We stayed at six places in Italy this year, and my aim is to get in a review of each, with photos where available. Our stop in Siena is called Casa Vacanze il Campo, which I take to mean the vacation house at il Campo, il Campo being the famous plaza at the center of Siena.
My original thought: Yeah we can truck our luggage from the train station to our hotel. Reality: We had to take a cab anyhow. The first fun part was finding the place. The driver was not from the area and had to stop to consult a pedestrian for directions. Finally the driver remarked, “I’ve been here before,” and he drove slowly down the street before stopping in front of Via Salicotto 73.
First up: Strictly speaking this is not a hotel. This is an apartment house. We were renting a suite for three nights. The good news is the place has a separate bedroom and kitchen. The bad news is our suite was on the fifth floor. There is no elevator. First floor is one above the ground floor. Our rear window looked out on a noisy playground, which would have made for trouble sleeping in if that had been our wish.
Since it’s not a hotel, there is no reception as such. There is just a guy manning a desk on the ground floor at Via Salicotto 71. I must say, a very friendly and very helpful guy. He only works business hours, but during this time he is willing and able to help with most visitors’ needs.
Reasons for choosing this place:
- Close to the center of action—a short walk from Piazza il Campo
- Private bath
- Free WiFi
WiFi service varied throughout our trip, but this place was among the best in connectivity, speed and reliability. The kitchen table made a great place to set up my Dell notebook for getting out trip stories and photos.
Security is second to none. The door is fitted with a lock from Fort Knox (apparently) and required a special feel for the key even to let us in. A market is just down the street, allowing us to make our own breakfast, since breakfast does not come with the room.
Staying there gives visitors the feel of living in a real Medieval town, because that is what the center of Siena is. The streets in the neighborhood and the buildings lining them have been in place for hundreds of years. You know from the get go this is not the Las Vegas strip.
Not the bottom price but reasonable at $319 for three nights (plus city tax). Absolutely zero swank. This is a comfortable place to rest your head at night while you spend your days exploring the fascinating town of Siena.
Recommendation: Book it. You want swank? Stay at the Hilton.