Italy Tour – An Ode to Hotels

by Len Friesen, Tour Leader

Our hotel here in Monterosso al Mare in Cinque Terre is like a vertical palazzo.   I am writing this on the 7th floor or so, which allows me to look over most of the buildings in this ancient village and out onto the Ligurian Sea.  I’m on the rooftop patio, which is where we had our breakfast this morning with what may have been the best coffee we’ve enjoyed in Italy.  And our rooms are first rate, well furnished, bright and clean with plenty of space.

They compare favourably with our hotel in Venice, which had bright rooms as well in an ancient building that had previously served as an art gallery.  When one  couple in our group had a bit of difficulty with their shower they were instantly shifted and  upgraded.  And the location?  Well, it was deluxe, within a two minute walk of spectacular St. Mark’s Square, once described by Napoleon as the “drawing room of Europe”.  We loved the hotel.

We also loved the Hotel in Florence, which was located on the Santa Maria Novella Square.  This made it an easy jaunt from the railway station, yet also a short stroll to all of Florence’s majestic squares.  Once again we had ceilings that must have been 15 feet high (who knows how high that is in celsius!).

And back further there was our hotel in Assisi which was less than two minutes away from the great basilica there, and the hotel in Rome that was within a short stroll of the ancient Roman Forum, about half-way to the Trevi Fountain.

My point?  TourMagination gives a great deal of attention to the places we’re based.  We can tell you that tours don’t just happen; they are planned over many months, and location is given a great deal of attention.  A central location makes all the difference when ease of access allows for , well, ease of access.  So three cheers to a travel company that is as thoughtful as this one is when it comes to hotels.

It’s a sunny day in these parts, and from this 7th floor outdoor terrace I feel as if I am overlooking all of Italy.  We’ve had a terrific, challenging day of hiking and are now settled in for the evening.  We’re so fortunate to be here, and we know it.

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