Food in Florence & Rome was a bit of hit and miss. You really need to know which places to go to in order to get a very satisfying meal. Luckily, I relied on the good word of the travellers on Tripadvisor.com and also a couple of recommendations from our Hotel in Florence. We stayed at Hotel Globus in Florence and the location and service was FANTASTIC! Our room was a bit dark, but when you looked outside the window, you saw the top of the San Lorenzo church, which was quite beautiful. Just down the street is the San Lorenzo market, famous for its leather. The buffet breakfast had such a personal touch to it that it was something we always woke up for and never skipped. I highly recommend it and Lucas had some great restaurant recommendations!
In Rome, we stayed at the Hotel Mecenate Palace, about 4 or 5 blocks from Roma Termini station in the direction of the Colosseum. For a four star hotel, we got an extremely good deal on Expedia.com for just over $150 per night for a double room! While not as conveniently located as some other hotels might be, the hotel is quite beautiful and the rooms are palace themed. It is also next to a really yummy gelato shop and the rooftop has some amazing views. While the stay was very pleasant, it lacked the personal touches of Hotel Globus and the friendliness and warmth of the staff. I would stay here again just because it's such a fantastic deal for a four star hotel - as if we'd get a double room for $150 in Melbourne! And the buffet breakfast here is was pretty awesome too - my only complaint was there wasn't a good selection of teas to choose from! hehe
The pizza is definitely no Domino's - they like to use simple and fresh ingredients and each pizza won't usually consist of more than 4 ingredients. The seafood is usually frozen, but you can get really fresh mussels. Mozzarella in anything is my favourite, especially buffalo mozarella. Yum! The cherry and Roma tomatoes are also super fresh and super sweet, you can't miss those in a salad!