Weekly top five of five -- Italy
Milan Fashion Week kicks off February 24 in the city known for its stylish residents and elegant piazzas.
Milan is Italy's second most visited tourist destination; nearly two million tourists flocked there during 2008, lured by the shopping opportunities from Italy's legendary designers and rich cultural offerings. This week, the city will also host the opening of French beauty chain Sephora's largest European store and an exhibition dedicated to Austrian artist Egon Schiele.
However, in Italy, Rome always holds top spot. It is the 14th most visited place in the world, with 6.2 million arrivals in 2008, helped no doubt by the the Vatican, to which religious travel has proved resilient throughout the recession, according to Euromonitor. The good news for travelers, however, is that its popularity isn't matched by its prices - according to hotel booking site Trivago, the average price of a February night in Rome will set you back €104, cheaper than €133 in Milan and positively thrifty compared to the €164 average rate in Venice.
Out of Rome's 1,305 hotels, the boutique Welrome is the most popular with travelers. Gushing reviews from guests lauded the friendliness of owners Mary and Carlo, whilst rooms were described as clean and quiet.
1. Welrome Hotel
2. Residenza Cellini
4. Spalletti Trivelli
5. WRH Trastevere
Average Price $242/€179
As Milan is Italy's business capital, it comes as no surprise that the top choice here was the five-star Park Hyatt Milan. "Wow", said one review, whilst other guests praised the quality of the hotel concierge service and food offerings. Boutique Hotel Spadari al Duomo took second place.
1. Park Hyatt Milan
2. Hotel Spadari al Duomo
3. Enterprise Hotel
4. Lancaster Hotel
5. Una Maison Milano
Average Price $422/€311
Venice's top five hotels were in two- to four-star categories, with travelers describing the top canal-facing hotels as "worth every penny."
1. Al Ponte Antico Hotel
2. AD Place Venice
3. Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo
4. Ruzzini Palace Hotel
5. Hotel Canal Grande
Average Price $329/€243
Florence's top hotels were mainly in the three-star range, with the five-star Palazzo Magnani Feroni the only exception. As a result, they were a lot cheaper, although one guest warned visitors not to expect the top-ranked hotel to deliver a four- or five-star experience.
1. Hotel Davanzati
2. Hotel David
3. Hotel Casci
4. Palazzo Magnani Feroni
5. Hotel Benivieni
Average Price $290/€214
The beautiful Costiera Amalfitana remains one of Southern Italy's biggest tourist draws, and Amalfi itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Floridiana Hotel, Amalfi's most popular, is praised as romantic, cheerful and clean by visitors.
1. Floridiana Hotel
2. Santa Caterina Hotel
3. Residenza del Duca Hotel
4. Hotel Marina Riviera
5. Hotel L'Antico Convitto
Average Price $276/€204
Data is taken from millions of independent reviews and rankings surveyed at TripAdvisor taken at 10 AM GMT on February 24, 2010.
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