Hi everyone! First off - thanks to everyone's advice regarding adding another destination to my trip. We've taken your advice and will stay 3 nights in Venice, 2 in Florence, and 3 in Rome. In Venice - I'm pretty much sold on Ca Bragadin Carabba in San Marco. Does anyone have opinions of San Marco? Is it a good area to use as a home base? Florence - I rolled the dice and went via Hotwire. 4 Star hotel Grand Hotel Mediterraneo. It looks decent, however I'm unsure of the location. I see it's a walk from many places - but is it an okay neighborhood? Rome - HELP! We'd like to be close enough to the Vatican and the Colosseum... what area or what hotel would you recommend? If someone could recommend a central hotel to these places, that would be great! The price doesn't really matter for Rome. Thank you all for your advice!
Your Florence hotel is in a very nice neighborhood and overlooks the Arno River. I've walked by it a few times and it does look nice, but it seems to get a lot of tour groups. The hotel is a good 25 minute or so walk from the center. Walk from the SMN train station is very long; the Campo di Marte train station is much closer. Bus service to/from that neighborhood is frequent and will get you to within about a 5 minute walk of the center. You should consider getting daily passes if you'll be making at least 2 round trips each day.
1. Thats a good spot in Venice. Your not in the center of the Piazza San Marco to Rialto tourist trail, but easy walk to these places. 2. You are about a mile walk from the Duomo. Not too bad, you'll learn the bus system.
3. Vatican and Colloseum are on opposite ends of the center city. Middle would be around Campo Fiori. Nice area but a long walk to either. Another option would be to stay near a Metro station where you could get to either on the train. Again, you can learn the bus system and get around town easily that way.
For Rome I like the area around Piazza Barbarini. Its Only 2 metro stops from termini, has lots of bus connections, a taxi stand, and is close to Trevi fountain and the Spanish Steps. I stayed at hotel Julia, but I would NOT recommend that place unless you are a smoker.