Hotels and B&Bs
Some of our accommodations were reserved in advance, some were recommendations from Lonely Planet's Italy guide book, and others were found by pounding the pavement once we arrived in the city. In that case, we would set Rita up in a good location where she could sit and guard the bags, then I would go out and see what I could find.
Here is a list of the places we stayed with comments on facilities (there may be some errors due to my faulty memory) and prices. Many places charge per person - the prices given are what we paid for 2 people.
Home of Rosmarie Whiston - Zurich Switzerland
Rosmarie was wonderful! We found her on the internet (Bed & Breakfast, Switzerland), and made a reservation by telephone. She picked us up at the airport which meant a lot to us. We were just starting our trip and had gotten off the plane after about 13 hours of travel. We were intimidated by the prospect of having to learn the ins and outs of the trains, then the city trolleys, and buses to find our way to her home in an area where the main language was foreign to us - German. We shared a beautiful bathroom with Rosmarie. The neighborhood was safe and very quite. She served breakfast to order, and had lots of good advice and suggestions. We spent our first 2 nights with her, and returned at the end of our trip to spend the last 3, but at her suggestion, and with her kindly making the reservations, the middle night was spent at Scuol, in the Swiss Alps. 80 CHF ($50/night)
Hotel Bel Soggiorno - Genoa, Italy www.belsoggiornohotel.com
This is a lonely planet recommendation. It is located on the 2nd (or 3rd?) floor (there is an elevator). The manager, Sergio Possio, speaks good English, but no one else seems to. Fortunately for us he was on duty almost all the time and was very helpful. Our room was dark, worn, and fairly noisy (There was a church not too far from the window that struck the hours from 7AM to 7PM, and traffic was sometimes loud). We had a shower on one side of the room, and a small bathroom on the other. The toilet plumbing involved a waste pump that ran each time the toilet was flushed. We also had telephone, TV and refrigerator. Breakfast was included. 70 Euros ($65/night)
I found this place by walking the pathways and looking for signs. The proprietor had several rooms in several locations - our room was some distance from the owner's home. This was a bright clean room with shower and toilet. Breakfast not included. I don't remember the name, and I don't believe we received a receipt when we paid, so the name is probably gone forever. 62 Euros ($58/night)
Hotel Roseto - Pisa, Italy www.csinfo.it/hotelroseto
This was a Lonely Planet recommendation, and was real close to the train station. The room was clean and quiet and had shower, toilet and refrigerator. I don't think breakfast was included, but I'm not sure - we left early the next morning. 64 Euros ($60/night)
Gioia B & B - Rome, Italy
We had reserved this place from home via the internet (cross-pollinate.com). We had received complete directions by e-mail, and had no problem finding the place. We had a large room with a small balcony and a nice bathroom. We had shower, toilet, and TV. There was AC but we did not use it. The attendant spoke English and was very helpful. We extended for an additional night when a city transit strike fouled up our plans, and he helped us book a taxi and find a bus when a rail strike screwed up our plans for getting to Assisi the next day. Breakfast was included. 72 Euros ($67/night)
Hotel Lieto Soggiorno - Assisi, Italy
I started to check out places recommended by Lonely Planet but the first two I tried were full. I happened across this place not on the Lonely Planet list and they had space. The hostess spoke no English, we speak no Italian, so communicating was a challenge. The room had toilet, shower, telephone and TV. Breakfast was available and we assumed it was included, but we were charged an extra Euro (breakfast for two for 1 Euro is a great deal!) 50 Euros ($46.50/night)
Hotel Montreal - Florence, Italy www.hotelmontreal.com
We had no reservations in Florence, but I set out with a map marked with a few Lonely Planet recommendations, starting with those closest to the train station. The first was out of business, I couldn't find the 2nd, so I started checking any hotel I found as I looked for the next recommended place, and I found the Montreal - not a Lonely Planet recommendation. It was on the 2nd floor (no elevator) of a building about 5 minutes walk from the train station. The desk clerks all spoke English. The room was bright and clean with shower, toilet, telephone, and TV. The street outside our window was noisy with construction by day, bar patrons by night, and traffic at all hours. Breakfast not included. 62 Euros ($58/night)
Giardino Nascosto - Padova, Italy
This B&B is the elegant home of Mrs. Vlady Tisato Frattina who rents out one spare room. We located her by internet (through Koko Nor) and made a reservation by mail before leaving home. We used this room as our base from which we made daily trips to Venice. We chose to stay in Padova rather than Venice because our guidebook warned of high prices and a shortage of rooms in Venice. The commute consisted of a 0.77 Euro bus ride and a 3.60 Euro train trip (per person) and took about one to one and one half hours. The room had shower, and toilet. Breakfast was included. Mrs. Frattina did not speak English but made herself understood with sign language and occasional help from her young son. 62 Euros ($57.50/night).
We spent one night on the train between Venice and Vienna.
All of our nights in Poland were spent with our friends in private accommodations.
We spent one sleepless night on the bus between Wroclaw, Poland, and Vienna, Austria.
K & T Boarding House - Vienna, Austria www.kaled.at
We arrived in Vienna at 5AM without reservations, but with the name and address (but not the telephone number) of K & T from our pre-departure internet search (mytravelguide.worldres.com). After walking the streets of south Vienna looking for a place, I took the subway to K & T, and we got their last room (the yellow room - see their website). K & T is located on the 4th floor (which Europeans call the 3rd floor) of a building that does not have an elevator. The sign above the street door reads "EINGANG EROTIK MARKT". Our room faced the main street and was noisy during the day, but traffic noise was not bad at night. The room was bright and clean and had TV. We had a private toilet, but it was located off the lobby. Our private shower was located in the laundry room. Tina the hostess was friendly, helpful, spoke excellent English, and lived on the premises with her husband and young daughter. Breakfast not included. 50.87 Euros ($48.00/night)
Hotel Tor - Geneva, Switzerland
We arrived in Geneva about 7:30PM on a Friday night with no reservations. It was past 9PM when I found Hotel Tor. Located on the 3rd and 4th stories of a building facing the bus station, and entered through a bar, it had shower, phone, and TV. The bathroom was down the hall. The front desk people spoke English. Lots of noise from the street. Breakfast was delivered to our room. Although rated a three star hotel, we felt the accommodations ranked with the one stars. 120 CHF ($80/night).
Hotel Curuna - Scuol, Switzerland www.curuna.ch
This hotel was part of a package deal arranged for us by Rosmarie Whiston, our hostess in Zurich, that included the train ride from Zurich and return (the train ride was the highlight of the Scuol trip and would have cost us 152 CHF - $100 for 2 people). The hotel was bright and clean, the neighborhood quiet. It had toilet, shower, telephone and TV. The front desk people did not speak English. Breakfast was served in the dining hall/ reception lobby. 170 CHF ($112/night)
Page last updated May 02, 2004