours? I have heard horror stories of the sanitation & safety of Hostels. Another question. Their website says they are close to the heart of Florence, but on a map, they don't look that close? I will arrive about 2 p.m. so only have a few hours that day and half the next day. Someone please tell me it's a good place! Thanks, Susan

Posted by
842 posts

Read the reviews in Trip Advisor. Sounds like you picked a good place! Also, get their address, plug it in to Google maps, zoom in and out, and see where it is located, in relation to everything else. If you have more questions, send a personal message to the two people that reviewed it in TA, and ask them how they got the bus to the hostel. Have fun!

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187895-d286255-Reviews-7_Santi_Hostel-Florence_Tuscany.html

Posted by
221 posts

Susan I am not a youth either and I have stayed in many hostels. I don't do the bunk dorm thing because I like to sleep at night! You should have a key for your room and or lockers available. don't leave any valuables in your room just in case. Hostels can be very noisy unless they have curfews.

Posted by
1455 posts

If you are worried about your belongings, Pacsafe has a mesh to protect your pack.

Posted by
31271 posts

Susie, don't be too worried about Hostels. Admittedly, there are some "dodgy" properties but most of them are quite good. Often the "Hostel experience" is determined by the room mates that one has.

I'm not familiar with the Hostel you mentioned, but based on the reviews the others mentioned, this will probably be fine. In my experience the chain Hostels such as HI are usually fairly consistent with respect to quality and cleanliness (they have to be in order to belong to the chain).

Good luck and happy travels!

Posted by
31271 posts

Susie, a few more points to add to my previous Post.

I checked the website and it looks like a clean and modern Hostel. It appears to be an independent Hostel and also a fairly new property, which (to me) indicates good facilities.

However, in checking the map I'm not sure I agree that it's "close" to Firenze Santa Maria Novella station. Be sure to take a good map (perhaps copy and enlarge one of the maps from Rick's Guidebooks) so that you have a clear idea how to get there.

I've never used the Bus lines shown on the Hostel web site, so you might want to do a bit of research. You could also use a Taxi, but check the Guidebooks for "taxi etiquette" or you might be faced with a large bill! If the Taxis are similar to Rome, some will be metered and some will be "flat rate". With "flat rate" Taxis, be prepared to walk away if you don't like the rates; often the price will "soften" a bit at that point.

Again, good luck!

Posted by
423 posts

Susie,

If you are traveling alone (requiring a single room) why don't you spend a few more Euros and see if Hotel Il Bargellino has availability. They are 10 minutes walk from the train station and a single room with bath down the hall is 45 Euros.

http://www.ilbargellino.com/

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks for the replies. I am starting to think the $20 or so I'd save in the Hostel isn't worth it.I have sent off an email to the hotel mentioned (ilbargellino?) to see if they have a vacancy.

Please contact me if anyone else has a suggestion in case they have no rooms. I am on a tight budget, so the higher end Hotels are not an option)

Thanks again! Susie

Posted by
12 posts

The Hotel Il Bargellino did not have any rooms left, so I have emailed the Hotel Aldobrandini to see if they did.

(Hotel Il Bargellino was very pleased to hear they were recommended!)

I may end up keeping my Hostel afterall, but at least I gave it a try. Thanks you all for your input!

Susin

Posted by
31271 posts

Susie, you might also check Hotel Aldobrandini, as it's really close to the station (it's mentioned in Rick's Guidebooks). It took me a few minutes to find it, but once I "learned" the location it was no problem at all. It's also close enough to walk to many of the major attractions.

Ignazio (the owner) was extremely helpful, and I really enjoyed my stay there. He recommended an excellent restaurant, which I visited several times during my stay in Florence. It was nice to sit in the breakfast room in the mornings and visit with travellers from all over Europe and North America. I had a somewhat "basic" room which was equipped with a sink and shower, with the WC down the Hall (somewhat like a Hostel).

Good luck!

Posted by
31271 posts

Susie, one other point to make regarding Hotel Aldobrandini, should you decide to change your lodgings.

One of the days I was there, he had two vacancies (from cancellations or whatever?). They were gone in ten minutes! If you decide to stay there, book early!

Cheers!!!

Posted by
127 posts

i did ONLY hostels, and it was great!
the one i did in florence was across the river, and in rome, naples as well, never felt in danger, or scared, or like i was gonna get ripped off.
a few of them had cameras, and in EVERY one, you had to provide your passport for I.D. THAT means : EVERYONE else there is also identified and recorded, and the chance of someone doing something bad is a lot less, knowing that they are "on file".
in general: ppl in hostels are JUST like you: on a budget, wanting to only savor italy. i did prefer private rooms, as it was nice to be alone and gather myself for the next day...
but if i were to do it all again? hostels with out hesitation!.
jim

Posted by
83 posts

Yeah, I've got to comment that unless you don't do any research (and there are plenty of people who don't), you'll find 99% of hostels in europe to be safe, affordable & a great place to meet people.
Florence has a large student population and budget accomodation is reliable there. We stayed at the hostel Archi Rossi, it was a well-run hostel. Keep your belongings in a locker; take your invaluables either with you or at the front desk (I prefer with); and I would recommend bringing a pair of flip flops for the shower. it's called budget accomodation for a reason, but it doesnt it's bad!

Posted by
75 posts

Hi Jim... where did you stay in Florence, Rome and Naples?

Posted by
68 posts

Susie,
Have a look at a website called couchsurfing.com On my last trip to europe I was able to stay with people for free 10 days. It's a great website for budget travelers around the world.

Posted by
127 posts

i was in rome, florence, naples 2 weeks in may, TOTALLY hostels all the way, and am NOT a youth..they were GREAT! i did pvt rooms....you MUST rememebr, every one is registered via passports, so there is a record, most had out side cameras, ALL were clean. i would have NEVER been able to afford the trip if it were not for hostels....PLUS, the few times i had a "shared 6 bedroom", it was totally safe: you got to understand: every one is pretty much like you. it was a great way to get an "underground" view of sites to see/ avoid.
my mantra has been since i got back :jettison FEAR..it is only us here that have been brainwashed, NOT them, and other world travelers.

Posted by
127 posts

casa olmata in rome, florence i think was "6 small rooms"...naples...i forget: it was run by an aussie couple.
check out "www.hostelbookers.com" that was where i did most.

Posted by
89 posts

Susie- I have done both hostels and hotels while in Europe. I love staying at hostels. You get to meet so many interesting people from all over the world. I have never had a bad experience in any hostel I have stayed in. All of them have had lockers or some way to secure your belongings. Some can be noisy if there is not curfew, but I have used ear plugs and that has helped. But most have been pretty quiet. Hope this helps. -Kim