You do, unfortunately, get what you pay for. This hotel is managed by an older couple who does not speak English very well at all. It made checking in and checking out very difficult. While the staff is very kind, the property itself is quite awful. The light in the room is a very unflattering fluorescent white. The windows don't close all the way, so mosquitoes did get in and it got quite chilly overnight. The bed is not comfortable and lined with a plastic wrap under the bed sheets, which feels odd. The room smelled of smoke. The towels were given during check in and they were torn up and tattered. The shampoo doubles as soap and was completely watered down. The building itself is not listed at the correct location on Google, so when navigating be extra careful to use the actual address, not by searching "Barbara House" on any map service. And most importantly, at this hotel, you cannot use regular European power converters, which work at many other Italian hotels!!! You MUST have the Italian converter for anything you want to plug in!
This hotel is certainly not a five star hotel, no matter what Expedia says (I have no idea how it got that rating, must be an error). I would consider this a one star hotel (do they go lower?) by American standards. The price and location do, however, make this hotel a considerable option for Florence, despite all the criticism given because it is a very cheap stay in a very walkable area.