Trip Adviser review: Altavilla, Florence. One-star

Trip Adviser review: Altavilla, Florence. One-star

(as featured in ‘The Forger and the Thief’)

This is the worst hotel I have ever stayed in. It’s probably the worst hotel I have ever heard of. I’ve stayed in hotels where the heating doesn’t work and in hotels where the shower is reluctant to provide hot water, but the Altavilla managed the double. Perhaps they reckoned that nobody would brave the shower, so it wouldn’t matter that they provided totally inadequate towels. And the only bar of soap was left over from a previous guest who had generously donated his pubic hair.

Breakfast was disgusting – wholly inadequate and the croissants were stale and dried out. How do you even get dry croissants? Do they buy them on Mondays and then leave them to mature?

The place was grubby and the maid looked like a shifty character who was a stranger to hygienic cleaning products.

I’ve slept in a longhouse in the Borneo jungle and a stone shack 3000 metres up in the Andes. I’ve even spent the night in a hotel d’assignation in Paris. (It was late. I was tired. The implications of a tariff that rented by the quarter hour didn’t really sink in until too late.) Yet I have never stayed anywhere nearly as awful as this.

I heard of this place through Kirsten McKenzie. She has a lot to answer for.

The Forger and the Thief is available on Amazon at

Image of Florence at sunset by Steve Hersey –, CC BY 2.0,