Foresteria Valdese di Firenze (Instituto Gould)

A room at the Istituto Gould, Florence
The courtyard garden at the Foresteria Valdese di Firenze (Istituto Gould), Florence

Good deeds and a cheap room at this hotel-hostel hybrid in the Oltrarno neighborhood of Florence

This is one of the nicest hostels in Florence: no curfew or lockout, and almost all the rooms are double or triples (though there are a few five-bedded rooms), meaning you get an almost-hotel experience at mere hostel prices (doubles start at €50–€60).

The drawbacks: the Foresteria Valdese di Firenze (the new name for the old Istituto Gould) has a major case of the institutional blandness, plus it's in the Oltrarno district, not the center, and a few minutes' walk from anything interesting (unless you're into antiques shops).

The real plus: The true work of the institute is to house orphans and rehabilitate problem children, and their profits are folded right back into that worthy cause, so you can feel good about yourself when paying the bill.

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Via dei Serragli 49 ,halfway between Santo Spirito and Santa Maria delle Carmine, in the long block between Via S. Agostino and Via delle Chiese
tel. +39-055-212-576

Bus: C3, D; 11, 36
Hop-on/hop-off: Tasso (A), Piazza Tasso (C)

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Florence hotel & lodging links
Useful Italian for lodging
English (Inglese) Italian (Italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
yes si see
no no no
Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...a hotel un albergo oon al-BEAR-go
...a B&B un bed-and-breakfast oon bet hand BREK-fust
...a rental room un'affittacamera oon ah-feet-ah-CAH-mair-ra apartment for rent un appartamento oon ah-part-tah-MENT-toh
...a farm stay un agriturismo oon ah-gree-tour-EES-moh
...a hostel un ostello oon oh-STEHL-loh
How much is...? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
a single room una singola OO-nah SEEN-go-la
double room for single use [will often be offered if singles are unavailable] doppia uso singola DOPE-pee-ya OO-so SEEN-go-la
a double room with two beds una doppia con due letti OO-nah DOPE-pee-ya cone DOO-way LET-tee
a double room with one big bed una matrimoniale OO-nah mat-tree-moan-nee-YAAL-lay
triple room una tripla OO-nah TREE-plah
with private bathroom con bagno cone BAHN-yoh
without private bathroom senza bagno [they might say con bagno in comune—"with a communal bath"] SEN-zah BAHN-yoh
for one night per una notte pair OO-nah NOH-tay
for two nights per due notti pair DOO-way NOH-tee
for three nights per tre notti pair tray NOH-tee
Is breakfast included? É incluso la prima colazione? ay in-CLOO-soh lah PREE-mah coal-laht-zee-YOAN-nay
Is there WiFi? C'é WiFi? chay WHY-fy?
May I see the room? Posso vedere la camera? POH-soh veh-DAIR-eh lah CAH-mair-rah
That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
Is there a cheaper one? C'é una più economica? chay OO-nah pew eh-ko-NO-mee-kah
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Istituto Gould

Via dei Serragli 49 , halfway between Santo Spirito and Santa Maria delle Carmine, in the long block between Via S. Agostino and Via delle Chiese
tel. +39-055-212-576

Bus: C3, D; 11, 36
Hop-on/hop-off: Tasso (B), Piaza Tasso (C)

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  • Car resources
  • Emergency service/tow: tel. 803-116
  • Highway agency: (traffic info, serivce areas, toll calculator, weather)
  • Italian automotive club (~AAA):
  • ZTLs: (lightly outdated, but handy, links to cities' traffic-free zones)
  • Transport Florence—Livorno cruise terminal
  • (private car: 90 min, €40–€260)
  • (train: 68–100 min, €9.10) + Livorno port-station transfer (€1 bus; €20–€30 taxi)


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