rome hotels, hoho bus?

Hi, My family of 4 adults is going to Italy for the first time in August 2013. We are staying in Rome for 4 days and Florence for 4 days and flying home from Venice after 1 day. So far, I have narrowed down 2 hotels for Rome: Hotel Nerva (next to Forum) and Gulliver's Lodge (a little closer to Termini I think). Haven't planned Florence or Venice yet. We would like to walk as much as possible to the sights and enjoy the ambiance of Rome. Has anyone had any reservations at these hotels or heard any good/bad reviews? (I have checked TripAdvisor which is why I have narrowed it down this far). Also, do you have any suggestions on HoHo buses (which ones are better)?
Thanks so much. We are looking forward to this trip so much, but I am so overwhelmed with the planning stage! Thanks for your suggestions, all are welcome.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17788 posts

BC, For travel in August 2013, you could have trouble getting bookings in Rome on such short notice. You may have to expand your hotel choices and take what you can get, at whatever price. The same situation applies to Florence and Venice. I haven't stayed at either hotel so can't offer any comments. You might also look at Hotel Sonya and Hotel Aberdeen, both in the Termini area. I've used the Red HO/HO Bus in Rome on a past trip, and it was good. I'd suggest taking your own Earphones, as the cheap red ones they provide don't provide very good sound quality. Good luck!

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2522 posts

My experience on the ho-ho bus was different from Ken's - it was hot, ran late, and the sound and information were subpar. If you look at RS' guidebook, there are good suggestions for bus routes. Or you can buy a map of Rome that has a bus route guide in it. There are information booths at major bus stops (Piazza Venezia, Termini). The #116 is a good choice for a spin around the historic center, it gets into streets the normal-size buses can't since it's a minibus. If you were traveling a little off-season the ho-ho bus might be fine, but August will be hot-hot.