I almost cancelled my trip last week for a couple of reasons (time and money, what else?!) I recently agreed to be Acting Manager for my group (while the permanent manager is on a two year project) and wasn't sure if I could still get the time off work. But it looks like I will be able to swing the time after all, so I am going ahead with the trip.
While everything was (briefly) up in the air and I was back in dreaming mode, I pondered staying somewhere other than Florence...
I had cancelled my apartment rental, just in case. I could rebook it now that the trip's back on, but it doesn't fit in my new (tighter) budget...I do hope to return to the apartment on a future trip though, perhaps another time I'll have someone else to share the cost with.
I checked out a few apartments in places like San Miniato, Ferrara, Treviso, Salerno, Montagnana, Fauglia, Civitella Marittima. Gloria from Slow Talk's Casina di Rosa was unfortunately not available for all my dates. I could have booked it for one of my weeks, but I really want to stay put for the duration. After looking at all these places - wow!, do I have a big wishlist for future trips!! These sound like fascinating places to spend time. Add these to my already lengthy list of places I want to return to: Rome, Venice, Amalfi, Assisi... Not to mention new-to-me destinations such as France (Toulouse, Aude, Carcassonne, Paris of course), Poland (Krakow for some reason appeals to me - maybe paired with Prague sometime, which I understand is a gorgeous city.) I need to win the lottery so I can feed my new travel addiction...yeah, that plan would work a lot better if I bought lottery tickets.
Anyhoo...apparently Florence is where I am meant to go this trip (and not just because my trip counter says so!) I just keep getting drawn back there in my dreaming. Follow your heart, I tell myself.
However, in addition to being pulled toward Florence, I am also feeling the need for greenery and staying outside the tourist core, so have chosen the Five Star Villa on Via di Santa Margherita a Montici. I'm not renting one of the suites because they cannot be rented as a single, but have booked one of the small rooms on the upper floor. The room looks quite tiny actually, in the photo, but the common areas and grounds appear to make up for that. I got a great price of 40 euro per night, including breakfast, through the Venere website.
Of course I am prepared for this to turn out to be entirely too good to be true, and may find myself in an attic closet for that price, but oh well, live and learn. Better to sleep in an attic than to not go to Florence at all! Plus the views from up there will make it worthwhile. There are good reviews one Venere and trav.com.
The villa is about 4-5 kilometres away from the historic centre but I looked on google maps and ATAF and there appear to be fairly decent bus options so I'll likely catch the bus UP the hill most of the time...hey, it's a vacation, not a work-out! But truly, that distance does not sound daunting to me at all...I walk roughly that distance over my lunch hour on a semi-regular basis.
I don't see any mention of laundry facilities being available to guests, so my attire will no doubt be looking quite shabby by the end of trip, from half-hearted washings in the sink at the end of a long day...but oh well, I won't win any fashion awards in the first place so am not going to worry about it.
Maybe this villa is one of the rooftops in these photos I took last summer from the terrace by the Porcelain museum in the Boboli Gardens - that would be a neat coincidence!