Finding an inexpensive and yet comfortable hotel room in Milan is not that easy. After checking some guidebooks and the internet, I contacted several hotels about disponibility and rates. Many were fully booked, others dared ask 120 euros for a single room in a simple 2-star.
The Hotel Gelsomina however offered me a double room to use as a single for 60 euros per night. When I arrived they even had a real single for 50 euros per night, breakfast included. A real bargain for Milan standards!
You might think that this means the hotel will be filthy or uncomfortable but none of this is true. The Gelsomina offers simple but comfortable rooms. There is not much in the sense of decoration but the bright tiled rooms definitely have a certain charm of their own, the bed is comfortable and everything is utterly clean. There even is airco. Since the hotel is not in the main street (see below) the rooms are quiet. I also appreciated that it is a small and friendly, probably family-run, pension-style place.
One small point of criticism is that both reading lights in my room did not work. I spent very little time in my room so did not really need them but this felt a bit out of tone in this overall well managed place.
Breakfast is included in the price and consists partly of the prepacked toast and marmelade you find in too many Italian hotels. Fortunately they also serve fresh brioches/croissants and of course fresh coffee.
The only real drawback is that the place is not in the city center, there is no metro station nearby neither. You can get to the center by bus however in about 15 minutes.
The hotel is near several bus and tram lines. I asked the staff of the hotel how to get to the Duomo, after that I only used the option they suggested to me but there are possibly other ones. Anyhow: one way of doing it is taking bus 57 to Cadorna from nearby Via Piero della Francesca. This bus stops at both the Cairoli and the Cadorna metro station from where you can either walk into the city center or take the metro.
Please note that coming back from the city center, the bus takes a slightly different route. Get of at the stop named "Sempione (Via Procaccini)", turn right into Via Procaccini, Via Piero della Francesca will then be the first or second street on your left.
During peak hours buses run about every 5 minutes. But even on Sundays there is a bus every 15 minutes. The last bus leaves around 1 am.
To get your ticket best is to buy a 24 hours bus and metro ticket which costs only 3 euros and can be bought near the hotel from the tabaccheria in Via Piero della Francesca and from the kiosk at the other side of Via Procaccini. Don't forget to stamp it on the bus the first time you use it (if the machine returns it unstamped, put it in the other way round...)
Location of the hotel
Please note that the Hotel Gelsomina is not in the main part of Via Piero della Francesca but in an alley which runs between Via Piero della Francesca and Via Mantegna (parallel to Via Procaccini).
Via Piero della Francesca 4/7
www.hotelgelsomina.it (also for a disponibilty request, in Italian or English)
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