I am trying to find a hotel in Florence. I have one booked but I am not sure if it is in such a great place (it is near the train station). I am a woman traveling alone and do not want to put myself in a bad area, especially if I am walking back to my hotel at night. Does anyone know of a relatively cheap hotel in a good location?
Jamie, go to Trip Advisor and read up on your hotel.
Post the hotel name on both this sight and Trip Advisor, and ask the same question.
And lastly, follow Rick's advice and stay in Sienna rather than Florence, and take the bus back and forth to explore Florence. We did this, and found out that Rick was correct; "Sienna is "magical" after dark. Florence is a great place to visit, but not to stay. Sienna is safe and wonderful at night.
Rick has some good suggestions in his book on great places to stay when in Sienna and Florence. We stayed at the Hotel Chiusarelli and found it to be economical and extremely convenient to transportation and the city.
Have a great trip!
Yes definately use Trip Advisor - it's a great site. I also travel alone and I personally would not stay around the station area. I stayed in a hotel right at the end of the Ponte Vecchio called Pitti Palace and it was great. It has a wonderful rooftop terrace where you can see across to the Duomo. The area is quite safe and I didn't feel threatened at all coming back to the hotel at night. It was close to everything and from memory well priced. I love Florence and would stay there but it's all personal preference.
Hotel Pendini is right on Piazza Republia. Right in the middle of the no car traffic area. Near all the "sights". It is old - and may look worn - but the rooms are comfortable, showers have hot water and breakfast comes with the room. http://www.florenceitaly.net/pagine/pendini/index.asp
We learned of it through RS Italy 2004.
I want to thank everyone for their suggestions. I ended up getting a room at Hotel Duomo. It is actually in the Piazza Duomo so I don't have to worry about walking down any small side streets. Of course it did cost about double what I was going to pay, but I think being safe is worth it.
I traveled alone in Italy for 2 weeks earlier this month. I can confidently recommend Hotel Il Bargellino, which is near the train station. It is very reasonably priced - there are 2 single rooms (one with its own shower but no toilet and the other with sink and bidet only - other WC facilities are shared but it's not that inconvenient)for 45 Euro per night. No breakfast, but each room has a small refrigerator and there's a grocery story a block away.
The owners, Carmel and Pino are great, and you feel like you are part of the family.
We also loved the Pendini...short taxi or walk from the train and very safe location..stayed last summer-thanks Rick!