Trip to Florence (Firenze), Italy  - July 2007
About our hotel Anglo American
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Entrance of Anglo American hotelAs usual we were a bit late booking a hotel before our travel. In the end we decided to try something called Top Secret hotels on the Norwegian online travel agent It is the same concept as where you book a hotel based on price, location and stars but you donít know exactly what hotel you will end up with until youíve handed over your payment details. We ended up at Hotel Anglo American on Via Garibaldi 9 and we paid about 3500 Norwegian kroner for 4 nights including breakfast (about 110Ä per night). You can see the location of the hotel on this interactive Google map that I have made of Florence. The hotel is marked with a yellow marker.


The HUGE bed at Anglo American hotel in FlorenceWe arrived in Firenze on July 17th 2007 and took the airport bus to Santa Maria Novella railway station. It is a short trip as the airport is only about 4 km out of town. The airport bus stops at a station right next to the train station. From there it was only a 10 minute walk to the hotel so we just dragged our suitcases there based on a map we had with us. The room was not ready when we came but they stored our luggage while we went out for lunch. When we came back to the hotel the suitcases where taken up to room 331 which turned out to be a surprisingly large deluxe room.


The room
The TV at Anglo American hotel in FlorenceRoom 331 located on the 3rd floor was much larger than expected. In places like Paris, Milan etc weíve had tiny rooms and I have gotten the impression that this is the standard in European city hotels. The other difference was the bed in the room: it was HUGE with a beautiful headboard and it was also pretty comfortable :-) The room was quite nice with light wall paper, dark wooden floor, dark wooden furniture, a small TV on a table, a small table with two chairs and a small desk with a chair. The bathroom at Anglo American hotel in FlorenceThey offered mostly Italian TV channels and the only English ones where CNN and MTV. In the end I was fed up about hearing about the Harry Potter book release on CNN (and no, I did not watch TV that much). The small entrance led into the bedroom and the bathroom. In this entrance there was also a wardrobe with a few hangers, a small safe and a minibar. We didnít get much for the minibar as the prices where quite steep. A Coke was about 4Ä and that should give you an idea of the price level. The small bathroom was partially tiled and included a bathtub with two shower heads and a shower curtain to prevent the water from splashing everywhere. There were quite a lot of amenities (another surprise for me) and it included shampoo, shower gel (both didnít smell any good), tooth brush, razor, shower cap etc.


The breakfast
Part of the breakfast at Anglo American hotel in FlorenceThe breakfast was served next to the reception on the ground floor. It included bread, rolls, pastries, cereal, eggs, bacon, Italian sausages etc. There was also a nice selection of fruit, yogurt, various juice etc. There was a big pot of American coffee which most people went for but it was also possible to get the ďrealĒ thing straight from the kitchen - espresso, macchiato, cappuccino etc. We used the oppertunity to get some real coffee of course :-)


Nikki having breakfast at Anglo American hotel in FlorenceThe hotel is located about 10 minutes walk from Santa Maria Novella railway station (about 800 meters) and from there it is another 10-15 minutes to the Duomo. But we found out that it was also possible to take the small mini buses B and D nearby and from there you can get to e.g. Ponte Vecchio. There are several buses that stop in the area and most of them go to the train station. We took a taxi home to the hotel one night and it cost us 10Ä from the Duomo. If you want to walk it is about 1.5 km to walk to Ponte Vecchio. But getting a taxi was actually quite difficult that late - which surprised us seeing as itís a main tourist area.


If you are picking up a rental car from AVIS like we did it is also useful to know that it is a fairly short walk to the local AVIS office on Via Borgognissanti.


A couple of chairs at Anglo American hotel in Florence - and my new flashy suitcaseI was positively surprised by the size of the room and the size of the bed at the hotel. The bed was comfortable; we didnít hear any noise from the neighbouring rooms or traffic on the outside. The only things I can complain about was the air-con fan that was a bit noisy at night and the wireless inter access rates that were ridiculously high. The location is not ideal but it is not a problem unless you have a problem walking a bit - or are afraid of taking a chance with local bus transportation :-) I would not hesitate to stay at Hotel Anglo American again but it would have to be in a similar big room.


More information about the hotel can be found on the hotel homepage.


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