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SS Annunziata: Hotel Europa

Via Cavour 14, Phone: 055.396715

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Reviewed by: Trevertoon from NM, review #2124

When: October 2007

A Quiet Oasis in Central Florence. {2 stars}

We had an enjoyable 3-night stay at the Europa, a 2-star hotel that could rate higher.

It is located on the 2nd & 3rd floors of a building on the east side of Via Cavour a block and a half north of the Duomo. The entrance is well-marked and through the glass doors is a small elevator that didn’t quite hold the two of us and our luggage. The well-worn marble stairs are an alternative.

The “suite level” rooms on the 2nd floor are spacious, and the 3rd floor seems to be a mix of large and small rooms, including the balcony room (#47).

There are small reception desks on each level; owners Gassim and family get plenty of exercise going up and down the stairs between them when only one is in duty! There is a large sitting room on the 2nd floor, where the internet access is located, and on the 3rd floor above it is the breakfast room. Our L-shaped triple (#37, E170)) was very large with high ceilings and tile floors, but no view. The window looked down on a nondescript central court. The Florentine-style furnishings were attractive, including a comfortable bed, a large desk and an armoire with a couple of drawers, but there was plenty of room for a dresser and maybe an armchair, which would have been nice. The air-conditioning unit over the door is operated by a remote.

The bathroom was clean and huge, nicely tiled, with a large pedestal sink and a shower enclosure in one corner. Water pressure was good, with plenty of hot water. There was an unusual chemical odor in the bathroom that we couldn’t figure out, but failed to ask the staff about.

Having stayed previously in hotels along the Arno in rooms facing the river, we can say one of the nicest features of the Europa is: it is QUIET! Although Via Cavour is busy, the rooms are toward the back of the building, so there was no sound of motor scooters at 2 am. The breakfast room is very pleasant, with a frescoed ceiling, and the food selection is familiar but ample: hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, cereals, rolls, pastries and fruit. Gassim is there to greet everyone and explain the workings of the large coffee/cappuccino machine.

The owners are very helpful with advice and reservations, suggesting restaurants and calling for museum reservations (they will make these for you before arrival if you wish). Upon departure, the taxi they called for us arrived exactly on time. If you’re shopping for children or grandchildren, the large toy store on the other side of the street is not to be missed!

Reviewed by: rickandpat from MI, review #949

When: April 2005

Good value. Nice big room in a good location. Helpful staff. Great price. {2 star}

The room was by far the largest we had in 2 weeks in Italy, with the only bathtub we saw. Everything was new and clean, but in keeping with the historic area, the furniture had an antique look. The desk included a mini-fridge, and there was free internet in the lobby.

Breakfast was decent, and in a lovely frescoed room. And the price was very good for a quad suite: €180. (Florence was even more expensive than Rome, we found!)

The only thing I didn't care for was it was on a busy street, but it was a quick walk to the Duomo and Accademia, and just about anywhere else we wanted to go.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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