It may have been that we had just had a brilliant 4 days in Venice at a fabulous B&B there, but Novecento was definitely NOT what we were expecting! It was at the top, on the third floor, of some very steep, exhausting stairs, & whilst the greenery as you reached the door was lovely, it wasn't quite worth the climb! The owners, Sawako & Franco were lovely, but didn't seem to leave you alone! Every time we came or went, they seemed to be there fussing! We were like little kids at one stage when we finally made it out the door without them catching us, & we ran for our lives, giggling! (And I don't suggest doing that on their stairs!). They did mean well however. Our room was a good size, & it was at the top of some more stairs, just before the stairs to the tiny rooftop garden. Our bathroom was 'different' also, but was clean & 'cute'. It was tiny, & if you wanted the toilet whilst your partner was showering, forget it! You had to walk through the shower to get to the toilet.
There were two, maybe three other rooms besides ours, & Franco & Sawako seemed to live in the other half of the apartment, above the kitchen. They could lock the kitchen off & consequently their area above it, & the guest rooms were in the other half of the house, each with its own key.
One of the essentials for us before booking accommodation is to check it has air-conditioning (& wifi) which this did. But it was explained to us that the air con was not working & they were not able to get a technician for a while. Florence seems to be one of the hotter cities in Italy, & being at the top of the building, it was particularly hot & stuffy. Franco was wanting us to tell him what a good sleep we had had, when talking to us at breakfast the next morning, but we couldn't, as we had been so hot. They quickly said they would get a technician in to fix it that day. We were gone for a short while, & returned before heading off to our allotted time slot to see the statue of David. Our air-conditioning was amazingly fixed! We somehow doubt that it was even broken, perhaps a circuit switched or fuse pulled.
The breakfasts left a bit to be desired too. They 'waited' on us, but you had the distinct feeling that they were rationing everything. Franco had asked if we wanted bread rolls the next morning, & that he makes them himself! It was those 'bake at home' ones, that you purchase already made, & you put them in the oven for about 5 minutes! It's fortunate that we don't eat much breakfast.
My husband in particular had a bit of an issue with Franco, & his constant chatter. It drove my husband spare! Franco needed to chill a bit, but he really was very sweet. Sawako was gorgeous, definitely the quiet one of the two, & consequently seemed to understand us better & was more perceptive.
It's redeeming factor was that the location was brilliant. The Duomo was at the end of the block, & when they said in the blurb for the accommodation, that on the rooftop garden you felt as though you could touch the dome of the Duomo, you just about felt you could. Galleria dell'Academia with the statue of David is just down the road. There are some great restaurants very close by.
The rooftop garden was an added bonus, & we enjoyed popping up here for a breath of fresh air, some internet time, or to just read for a while.
It was 'different' & an experience, but we would find alternative accommodation in any future visits to Florence.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel is situated in the centre of Florence,in one the most characteristic streets of the city, few steps far froom the Academy. Where is situated the David of Michelangelo (the original), not far from Medicis chapels, near to the most famous squares of the city. Every 30 minutes about you can benefit from the bus service, from and to the airport. ... more less
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