We went to Florence last minute in May for my husband's birthday (we are both 21, I am Swiss-Peruvian and he is American) We found Pensionato Pio X because it was one of the closest things in the city that was still available on this holiday weekend and it seemed OK we just wanted a place to sleep anyways. Well we had a CONFIRMED BOOKING for 4 nights for a private room. When we arrived, we had the VERY VERY VERY BIG surprise that my husband and I would have to sleep in separate DORMS because the incompetent BRUTE owner had GIVEN OUR ROOM to a group of people who came with extra friends .This HORRIBLE owner left us with NO place to sleep on one of the BUSISEST weekends in FLORENCE. We wasted our entire first day trying to find a hostel that would have a private room, ended up paying 3 times as much and never got our deposit back.
On top of that this place was dirty, we looked inside the bathrooms where they have like a few showers for both men and women, so you can run into some guy totally nude as you come out of the shower.
The hostel itself was a good 15-20 minute walk from train stations and major attractions, the closest thing was the ponte Vecchio and that was like 13-15 minutes.
As a Swiss Peruvian I have very high yet accepting expectations. I know Peru is poor but heck if you book a hostel it is cheap and they bend themselves backwards in kindness and friendlyness. As for Switzerland, if there has ever been a error done against me they have made sure to do whatever they can to make it up to me.
Hostels in Florence for me (because we hopped around) were rather disappointing , but Pio X was just utterly disgusting and cold.
Horrible place, horrible management, horrible experience. PLEASE STAY AWAY!!
[ Edit: Edited at Jun 14, 2006 12:52 AM by Schatzie ]
Welcome to Italy hostels.
I spent 1 month travelling through Italy, staying in both Hostels and Pensions. I would say Italy hostels are probably the worst in Europe. The place I stayed at in Florence wasn't much better than what you described.
Rather than letting it spoil your trip, next time try to shrug and forget about it.
True, hostels in Italy are pretty bad, but then you haven't tried their Dutch counterparts yet... when in Europe, especially in major tourist hubs like Florence or Amsterdam, especially during high season, you simply have to cope with it, or spend considerably more money and stay in a (cheap) hotel. And concerning Peruvian hostels, I could tell you stories about their 'friendly' treatment of foreigners... it's just part of the business.
hope the rest of your time in Europe was more of a success,
dont get me wrong, I am part european I love europe, I was just very disappointed with Italy's hostels, even budget hotels and treatment from people. Thank God for their history and amazing museums and monuments that made the trip worthwhile.
As for Peru, maybe it is because I was born there and I can pass for one of them (because I was raised in America since I was a little one)
that I just find them so friendly and helpful but I am sure when it is a real foreigner they may try to raise prices etc. But come on this is Peru not western europe you know?
I have been in Switz for a yr and I just appreciate the quality of life so much more that I ever thought I would. Switzerland can be boring at times and super expensive, but you are paying for quality and that is exactly what you get.
I love Europe I think it is a fabulous place, I guess I just wish I wasnt so hyped about Italy before going there and hadnt lived in Switzerland first because it really raises your expectations on things. lol
Now Im going to Turkey for a week in July- I think I know what to expect but somehow I feel it will over exceed my expectations and be absolutely wild.
Thanks for your comments, glad to know I was not just some picky princess that had a bad experience and blew it out of proportion- figured what I felt was right! hehehe