Saturday, December 06, 2008

Luxury lodging in Florence… Bargain priced !




One peek at the pictures above and you can tell that we really lived it up in our accommodations while in Florence. The price, however, was about one quarter of the going rate for hotel rooms in the area. It was just 50 Euro a night per single room.

As some of you may recall I wrote about staying in Italy’s monasteries when I spent a month there in 2001. A Doctor friend of mine at the hospital where I worked had clued me in on this amazing way to save $$.

He loaned me his copy of “The Guide to Lodging in Italy’s Monasteries”, by Eileen Barish and it set the wheels in motion. On that trip we stayed in 8 different monasteries and each one was an adventure. Some of them were very strict (especially the one in Venice), but they were all exceptionally clean. Most were located in historic buildings in magical places. The views from my window in the room where we stayed in Orvieto were among the most outstanding of our entire trip.

Now back to this recent trip and our lodgings. Since I had been there before I felt comfortable to book for 8 days. We were just a 10 minute bus ride from the center of Florence and actually walked “home” on more than one occasion. We also took many day trips from there to the amazing hill towns that were within a few hours of Florence.

This guesthouse (as the Sister’s call it) is called the Instituto San Giovanni Battista. It is a 15th century Villa that was given to the religious order and they maintain it by hosting tourists and by an Elementary School held on the premises. I would highly recommend it to anyone…no matter the size of your pocketbook!

Another plus was that they actually served MORE than the very hard roll and hot coffee that constituted the breakfasts at the other monasteries. We actually had a choice of coffee or tea, fruit juice, corn flakes, hard roll or croissant and many toppings, including the soft Italian Bel Paese cheese!

If you are lucky enough to plan a visit to Florence and want to be assured of a safe and affordable place to stay…just contact the sister (Suore) at the monastery: by fax 055/6815228-6802394. The mailing address is Via Ripoli, 82, 50126, Florence, Italy.

6 Comments:

Blogger John said...

A great article, which confirms my idea for my next trip. I'm planning to visit Italy next year and found a good site www.monasterystays.com which lists hundreds of monasteries and convents all over the country and they have this monastery listed.
I'm glad you confirmed it is a practical option as the prices (even including their fee) look very reasonable. I'll give them a go as they make it easy to book many monasteries at one go. Check it out

5:34 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I wondered if you were staying at monasteries again. Good for you.

5:58 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

It looks and sounds beautiful, Ginnie. The cost of it sure beats the hotel in which we stayed in Florence - $350E per night. If we ever go back, yours is the way to do it!

10:53 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

It looks beautiful. I think that staying somewhere like that would be great. Thanks for the tips.

9:35 AM  
OpenID Big John said...

Hi Ginnie.
Got you comment at Big John, but you got the wrong John. :-)

6:19 AM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Luxury lodging indeed. What a great friend to clue you in to such a bargain.
I just loved Florence--by far my favorite city in Italy (of the ones we saw). I also liked some of the small towns that wouldn't qualify as a city.

6:33 PM  

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