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
Casa Billi Studio
Located within the Casa Billi guesthouse this cozy attic apartment can sleep two people on the large foldout bed. There's a bathroom with shower and a small kitchen area with two electric burners, a fridge and a microwave.

Casa Billi has a good story - the original business was formed by Lorenzo's family after WWII, having moved to Florence with close to nothing from the Chianti countryside. The neighborhood, at the time, was all craftsman and blue collar workers - perhaps a barber here and a house painter there, but all without money. On the side, Lorenzo's family decided to start a little guesthouse and take in renters. This small family business, now over 50 years later, is still around, today run by a new generation of Billi's - Lorenzo and his wife, Anna. It has the designation of "Esercizio Storico" which means that it is protected as an historical business.

The location is pretty ideal. It's about a 5 minute walk from the central train station, Santa Maria Novella, on Via Faenza (the area preferred by Rick Steves) which is also about half way to the Duomo. It's a short walk to everything in the center, and an area that's really well serviced for the tourist.

A couple of particular points to mention are that:

1. If you arrive after 3pm, you need to contact them in advance - they'll give you a code to enter and you'll be met by them the next day for payment and for any other check in issues.

2. There is an elevator, but it needs a key and can only be used when the owner has checked you in and given you the key, so if you check in after 3pm with the code, you won't have access to the elevator until the following day.

Also, although the elevator can get you up to Casa Billi, there's a narrow staircase that goes up to the studio, so if you have large luggage it could be a bit of a challenge.
  • 2nd floor
  • microwave
  • cable/satellite TV
  • iron
  • linen and towels provided
  • WiFi
  • with elevator
  • mini-fridge
  • small kitchenette
Barbara Shore on Oct 2014:

We loved the location. The bedrooms were roomy with plenty of storage and having two bathrooms for three women was wonderful.
The kitchen/sitting room were disappointing and not what we expected from the photos. The selection of kitchen equipment needed updating. Compared with the other apartments we stayed in on this trip, Casa Billi could have made better choices with respect to what they provided. We usually enjoy bringing in things for a dinner at home, but we chose not to do that in this apartment.
Nancy Rocks on Oct 2013:

Everything was PERFECT, PERFECT, PERFECT!!!!! Lorenzo and Anna could not have been more helpful. We cancelled two dinner reservations we had made in the states to go to Giorgio's, at their recommendation. If you don't go there at least once, you will miss out on a FANTASTIC local dining experience at a really good price.
Write up walking directions from the train station (our iPhone didn't work there, so we didn't have GPS).
Very helpful - quick response.
average score
4.3 / 5.0
Accuracy of listing
Helpfulness of owner / staff / host
Helpfulness of Cross-Pollinate
Booking details
Booking details: vacation rental apartment (studio / 1 bathroom), sleeps max. 2 people
Payment accepted: cash on arrival in euro, Visa, Mastercard, Maestro card, American Express, Diners Club card, CartaSi, JCB card
Minimum stay: minimum stay of 2 nights
Cancellations allowed up to: 5 days before arrival
Occupancy: double
Bed options: 1 queen sofabed
Policies & Extra Charges: non-smoking, check-out time is 10 am, apartment will be clean by 12pm (noon) on day of check-in, city tourist tax €4 per person per night (not included in price)
Spoken Language(s):
Rates and Availability
 Casa Billi Studio
Stazione Santa Maria Novella
Boboli Gardens
Ponte Vecchio
Piazza della Signoria
Galleria dell’Accademia
Pitti Palace
Piazza Santo Spirito
Mercato Centrale