Italy 2006

Our hotels

This page has information about and pictures of the hotels where we stayed. We found all of them on the Web, so links are provided.

Palermo: Ai Cartari, Via Alessandra Paternostro 62.


This calls itself a B&B, but the breakfast part is a voucher that you take to a nearby bar to get breakfast. We enjoyed having cornetto and cappuchino with the locals, but it might not appeal to everyone. The accommodation is in a converted paper mill. We had two large and comfortable rooms - bedroom and living room - and a reasonably sized bathroom.

The living room has a small kitchen area, so it would be possible to self-cater instead of eating in restaurants. It is convenient for many of the sights, but Palermo is a large city and buses (or taxis) are needed to visit some sights, no matter where your accommodation may be. Strangely, the pictures on the web site show the owners' home rather than the guest rooms. The owners were very welcoming and helpful.

Sorrento: La Magnolia, Viale Caruso 14.

  This B&B does serve breakfast, on a small balcony outside the room. We had a comfortable room with adequate bathroom. It is about 60 metres from Piazza Tasso, Sorrento's main square, and so was very convenient.

Matera: La Casa di Lucio, Via San Pietro Caveoso 66.


This is a very modern hotel located in the Sassi area of Matera. Less than 50 years ago, people lived in this area in house-caves dug out of the hillside. The hotel consists of a number of these caves, extensively modernised.

Our room was behind the second double doors seen in the first photo. It consisted of quite large living room and bedroom areas, separated by arches. The bathroom was compact, even by Italian hotel standards: it could not take two people at the same time. Indeed, there was some difficulty in taking one person at a time.

It was comfortable and very convenient for looking around the Sassi area. But, although it is quite small, it was somehow impersonal in a large-hotel way.

Monte Sant'Angelo: Hotel Michael, Via Reale Basilica 86.

  This was quite fun. Probably a fairly typical Italian country town hotel. Reception and rooms on the first floor, with the breakfast room on the top floor with a great view over the town and down the Puglian coast. It was conveniently located: just across the road from St Michael's Basilica, and about 100 metres from a car park. The staff were friendly, and let us use their clothes line to dry some underclothes that we rinsed out in our room. As at October 2017, the hotel's web site was closed.

Scanno: La Casa di Costanza, Via Napoli 27.
This was rather similar to a many English B&Bs in its atmosphere. The room was comfortable, and for once there was free car parking on site. The owner was helpful, and let us use her clothes line to dry our washing. Sorry, no photo.

Norcia: Hotel Grotta Azzura, Corso Sertorio 24.


Comfortable enough, but busy and rather impersonal. In the centre of the town, with their own free car park about 100 metres away. We chose this hotel partly because of its restaurant, which is written up in all the guide books, but we were disappointed.

The restaurant is huge, taking up the entire ground floor of the building and part of a street outside, and the meal we had was not particularly good. The impression was of a production line designed to serve hordes of tourists. Never trust guide books.

Urbino: Hotel Bonconte, Via della Mura 28.

  Recently modernised and very comfortable, if a bit impersonal. Free car parking on the street outside. The hotel is just inside the walls and it was a short, but very steep, walk to the centre.

Venezia: Pensione La Calcina, Fondamenta Zattere ai Gesuati.


On the Fondamenta Zattere in Dorsoduro, near the Zattere vaporetto stop and less than five minutes' walk from Accademia. It was reasonably priced, considering its location, and comfortable. Our room was on the third floor, up steep stairs, but the hotel had porters to carry our luggage.

Breakfast was served on a deck built out over the water of the Guidecca Canal, and it was lovely to sit there and watch the vaporetti and other water traffic. There is an hourly ferry from Zattere to the parking lot at Fusina, which is a bit cheaper than the closer car parks.

Vezzano Ligure: Albergo Al Convento.


This had been the convent attached to the village church, and has recently been convered into a very comfortable hotel. The receptionist was very helpful, providing us with maps and information on how to park in La Spezia and catch a train to the Cinque Terra.

There was a very good restaurant on the ground floor, where we ate three excellent meals. Breakfast was served on a small terrace on the first floor, with views over the village and countryside.

Volterra: Hotel Villa Porta all'Arco, Via Mazzini 2. ( As at February 2015, this web site was not operating.

  Another comfortable, if rather old-fashioned, room. The hotel is just outside the city walls, and it was a long, steep walk to get to the centre. Free car parking on site. Breakfast was served in the back garden, and included seven excessively sinful cakes. Nick avoided having any of these, but Lynn.... There was no view from the garden, but it was pleasant.

Siena: Palazzo Masi, Casato di Sotto 29.

  We has a comfortable room in the building with green shutters on the right of the street in the photo. It was about 50 metres from the Campo (Siena's main square) and very convenient for all the sights, but it was a long way from the car park, and steep in both directions. The landlady was friendly, and told us a lot about the Palio.

  This was the ceiling of our room: nothing at right angles....

Roma: Palazzo Crescenzi, Via Sant'Eustachio.


We had a comfortable apartment, with large living room and bedroom, a small kitchen, and a rather cramped bathroom. Its convenience can be judged from the photo: we were in the cream building half-hidden by the Pantheon's facade.

It was very nice to be staying in the heart of Rome this time. We have visited twice before, but had stayed on the outskirts of the centre. This time we could easily wander around the centre at night.

Although the apartment was comfortable and convenient, it was not entirely as advertised. It was on the first floor, and was said to have a lift. Although the building did indeed have a lift, it did not serve the first floor. The apartment was also said to be airconditioned, there was only a portable unit in the bedroom, which did little to cool the living room in Rome's heat. Nor was the apartment in very good repair. The washing machine did not work; the television in the bedroom did not work; the CD player did not work; the inner handle to the bathroom door was loose; and some fitments were coming off the walls. But, for all that, it was a comfortable flat and very convenient. And we did not really need a CD player or a television! Update: As at December 2010, this apartment is not listed as being available.

That's all, folks! Thank you for sharing our photographs and memories.


  Copyright © 2006 by Lynn Booth. Click here to contact us or to request a full-size photo