Hotel Santa Croce in Fossabanda
Piazza Santa Croce, 5, Pisa, Tuscany, 56125, Italy
Breathtaking Ambiance - Great Breakfast!
You know when you pass a Lotus in the parking lot that your stay is going to be above-average! My husband and I ran into train strikes on our honeymoon and unexpectedly needed to stay the night in Pisa on our way to Assisi. His father found us this ex-monastery Hotel Santa Croce in Fossabanda online and reserved our rooms a matter of hours before we arrived.
If you have ever dreamed of visting a picture-perfect monastery with beautiful courtyard cloisters and frescos, this is it! You are literally staying in the midst of this. The advantage to being within the cloister walls is that it is very quiet inside, very peaceful.
The complimentary breakfast was the best I have EVER had in Italy, spanning all of my trips over the years. Usually Italian breakfasts are disappointing, but this was perfect: attendants making sure food was hot/cold and plentiful, lots of choices for juice, fruit, cereal, pastries, yogurt, etc. The ambiance of breakfast was my favorite part of our whole trip in Pisa. I could have sat looking out at the cloister courtyard for the rest of my life. If you want an old, historic Italy sensory experience, choose this hotel!
The rooms were adequate. It seemed no matter how hard we tried in Italy we just could not get one large bed....we always had two single beds. The rooms were very clean with an adorable view.
To put a cherry on top, there is an active church still on the grounds of the hotel! Right next door to the entrance, you'll find a beautiful, elaborate church with statues and the Blessed Sacrament reserved. If you are a religious person, this would make the hotel the "complete package" - you can get up in the morning and pray or go to Mass in the beautiful, peaceful church!
I would recommend this hotel to ANYONE visiting Pisa. I would LOVE to stay again!!
Unique Quality: This hotel is a former Dominican monastery (meaning nuns used to live here :) It still has historic frescos in this and that corner or wall.
I was very impressed by the complimentary breakfast. Usually in Italy, "breakfast" is coffee and a pre-packaged pastry... prosciutto and toast if you are lucky. This hotel provides their guests with a wide array of breakfast foods, fruits, drinks, yogurt, cereal, etc. I was very pleased! And the coffee was great too. The BEST part about breakfast is the ambiance. You can sit inside or out in the cloister courtyard's hallway. I cannot describe this experience adequately: tranquil, historic, like paradise!
A night in the convent
Santa Croce in Fossabanda once used to be a convent of Dominican nuns, later it was given to the to the Franciscans. The convent had been closed then in 19th century and became a quarantine hospital before serving various purposes of public interest. Now Santa Croce in Fossabanda is a hotel with 67 rooms. I found the quiet ambiance there very nice, it is indeed a relaxing place! The double rooms are quite big, with high ceilings, and are simply furnished, but very clean. They have a phone, aircon and a television. There are nice marble bathrooms. They also have single rooms in the former cells of the Novices, those have shared bathrooms for a truly authentic convent experience :). Breakfast is served under the archways in the garden - breakfast is very good! A double room costs about EUR 80. It is an about 15 minutes walk from Pisa centre in a nice area with lots of old villas.
An old convent converted into a hotel.
VERY BEAUTIFUL and original.
10-15 min. on foot from the downtown, just a couple of minutes to the Arno river.
More about Hotel Santa Croce in Fossabanda
Accommodation in Florence
Florence is not only a notoriously difficult city to park a car, it can be just as difficult to park yourself and your belongings. The birthplace of renaissance Italy draws thousands upon thousands of tourists each year - and rightly so, but the result is scarce accommodation and high prices. Nestled in a back street between Piazza Santa Croce and Gli Uffizi is hotel Santa Croce. It is a basic accommodation - just a foyer and stairs to the rooms, but it is reasonable (by Fiorentine standards), clean and very, very well located for sightseeing, restaurants and nightlife. Hostels, of course, are far cheaper but as entry level hotels go Santa Croce has never let me down. One more thing. Room 1 in the hotel is smaller than the other rooms. They often don't mention it but it costs less so if you don't mind the squeeze (it's a double bed) and you're watching the cash it could be worth enquiring about. * Very central
* Relatively inexpensive
(in comparison to other Fiorentine hotels
but not in Italy generally)
* Often has space when others are booked out
A bit out of the way
The only problem we had with this hotel was the distance into town.It would have been nice to be able to pop back after sightseeing and get ready for a nice evening meal but because it took at least fifteen to twenty minutes to walk back to the hotel we found it was too much after all the walking we had done in the day.
The receptionists could have been friendlier too! One time the chappie behind the desk spoke to us with a mouthfull of chewing gum. Not very professional! However, if you are looking for somewhere peacfull and away from all the hustle and bustle then this is the place for you. (Also only ten minutes by taxi to the airport)
short stay at this hotel
The Santa Croce in Fossabanda hotel is a wonderful building and the room we were in was in itself spacious and confortable. The breakfast too was excellent and we had it outside, in the cloister, which made it even more special. However, the hotel is too close to the airport and airplanes fly low all day and they are very noisy. There is a belltower in the church attached to the hotel that goes crazy at 7.30 am and 11.00pm. The room next to ours had an automatic air vent in the bathroom (our bathroom had a window) that was very noisy. The reason why I mention these things is because we expected the place to be peaceful (it is after all quite a walk from the city centre, another thing to keep in mind).
