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Favorite Florence Neighborhood, Hotel and B&Bs

Favorite Florence Neighborhood, Hotel and B&Bs

Old Jul 2nd, 2021, 02:07 PM
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Favorite Florence Neighborhood, Hotel and B&Bs

Hi all,

I'm still looking for a moderate hotel or B&B in Florence. I'd love input on your favorite neighborhood and your favorite hotel or B&B. I'm finding a few cute places for $125-ish.

Questions about neighborhoods:
I know many love Oltrarno/Santo Spirito area and it is a hot neighborhood but when I use Google Earth to walk through it looks really dirty and run-down -- am I seeing it wrong?

Is San Nicolo vibrant? Is it too far away to walk home to at midnight after dinner/bars?

Same with Santa Croce -- I understand it is a vibrant popular area. But again, is it out of the way if walking home from dinner near Santo Spirito?

Which leads me to the pedestrian areas between the Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo? Is that the most convenient neighborhood to stay -- closest access to sights, and to Santa Spirito and Santa Croce for restaurants and such?

Sorry for the overthinking -- I've booked hotels in great neighborhoods in Barcelona, Edinburgh and London, yet ended up too far from buzzy cafes and pubs and never wanted to tackle the 25-minute walk across town to go to restaurants. We would rather stay "in the middle of it all" if that makes sense. I just despise postcard stands. ;-)


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Old Jul 2nd, 2021, 02:11 PM
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Florence is way smaller than Barca or London.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2021, 04:45 PM
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Yes, I think you're misinterpreting the distances between the points you mention. Everything in Florence is very close. You can search on maps.google.com for the time needed to walk different routes. Click on the pedestrian icon at the top of the blue search box.

All of the piazze are very popular in the evening. Years ago (10-20), Santo Spirito was a place you wouldn't want to hang around in after dark. Druggies and other unpleasant characters, the occasional raid by carabinieri looking for illegals, etc. Now, it's apparently The Place To Be... if that's what you're looking for. And then, the area immediately around the main train station used to be a bit seedy but is much better now.

When is your trip? Rates fluctuate by season. I often recommend Tourist House Ghiberti which is near the Duomo, but I see from its website that it is closed for renovation until October.

Check the locations and reviews for Hotel Alessandra. We stayed there several years ago, and unless things have gone downhill I would stay there again. It's in a great location close to the river, Duomo side, pedestrian street, between the Trinita and Vecchio bridges.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2021, 12:46 AM
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I tend to stay in ABnB type gites around Boboli gardens so I'm no use at B&B. I've not stayed but SoprArno Suites look nice

Why some nice parts of italian cities look tatty. Tax law in Italy tends to support small local businesses which stay in the family for a long period so you will find little businesses that open with very restricted periods (well known by locals) which open up say in the evening or the weekend when the owners come back from their 9-5 jobs. When Mr Google drives by he cannot distinguish between thriving businesses or ones that closed 20 years ago and are just waiting for the owner to die.

My first time in Florence going into my first gite I thought I was in a ghost town, that evening, at 7, I discovered the mini-mart, the wine shop, the flower shop, the two bars, the book shop etc had all opened around me. If it was all like you are used to there would be no reason to travel.

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Old Jul 3rd, 2021, 09:36 AM
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Thanks both!

We typically stay in AirBnBs but I thought Florence would have many family run true Bed and Breakfasts. I am finding some cute ones; just hard to know without a recommendation.

Google Maps says Santa Croce to restaurant’s recommended by Rick Steves in the Oltrarno on the river is a 25 minute walk.

Jean, that hotel is in the Fodors book and Rick Steves book. I will take a look!
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Old Jul 3rd, 2021, 09:59 AM
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We stayed at Tourist house Ghibertti. We liked it a lot and had breakfast there every morning. Very walkable for everything.https://www.touristhouseghiberti.com/en.
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Old Jul 6th, 2021, 11:24 AM
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Thanks all! Tourist House Ghiberti looks cute! I thought I read in a Rick Steve's book that the hospital close by made that area very congested.
I found pretty rooms and great rates at FH55 Hotel Calzaiuoli and Granduomo:

https://www.fhhotelgroup.it/en/hotel...-firenze/index
Apartments Florence Italy - Holiday apartments Florence

Several also have recommended Hotel La Scaletta and Hotel Silla as well. Hotel La Scaletta seems pricey for what it is but I know people LOVE it!


