July 9, 2005
Location, location, location!!
Hotel San Stefano is right in the centre of historic Ferrara, only 5 minutes from the Duomo.
HOW TO GET THERE (from the railway station):
When you get out of the station, turn right, take the second street on your left (Corso Piava), and walk past the stadium. At the roundabout, take Via Capo della Volte and turn left at Via Boccanale di Stefano. The hotel is on your right side 1 block away.
WHAT THE ROOM IS LIKE:
Our room was on the third floor and fairly large, which means that there is enough space around the beds to move freely. It was nicely furnished, with twin beds with foam mattresses that were slightly too soft, air-conditioning, a television with only Italian channels, and windows that did not shut properly. The en-suite bathroom was well equipped. Both the room and bathroom were meticulously clean.
The breakfast room was an oblong room with bare walls and tables for six and eight persons. On one side, there was a stack of plastic garden chairs, and behind the couch, some pictures that had either been discarded or never put on the walls.
When we came down for breakfast, the dirty cups of early risers had not been cleared away. Breakfast was minimal: bread rolls, but they were not fresh, instead being pre-packed croissants (slightly soggy and limp) with chocolate or cherry fillings. The pre-packed biscottes were tasty and crisp, with butter, jam (different flavours), and spreading cheese. We had one (small) cup of cappuccino and fruit juice from a pack, which was brought in halfway through our breakfast chilled, which was good.
Behind the reception desk, it says that the hotel is closed from 1am to 7am. That's why we were very surprised to find nobody at reception when we came down at 7:30am and found the breakfast room locked. Another guest was pacing up and down, also waiting for his breakfast.
At 8am, the receptionist arrived and opened the breakfast room. The breakfast had been put out the previous night, and now we understood why the bread rolls weren't fresh.
If you’d like, you can rent bicycles at 3.50€ per day. There are also leaflets with suggestions for bicycle routes.
They have a very cold reception staff. We felt as if we had to be grateful that we could stay here. At 70€ per night, we had expected some kind of service.
If you are in Ferrara, you might try another budget hotel:
Albergo San Paolo, Via Balluardi (tel: 0532 762040) . It is on a fairly busy ring road opposite Porta San Paolo, just inside the historical centre.
When you leave the station, turn right, take the first street on your left, and walk past the stadium. Bear right at the roundabout, Via Piangipane. Cross Piazza Travaglio. Porta Paolo is on your right. Continue straight on Via Baluardi. The hotel is on your left.
From journal Northern Italy by Train