Unbelievably friendly and warm staff who gladly gave expert travel advice and recommendations that only a Roman would normally be privy to.
- Loic Diels
I LOVE this website and will gladly recommend it to anyone headed this way. Nothing disappointed us!
- Mary-Iris Taylor
I have been using Cross-Pollinate for about 10 years now. The service is consistently great and I can always find just the kind of apartment we like, at the right price.
- Hirani Himona
A really great idea - with a network of hand picked little rooms/guesthouses. If only we could have this in more city destinations!
- Zoe Buck
I love Cross-Pollinate and every time we go to a new city I look to see whether they have some accommodations over there.
- Arantza Aldea
The two places I have stayed at from Cross-Pollinate have been among the best across Europe. Highly recommended.
- Nicholas Burn
Thanks a lot to Cross-Pollinate for the opportunity to experience a city as an insider! We really enjoyed our stay in Rome and Venice and look forward to more.
- Tatiana Marchenko
Cross-Pollinate was very helpful when the owner of the B&B wanted to charge us for the baby under 2 y o. It would have been difficult without them since the owners did not speak any english.
- Yulia Pichugina
This was our only stay with a C-P apartment and we were very pleased with the entire process. Will look to use them again on our next Europe trip!
- Anthony Giglio
Great web site and quick response from the team a CP made the whole experience easy and hassle free. I have already recommended CP to quite of few of my airline industry colleagues and I'm sure they will make use of their excellent service.
- Shane Pickles
Cross-Pollinate was extremely helpful! They found us a place to stay in our price range when many other places of business couldn't help us.
- Sarah Seminutin
Cross-Pollinate was very easy to use, and it is so much better to stay in places like these than big corporate hotels; you get a much better feel for the place.
- Kaspar Deane
Very straight forward. Well done. Definitely would use it again. Love these type of alternatives to hotels!
- John White
Cross-Pollinate was fantastic and easy to use. We used Cross-Pollinate to book a room in Florence (the second leg of our trip), which was everything I thought it would be. We have recommended Cross-Pollinate to our friends.
- Barbara Carlin
Cross-Pollinate are great - the descriptions are accurate and they are very responsive to questions.
- Dominique Bayne
Cross Pollinate was just the best. I had tried a couple of places before coming upon them. As soon as I sent the first email I stopped looking for any more websites. I just wish they expanded to every city in Europe. Their knowledge, helpfulness, etc. was second to none.
- Caroline Collis
We’ve just discovered a service in Florence that stores luggage for you – the only one in the historic center of the city! Just drop your bags off at their location a couple blocks from the Duomo and they’ll securely store the luggage for you and even drop it off for you at your accommodation — or you can pick it up at the same place, if you’re on your way out of the city. It’s open daily and costs €1/hour or €6/day.
It always bugged me that you could only exchange paper money (for a steep fee) after a trip, and got stuck with the coins.
TravelersBox are placing these orange machines in departure gates at airports around the world, which offer a solution for leftover change at the end of your trip. An easy way to deposit foreign coins and bills directly into online products, like PayPal, Skype, iTunes – or you can simply donate it.
Just before you get on the plane back home, hit the TravelersBox machine near the gate, choose where you want the money to go, and the deposit is done.
So far, the machines are available in Turkey (Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara), Milan Italy, and Tbilisi Georgia, with big plans to get them in many more airports.
When you rent a vacation rental it can often be a problem what to do with your bags before you can check in (usually around 3pm) and after you check out (normally around 11am) when you’re leaving the city later in the day. I just discovered this service, near Termini station, that will not only store your bags for a small fee, but they’ll come and collect them at any point in Rome (station, B&B, apartment, etc) and will deliver them to you where you need them next.
Via del Castro Pretorio, 32
(+39) 366 26 76 760 (office hours are 8:00am to 8:00pm every day, holidays included)
Bad food is a crime! The new head of the Food Police has reports of tourists in Rome are getting ripped off. Watch the MB trio go undercover to collect evidence and show you what to look out for to avoid falling into a tourist trap.
We get asked a lot about safety and whether any areas in our cities should be avoided. We generally give one of two standard answers (there’s a short one and a long one), both of which try to make one important point – that there is not the same degree or level of malicious, violent crime in Europe as in other parts of the world.
The main crime to look out for is getting robbed, which happens not at gunpoint or knifepoint, but by pickpockets who roam around and look for people they can catch unaware (which is relatively easy when you’re staring up at a famous, historic monument). This is more of a nuisance than a danger – in that, personally, you won’t be threatened. But if you get targeted, and they get you – it can ruin your day, your whole trip, or maybe more.
The two defenses against this crime are:
1. Don’t carry around anything valuable. Or at least, don’t have it anywhere accessible.
2. Know what the thieves look like, and avoid them. If necessary, even shoo or give them a shove. Often they are children (sad, but easy to defend yourself against).
The following picture was taken in Rome, near the central train station Termini. When I first came to Rome, I was used to seeing many ethnic groups in large cities, and I was surprised at how the Romans considered anyone who was not Italian, or a tourist, to be a thief. Very racist, and hopefully that viewpoint has changed over the years. But what was more odd was that they could tell, by looking at someone, that they weren’t Italian. Now, after more than a decade, I too can see it immediately, but for the tourist, this will be a hard distinction to make. I don’t believe that anyone foreign and not a tourist is a thief, but recognizing who “doesn’t belong” is part of recognizing who is up to no good.
For example, look at this picture. What do you see?
Two women standing on the sidewalk, right?
Look again. See the cardboard? That’s the thief’s prop of choice. They use it to distract their partner’s hands that are going in your pocket.
Check out the look on backup girl’s face.
She’s scanning, searching, for a target. If you know what to look for, you can see it a block away.
And these dudes? You think they’re just standing around, letting the belly get some fresh air?
Actually, yeah. No idea what’s up with that. Probably best to stay away from them too.
Below is an amazing video by Bob Arno, a pickpocket expert who goes undercover to the pickpocket capital of the world – Naples – getting footage of how these thieves operate.