What can I say...
Having done so much research to find the perfect place for my mum and I to enjoy a relaxing break to Italy - and having paid a lot of money to ensure the very best!!! - I was so disappointed in this hotel
The place is completely souless - bare walls, sparse furnishings and the only way it maintains it monasterial heritage is via itchy blankets and rock-hard beds!!
Pisa itself is beautiful - and we made the best of it - but it would have been nice to have somewhere cosy to come back to after a long day's sightseeing... instead we had a freezing cold room where you could hear every move (and movement!!) of next door's occupants, incredibly rude and unwelcoming staff and nothing for miles around (except the bella napoli restaurant - which was lovely)
I have to say i was terrified of taking my mum outside the hotel at night-time - the place looks like a ghetto and there is grafitti and fly-posting all over the walls - a complete nightmare
I was looking for rustic charm for me and my mum... and instead got an incredibly disappointing stay at what was less of a hotel and more of an asylum!
I'd advise people to look elsewhere.....
I had done my homework so I knew where it was.I suggest everyone does the same, it is a 15 min walk to the main shops and 25 mins to the Leaning Tower. The good thing is that although sometimes a plane goes over it is peaceful. (Apart from the church bell). The rooms were not luxurious but the room on the website is exactly what you get....but the wooden bedroom chairs were a bit spartan. The bathroom was lovely and very spacious. We stayed in the back section and there is a widescreen television in the back lobby with lovely comfy armchairs. At night the outside cloisters lighting is very etherial and moving. I just wish a little more comfort had been put into the bedrooms but they were spotless and a lovely view from the window. The breakfast was OK and as much as you want. All in all it wouldnt have cost much to make the bedrooms a little more comfy. There is a friendly local restaurant 'Bella Napoli' 5 mins walk away and its very reasonable.
Wonderful converted cloisters - delight!
I thought this hotel was wonderful and one of the most beautiful places to come back to after a day of walking through Pisa. The rooms are very basic, but clean and warm. The bed was wonderful, room large and we had a lovely view of the bell tower. I read reviews that mentioned the ringing the bells as bothersome - not once did it disturb us. The staff were friendly, helpful and I had the nicest breakfast there - the serrano ham was very good indeed and the coffees were authentic Italian and endless supply of it.
We spent a whole afternoon sitting out in the quiet, sun-drenched courtyard, looking at the blue skies and sipping hot chocolate. If you want luxury, this is not it, if you want comfort in serene surroundings with character - you cannot beat this hotel. The Bella Napoli restaurant was a hit. Their Spaghetti Carbonara was to die for, their seafood platter equally good, the pizzaman mesmerising and the wine delicious and cheap (vino casa 1l for 8 Euros)
I would defnitely stay in this hotel again - and recommend it to my friends. The taxi fare from the airport only 7 euros and takes around 7-9 minutes.
The only down side to the hotel was the water pressure in the shower, although we managed.
We have just spent 4 nights at this hotel and if it's tranquill surroundings you want then there can't be a better place anywhere. Yes the rooms are basic but this is the ambience they are trying to keep. If you want a bar and hen parties etc then keep away. The birds sing in the mornings - OK the bells do ring at 7:30 each morning to let you know breakfast is ready but that's no hardship - it certainly didn't bother me, my wife nor 10 year old son. It is a pleasant stroll into the centre of Pisa - which is a wonderful city -and about 15 mins walk to the tower. One thing I would say though is do not use Ryanair to get there - this airline will cancel a flight at the drop of a hat. This happened to me on both occasions I've been to Pisa with them. We had to get to Rome for a flight home the following day after they diverted the incoming flight to Genoa because of a bit of fog that soon cleared. They then fly back to UK empty just so they can keep other flights on time - leaving you stranded with no help from the airline.
santa croce magic
wanting to visit tuscany, our aim was to stay in the more central florence...but not only was the accomodation generally expensive, the flights from our area landed at pisa. The obvious answer was to make pisa our base. and visit surrounding cities by the excellent ( and cheap ) rail network.
Immediately i saw santa croce, it was the hotel for us. The picturesque courtyard and cloisters of this old monastry are simply wonderful and perfect for sitting in the sun between enjoying the sites
The hotel is a short walk to the river (arno ) , then a few minutes to the piazza garibaldi and the ponte mezzo , over which are shops and cafes aplenty...also the railway station
From piazza garibaldi, a short walk to the tower. But dont think the tower is all pisa has to offer. The town has a wonderful ambience and is, along with santa croce, a perfect tuscany base.
As for the hotel itself : the cost is very reasonable, varying of course with the timing of your visit. Internet rates are cheaper than the in hotel tarrifs
The staff are pleasant and accomodating. The rooms are basic but well maintained and spotlessly clean.
There are a few rooms that were converted from the original cells, but these are not en-suite...all others are
One down side...if you are a late riser, you will be disturbed by bells from the adjoining church at 0730 each morning.
That, for us, did not detract from a wonderful stay, and should we return to pisa, which we most certainly will, santa croce will no doubt be our hotel of choice
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Hotel Santa Croce in Fossabanda
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Santa Croce In Fossabanda Hotel
Address: Piazza Santa Croce, 5, Pisa, Tuscany, 56125, Italy