Living it up at the Hotel Europa

Our room at the Hotel Europa in Florence

I always get a little nervous when making sight-unseen hotel reservations, even in the States. My companion and I have had our share of bummers. There was the creepy place in upstate New York, where a drunk man banged on our door, demanding that his “whoring” wife open the door. (My barking dog scared him off.) And there was the backwater Connecticut dive where I slept on top of the covers in my clothes, after fishing a condom wrapper out of my dog’s mouth.

So I was particularly wary when making accommodations internationally. I’m happy with a place that’s clean, convenient and reasonably secure. I’d rather spend money on things to do and see rather than places to sleep. But after some reading and research, I took a shot at a place called Hotel Europa in Florence. It is well-situated for the sights I want to see in the city, and the price was reasonable. But remembering our other disasters, I was a little concerned when our cab pulled up in front of a nondescript door, set in a building that undoubtedly dates back several centuries. The creaky elevator, with room for only one person with a big bag, was like something out an old spy movie. If not for the bags, both my companion and I could have plodded up to the 3rd floor check-in faster on foot. As our host accompanied us to our room, I have to admit I wasn’t expecting much.

But when he swung the door open, I was in for a nice surprise. The room is huge, the furnishings charming. The ceilings are at least 12 feet high, the 12-inch thick plaster walls keep the place cool in the afternoon sun, and superbly quiet at night. When I pulled the tall shutters back on the wide casement window, the view below was a tiny courtyard with a patio and a pretty little tree with ripening oranges. There’s even a spacious sitting room down the hall, complete with a mural on the ceiling.

Part of a great trip is feeling good with where you stay. This time we found a great place, full of character. Too bad my little dog isn’t along to enjoy it too.

The courtyard outside our Hotel Europa room

Sitting room at the Hotel Europa

Mural on the ceiling of the Hotel Europa sitting room

8 thoughts on “Living it up at the Hotel Europa

  1. Enchanting! Your words and pictures draw us into such a charming place. Lucky you to find a lovely boutique hotel for your European adventure. May the rest of your lodging be as wonderful.

    Now what all of your girlfriends want to know: Have you had fun shopping?

    • Yes, some shopping fun has occurred. There’s a covered bridge in the city with jewlelry shop after jewlelry shop down each side. Some time was spent there.

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