We had intended to camp on our way through Italy but we were a bit too early – most of the campgrounds do not open until after April and we passed through in the first half of March. So we spent a bit more than intended on accommodation in Italy, though because we were not really in high-season we got some decent rates on hotel rooms, at least for Italy.
San Remo – Villaggio Dei Fiori, Via Tire a Velo N 3, San Remo (www.villaggiodeifiori.it). €16 for campsite. Campsite is down on the water about 3k or so west of San Remo – watch for signs along SS1. The tent pitches are brick and cobblestone but with a decent sleeping pad it was okay. The bathrooms are clean and have hot showers. The park was not very crowded when we were there (1 Mar). There is a restaurant on site, food was decent. Wi-fi is €2/hour and works in the bar/restaurant.
Pietra Ligure – Camping Dei Fiori, Viale Riveria 11 Pietra Ligure. €15 for tent pitch. Campground is on the road up to A10, about 1k or so from SS1 (at roundabout) – watch for signs. Campground wasn’t great. The shower room and the toilet rooms were unisex and the shower stalls were so small that it was difficult to have your things in the stall with you without getting everything wet. No toilet paper, paper towels or soap in the bathrooms. Wi-fi for purchase at €1/hour.
Genova – Hotel Europa, Via delle Monachette 8. Just near the Stazione Principe. We paid €75 for a room including breakfast . Hotel is decent and in the historical city centre. There are lots of restaurants, cafes and snack bars around. Wi-fi is free – a bit patchy in our room but okay in lobby.
Sestri Levante – Albergo San Pietro, Via Palestro 13, Sestri Levante, www.albergoristorantesanpietro.com. This hotel is a family run hotel located in the older part of the city just a block from the Bay of Silence. We paid €60 for a decent room with ensuite. No wi-fi but there is a café just around the corner with free wi-fi. A very nice room and very quiet, it seemed to be one of the cheapest places in Sestri Levante when we were there – several of the hotels were not open. There are some campgrounds just on the edge of town. Bikes were kept in the locked hallway but there is also a locked parking garage across the street.
Marina di Massa – Campeggio Italia – a campground that is really set up for caravans and permanent bungalows, there appear only to be a few spots for tents. No real services, the restaurant was not open when we were there (low season). We paid €18 for the tent site. We had intended to stay at Iron Gate Marina campground near Sarzana but it was closed.
Montopoli Val d’Arno– Toscana Village, Via Formoli 9. Campground is located at the edge of town. We paid €25 for a site with power. This was a nice campground with grassy pitches and nice clean bathrooms with goo d hot water. They also have bungalows for rent and there is a restaurant on site (closed when we were there in early March).
Florence – Hotel Dali, Via dell’Oriuolo 17. This is a great value hotel located just down the street from the Duomo. We paid €50 for a double bed with shared bathroom. The bathrooms are clean, the beds are comfortable and there is a sink in the room. They do have other options available. Ask for a room facing the courtyard – it will be quieter and a bit lighter. Bikes were kept in the courtyard parking area, which is locked at night. Internet was free.
Siena – Hotel Alma Domus, via Comporegio 37 (email@example.com). This is a former convent that is now a hotel run by the Catholic diocese. A great old building that has been renovated into decent rooms. Nothing fancy but very clean and quiet. The views out the back are stunning. We paid €67 for our room, which appeared to be a triple room – not many folks there so they upgraded us. Breakfast was included (decent), internet could be purchased for €5/3 hours and it worked in our room. Bikes were kept in the locked luggage room.
Camucia – Hotel Nuovo Centrale, Via Italo Scotoni N. 5, Camucia. This little village sits right at the base of Cortona, one of the well-known hill towns in Italy. This hotel doesn’t look like much from outside but it is a really well-run family hotel with clean rooms, comfortable beds and free wi-fi. We paid €55 for a good sized double room with ensuite (no breakfast when we were there but I think they offer in the busy season). The bikes were kept in a locked garage next to the hotel. Very friendly hosts, the man spoke very good English and was helpful. Actually a cute little town with a great deli just down the street and a lovely bar/pastry shop called Vanelli’s down the main road with some great pastries and coffee.
Gubbio – Hotel Gattapone, Via Beni 11/13 and via Ansidei 6 (firstname.lastname@example.org). We paid €59 for a double room with ensuite and free wi-fi, including breakfast. We had a great view of the old town from our top floor room. Good hotel with good breakfast. Bikes were kept in a locked courtyard (not undercover)
Jesi – Hotel Mariani, Via Orfanotrofio 20, Jesi (www.hotelmariani.com). We paid €75 for a double room with ensuite, including breakfast and wi-fi. This hotel was located just outside of the old city walls. It looks a bit odd from the outside (near a gas station) but the rooms were decent (though the walls were a bit thin). It is in a handy location – the other hotels were a bit farther out of town. Bikes were kept locked in a service room. No lift so it was a bit of work to schlep the bags up to the room.
Ancona – Residence Vanvitelli, Vicolo della Serpe 9, Ancona, email@example.com, 071 – 20.01.08. Great hotel alternative in Ancona. We paid €60 and were given an apartment with kitchen and washing machine (I think we were upgraded due to some confusion in the booking). Internet (via ADSL cable) was available for €2/day. Rooms are clean, bikes were kept in the apartment with us as the apartment we have has a separate entrance. The building is located in the old city area, very handy to the port if you are planning to take a ferry and close to lots of restaurants.