Florence – Our See, Eat, Visit Shortlist
- The architectural splendour of the Duomo
- The historical Ponte Vecchio
- The best steak in Florence at Braciere Malatesta
- A ‘pizza wrap’ for lunch with a view of the Duomo at “Caffe Giotto”
- Some snacks from one of the many food stalls at the “San Lorenzo Market”
- The iconic “San Lorenzo Market” for leather goods, food, and other assorted wares.
- The Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David and other fantastic works.
- The Da Vinci Museum to explore the mind, and works, of an absolute genius.
Hotel Review – Hotel Sempione
We had one of the best days of the entire trip in Florence, but some of the worst nights sleep. The hotel has a lot of faults, yet I still maintain that it’s fine for those looking for a couple nights crash like we did. Under no circumstances, however, should you book this for a family or anyone expecting comfort – it’s nice enough, but nowhere near the level of others we’ve experienced. Here’s the lowdown on the room:
Rates – we got this much, much cheaper due to booking way in advance, but a twin room tonight would be EUR 150.
Beds – tiny, uncomfortable, and with pillows so shit I’d have preferred to use rock.
Shower/Bathroom – the bathroom itself was actually quite good, although very small, yet the shower was about as effective as a dying man spitting on you from across the street.
Storage – There was one giant wardrobe and a couple of drawers; this wardrobe was the cause of the room being so cramped, and I think they need to rethink their storage solutions.
A/C – effective, but extremely loud. I’d rather have a leaf blower.
WiFi – horrendous, so it’s not very useful for those needed to keep on top of business or submit anything online.
Notes – the room was cramped, yet still wasn’t as bad as our experience in Paris. It had a mini-fridge, was kept clean, and has sky on the television for those interested.
Staff – absolutely amazing. They were one of two highlights of the hotel, and were some of the friendliest people we’ve encountered. They’re also the reason I’d ever consider staying there again.
Food – not tested but breakfast is included.
Location – other than the brilliant staff, the location is the only other fantastic element of Sempione. It’s literally a two minute stroll to the Duomo, and a short walk to the Ponte Vecchio, Museums, and San Lorenzo Market. It’s one block down from the train station, so for interrailing it’s great, but be warned the streets around are busy from dawn till dusk.
To conclude, Hotel Sempione wasn’t the best hotel we’ve stayed in, but it certainly wasn’t the worst. The friendly staff make you feel extremely welcome, and the location is unbelievable; if the room wasn’t as cramped and the beds weren’t as shit as they were, I’d give this place a higher score, but for now we’ve decided upon a 3*/5*.