I liked the vibe of the Tasso a lot. But there are some cracks starting to show in the sleek facade of this backpackers’ homestead. And location could also be an issue.
Location & Getting There
The Ostello Tasso is a bit out-of-the-way, though only 20 minutes walk from the central train station (which is where airport shuttles stop), there are plenty of places closer to the center of town. However, there are busses that take you from Santa Maria Novella to Piazza Tasso within 15 minutes and you can walk to the Ponte Vecchio in about 25.
To find the hostel look out for a sign that is more fitting for a doctor’s office than a hip backpackers’ hangout.
The location in a middle class neighborhood has one big advantage: there is not a lot of noise.
Rooms & Facilities
Once you step through the heavy door you’re in a different world. The building used to be a primary school, and the reception/bar/common area used to be the school’s theatre. So go ahead and have your complementary welcome drink on the old stage!
The hostel has only been in existence since 2012, and the owner decorated it with lots of thought and taste. The colors are muted, the furniture and decoration sparse, just enough to feel comfortable, even incorporating some of the old school furniture. Everything is clean and well-maintained (apart from – see below…).
There is a large, shaded terrace to read, relax and meet other travelers, who BTW were mostly Americans and Australians on the Euro tour when I was there.
I got a glimpse of the dorms as well: 6 single beds (no bunks!), plenty of space, however, no air conditioning.
Air conditioning was the main reason why I had decided to shell out 42 euro (plus tourist tax) for a single room with shared bathroom. But I was only semi-impressed as the a/c unit kept rattling away quite noisily all night long. Usually, a well insulated (which mine was), 15sqm room should at some point after sunset have enough cold air in it for the a/c to go to standby. This one didn’t. Alas, I wasn’t sweating all night, and it turned out ok switching the a/c off and opening the window at midnight.
Two other issues: the elevator was broken, which with 2 floors wasn’t a biggie. However, the Internet was also not running 100%. First, I learnt from the girl at the bar that the network in the rooms had ‘not been working for a while’. And in the morning the network on the ground floor had also died. The staff lady was not open to any suggestions on how to fix the issue, but at least offered the code to the staff WiFi.
Food & Drinks
Happy news upon check in: have a drink on the house! The hostel bar is otherwise open all day, and some days of the week also to the public.
Breakfast is included but not very exciting: barista coffee, croissants, jams, corn flakes, juice. I had to ask for fruit. Yogurt would have been easy enough and nice, given the temperatures.
Otherwise you can’t buy food at the Tasso. There is, however, a lovely kitchen waiting for you to cook. And ask the staff about using the BBQ. The nearest supermarket is at Tasso Square.