Recommendations for cheap hotels in Italy?

This definately isn’t a GQ, so let’s land this one here.

I was just looking for any input from experienced travelers (or heck even any Italian SDMBers). My gf and I are just looking for cheap places to stay overnight in Florence and Rome for a week in the middle of October. Any good advice/web sites to help save some money for a couple broke dopers?

(PS: we’re trying to stay under $100 a night as best we can… I guess that’s seventy to eighty euros)

I’ve had great experiences with using (not for Italy, but for Germany and Hong Kong)–they often have private double rooms available; not all of the hostel beds out there are rickety cots in dormitories, contrary to popular belief.

My wife and I booked several good places through:

It has great search options (hotels, hostels, private apts) by area and price. Don’t be afraid of the private apts - we booked a few that worked out well. They are usually the equivalent of a duplex here in the US, where the rented living area is reserved strictly for guests (although you may share a kitchen or bathroom with 1 - 3 other people…its the European model). Everywhere we were, you had you own room (with locks…I’m sure the owner had a spare), but they were all very friendly and trustworthy.

Venere has ratings for anyone listed, and does some diligence on their listors…

Florence: Pensione Maria Luisa de’ Medici, near the Duomo (Cathedral). 67€ ($85) double without bathroom, 80€ ($102) double with bathroom. Rates include breakfast. Pictures.

Rome: Residence Giuggioli, near Vatican City. 70€-165€ ($89-$210) double. Pictures.

We just stayed at Hotel Alba. It was cheap, nice, secure, convenient to the train, close to the Uffizi, and had an excellent buffet breakfast. I highly recommend it. A friend just stayed at Dei Mori and also thought it was terrific.

I stayed here in Rome: it was nice and right near the Spanish steps. No frills, but I’d stay there again.