In my many years of traveling around the world, it was not until embarrassingly recently that I had ever spent the night in a hostel. This popular and economical lodging option was never on my agenda mostly because I don’t feel comfortable sleeping in the same room or sharing a restroom with strangers. When needing to pee in the middle of the night, I want my toilet to be close and empty.
This little personal issue made sixth grade camp torture.
But, while I was traveling through Northern Italy’s Florence on a Play Your Tuscany press trip, they had us scheduled for two nights at Tasso Hostel. I was a wee bit worried.
Tasso is a trendy hostel on the other side of the Arno that seems to attract the younger traveler. It is located on a non-touristy street between residential homes, restaurants and Florentine craftsmen. We entered into a small foyer that opened up into a large assembly hall. There was a stocked bar, plenty of eclectic seating choices and a small stage with a piano at the front.
I was curious as to what would be happening up on that stage. Karaoke? A Dance Off?
We were shown to the kitchen where you are welcome to store your groceries and cook meals. This room would have been handy if I wasn’t planning on overloading on homemade pasta at tiny Italian trattorias all over Florence.
The petite laundry room was my favorite aspect of hostel life. After having been on the road for a few weeks I desperately needed one.
The outdoor patio was spacious, filled with Adirondack, picnic tables and healthy plants. It looked nice enough to be the outdoor dining space at a local restaurant rather than just being at a hostel.
Maybe these two nights won’t be so bad.
I was then shown to my room which was upstairs. Please let me be the only one sleeping in there. We walked down a long, sterile hallway and the young attendant opened a door at the end. It was a small rectangle room with two army style beds, a locker and a night stand. It was the bare minimum, but all the necessities accounted for and it was clean.
And, most importantly, I didn’t have a roommate.
There were a few shared restrooms scattered in between the rooms, that were very tidy and almost always vacant. Happy about that.
I spent most of my awake time downstairs in the theater room where the free internet, new friends from around the world and really cheap wine was. Who wouldn’t?
Depending on the night, this area also turns into a gathering place for special events, music or theater plays. Unfortunately, my midlife self was in bed way before the party started, but I could vaguely hear the soiree until the wee hours of the morning.
Even though my first hostel experience was a positive one, complete conversion has not been had. I still adore my fluffy down pillows, chocolates on my bed every evening and 800 thread count pima cotton sheets. But, it is comforting to know that there is another viable option.
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At Tasso Hostel
, beds start at 32 euros per night for a shared dorm room and 42 Euros for a single bed private room with shared bath. Even though it is in a quieter section of the city, it is within walking distance to the Florence city center. Several restaurants and wine bars are also very close by.