The post at Cote de Texas yesterday about the Florence Four Seasons hotel reminded me of a charming hostel I stayed at in Naples (Italy, not Florida) 2 years ago, LaControra. I quickly dug up my photos to compare. I wish I took more pictures (don't you always find yourself saying that?). While nowhere near as luxurious as any 4 season hotel, it has a certain Italian charm to it.
Located in the old monastery attached to an old cathedral (that was abandoned after being bombed in WWII) it was recently restored. Very simply done, the frescos were painted over with white -but the forms of the vaulted stone rooms stood out. I was lucky enough to have a great room facing the crumbling facade of the cathedral with immensely tall barrel vaulted ceiling and a little tower/turrett closet!
The courtyard was beautifully kept and filled with orange trees (like most of the city) -great for a mid-day snack! I highly recommend this hostel / hotel (make sure to get a private room with private bath, it is a hostel after all!) It was very inexpensive at 28-30 Euro a night! You can find information about it online at
While Naples was FAR from one of my favorite places I've ever traveled to, it has a LOT of charm and GREAT old buildings with a lot of old-world character. It's not terribly touristy which is a godsend and Capri is a short boat ride away while Pompeii is simply a 15 minute cab ride! Besides, where better to travel than the birthplace of Pizza! Traveler beware -they take their pizza VERY seriously in Naples!