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Old Jul 6th, 2021, 01:38 PM
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Irice- There is a hospital across the street but it never bothered us and our room overlooked it. Our room was huge and the bathroom was excellent. I would stay there again. You could ask for one off the street.
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Old Jul 6th, 2021, 06:45 PM
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The hospital never bothered us either, and we once had a room overlooking the street. If you think you'll use the buses, there's a stop practically outside the front door of the building.
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Old Jul 7th, 2021, 09:23 AM
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We stayed at the Monna Lisa hotel and it was just lovely. They served a nice breakfast and had a bar.
https://www.monnalisa.it/?utm_source...ogleMyBusiness
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Old Jul 7th, 2021, 09:48 AM
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I wrote this little review in 2006. I hope it's still correct:

"We took a short cab ride to the Relais Cavalcanti. a very charming little 'hotel', at Via Pellicceria, 2. It occupies one floor of a building located near the Uffizi gallery, in a very good central location. Because my daughter had just finished her semester in Florence, she was able to recommend her favorite location in town for lodging.

The Relais Cavalcanti building has been in the same family's ownership for 100+ years, the owner/manager of the new-ish Relais is Francesca. She said she inherited this one floor of the building, so she recently renovated it to create a little hotel. It's relatively new, with beautiful tile bathrooms, showers, etc. The rooms are very charming, and good-sized.

You have the feeling of entering a very nice, private Italian home, when you unlock the Relais door and smell the potpourri set out on the beautiful tables in the hallway and entry way. It has a small elevator and a/c, too. No breakfast is served, but even better I think is that they have a beautiful little dining room/kitchen that is open 24/7 for guests. You have always available the makings for coffee, hot chocolate and tea, plus containers of pre-wrapped pastries and dessert cakes. That's about as much as you get in any Italian B&B for breakfast, and this way you can serve yourself whenever.

One evening we bought wine, cheese, bread, and fruit and enjoyed our own private time in this beautiful room. The only thing to be aware of at Relais Cavalcanti is that the first floor of the building is the Old Stove Irish pub. The good news is that it's a decent little place for panini, and has free wi-fi. However, it attracts a lot of students and young people, so it is quite noisy into the early morning hours. Our room window was directly above the pub's patio, with a nice view of adjoining rooftops. The double windows, plus the wooden shutters, can block out about 90 percent of the noise from the pub below. I found that I could also turn on the a/c fan in our room, which would then totally cover any outside noise.

Francesca also cautions her prospective guests that she does not staff a 24/7 front desk. She is there during posted hours, mostly till 6 p.m., and has an emergency number on the door. But she is careful to tell guests that hers is not a hotel with full-services at night-time. I highly recommend the Relais Cavalcanti."

home « Relais Cavalcanti Guest House Florence
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Old Jul 7th, 2021, 11:22 AM
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https://www.casadelgarbo.it/

We stayed here several years ago and loved it. In the piazza right by the Duomo.
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Old Jul 7th, 2021, 11:41 PM
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Florence's magic happens outside of the Dom area. The Dom itself attracts hoardes of tourists and long lines and the cafes around it have raised their prices to take advantage of that. However, there are many areas of the city that have retained their charm. Personally, I'd stay at this place Horto Convento next time because I love the area. It's got a local feel and there are many quaint little shops to visit. If you like the Trastevere feel of Rome, this is comparable although there are far fewer tourists in the evening.

Edit: Here's another little BnB gem: Boutique B&B Antica Johlea
It's closer to the train station (which is quite safe) where the vibe there is busier and grittier with lots of restaurants and shops. It certainly is a good place to stay but the rooftop terrace nailed it for me. Nothing more divine than sitting on a lounge chair at night with a glass of local wine while taking in the sites happening down below. Seriously heaven.

Last edited by kleeblatt; Jul 7th, 2021 at 11:57 PM.
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Old Jul 27th, 2021, 10:24 PM
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Thanks all!

MoBro our daughter is studying abroad there this fall! So, we are visiting her for 4 nights + I need to book a room for her and friends for the night before they check in to their school.

School is located in Santo Spirito, so kleeblatt I like the idea of a hotel there so they are not hauling luggage all over town. willowjane the Mona Lisa looks really pretty and is close to their apartment. I'd like to put them there for a night if the hotel would let them keep their luggage there while they run to Spirito Santo to check in. Perhaps we will stay there. Is there a restaurant there? Is the neighborhood cute? Jean and @Pagngo, Tourist House also would be convenient to their apartment!

I wish there was more in Oltrarno. I think that would be so convenient for my daughter and friends for a night - close to Santo Spirito.
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Old Jul 28th, 2021, 07:32 AM
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https://www.soprarnosuites.com/. This is a really nice boutique hotel in Oltrarno, they have another hotel in Oltrarno as well called AdAstra. I don't know if the rates are more than you want to spend though.
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Old Sep 12th, 2021, 05:07 AM
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I have lookin at the accommodation.
So glad to see in show up in this Forum.
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