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Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Providing another lesson in Italian interior design, the Met doesn’t miss a trick...
The Button grows on you...
Hotel Centrale Byron
Locations don't get much better than this, especially in the car-free, wonderfully ingratiating streets of central Ravenna...
Centro Turistico Cittá Di Bologna
This large, well-equipped camp ground is on the north side of Bologna, 6km from the train station. On-site facilities include a bar, minimarket and newsagent. Take bus 68 from the main bus station.
Bypass the rather lacklustre hotel rooms and ask for one of the spacious apartments sprinkled in convenient locations between the station and the city centre.
Ravenna’s vibrant HI hostel is in a modern building 1km east of the train station. There’s an 11.30pm lock-up but for €1 you can hire a ‘night key’, allowing you to come and go freely. Take bus 80 or the red ‘Metrobus’ from the train station.
Sunflower Beach Backpacker Hostel
The same gang of Sunflower City Backpacker Hostel runs this seasonal place, which offers the same prices and amenities. Take bus 11 from the train station to stop 24.
Sunflower City Backpacker
Run by three ex-backpackers, the chilled-out Sunflower welcomes travellers with laundry and cooking facilities, spacious lockers, retro Austin Powers–style wallpaper, pool tables, a bar and free bike hire. There's another branch near the beach.
Hotel Villa Lalla
One of the better hotels in the leafy residential district between the beach and the train station. Its smart white rooms are fresh and cool and, in winter, its rates are a snip...
Student's Hostel Estense
Ferrara's hostel has classic hostel rooms plus extras like geothermal hot water, a bar, a back patio and fantastic amenities for cyclists (bike pumps, a maintenance area and a bike-storage zone).
Ostello Don Zermani
In a quiet residential area 20 minutes' walk southwest of the city centre, this well-run private hostel offers bright, spotless rooms. Laundry facilities are available, and the building has access for guests with disabilities...
A cheerful old-school family pensione with exceptionally spacious rooms, many offering lovely views of nearby palazzi, towers and flowery terraces. The lone room with bathroom costs €10 extra. English and French are spoken.
There’s nothing particularly theatrical about the Torino’s rooms; still, it’s a reliable, centrally located midrange choice that periodically offers online discounts. Parking costs €12.
Palazzo Dalla Rosa Prati
Kick back like Marie Antoinette in regal digs right next to Parma cathedral. Choose one of seven historic suites all renovated to be appropriately posh and palatial.
A venerable Modenese institution, the Canalgrande exudes old-school elegance with its acres of marble, gilt-framed paintings, sparkling chandeliers and a spacious terrace overlooking the garden out back. Parking costs €12.
The approach isn't promising: a short walk off Piazza Verdi along an alley that tipsy drinkers use as an alfresco pee-spot. But, once inside, the journeyman Rossini is warm, friendly and eager to please...
Slick modern furnishings in the ancient centre a mere arrow-shot from the castle, the Ferrara is what design gurus would call 'contemporary' – ie accented colours, minimalist lines, up-to-the-minute electronics, and lots of glass and shiny surfaces...
Il Convento Dei Fiori Di Seta
Before you get to Bologna's budget options, you have to gawp at all the pricey places, including this chic boutique hotel housed in a 14th-century convent...
Halfway between the train station and historic centre, the Morandi features spruce rooms with big beds, gleaming bathrooms and satellite TV. There's free parking, and the service is unfailingly courteous.
Colour-themed rooms are called 'suites' at this finely coiffed hotel where Murano glass chandeliers, original 15th-century frescoes and coffered ceilings are set against modern fixtures and flat-screen TVs...
Hotel De Londres
Well-appointed little place near the beach with enough thoughful extras to usurp the competition. Making a stopover worthwhile are the rooftop spa, the small gymnasiun, the flower terrace and the free bikes.
An old dame in need of a bit of Botox, Astra can still cut it with the budget-minded thanks to spacious rooms, equally ample bathrooms, voluminous (for Italy) breakfasts, and plenty of downstairs seating space where the antediluvian furniture is doing...