October 29, 2007

Italy Report

Filed under: Not Tech, Travel — Chris @ 3:46 pm

We have returned from our trip to Italy, thoroughly relaxed and unprepared for real life. The pictures are on Flickr. A taste…

Here’s what it feels like to pay 9 Euros just to get into the Boboli Gardens.
9 Frikkin Euros!

But here’s what we looked like most of the time.
Napping off a bottle of wine

And here’s the kind of thing one could expect “strolling” around Cinque terre.
Another cat, more scenery

Unfortunately, here’s how we felt by the time we got to the airport.
We hate the Hotel Garibaldi Relais

Random points:

  • My 30th birthday passed uneventfully. I was last in Italy on my 21st birthday, and I now plan to spend every birthday congruent with 21 modulo 9 somewhere in Italy, drunk on red wine.
  • Antico Noe still exists! Cibrèo is still awesome! And it’s still impossible to grok the menu! (Unless you ask!)
  • We need some instruction on how to properly book hotel rooms in Europe. We booked through the Internet and, in each case, paid too much for too little. For instance, we booked an “apartment” in Florence. We thought this meant we would have a small kitchen. It actually meant no front desk and no maid service, period.

    In two out of three cases, the accommodations were disappointing but not disastrous. However, in the last case, I must tell you that Hotel Garibaldi Relais on Via Pratese in Florence is a scam. It is a dank, unhappy place run by unpleasant people; it has a sewer-y smell; the proprietor has spammed various online booking sites with listings under multiple names (e.g., B&B Caffelatte) and fake positive reviews (e.g., this gem from Crivellaro in Alabama (!): “It was so lovely ambience and good and friendy staff.
    During the afternoon it’s literally italian caffellatte in a romantic hall of small hotel.”); they claim it’s “close to everything” when it is actually across the street from the airport; and so on.

  • The Fiddler’s Elbow, which seemed to me on last visit a terrible place, over-stuffed with drunken foreigners, is a very fine place to pass the time over a pint instead of sitting in your stinky hotel room.

[UPDATE] In the interest of PageRank boosting (will it work if I admit that?) and general piling on, here’s H’s review of the decripit hotel…


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