A budget-friendly abode on the south side of the river in the cute neighborhood of San Niccolo, Hotel Silla is a warm and welcoming family run hotel. A former private residence that was also once a convent, the headquarters of the local Communist party, and even a club for allied troops during the war, the building was converted to a hotel in 1964 and has been updating and tweaking its format ever since. Away from the throngs of tourists, this spot is a respite for weary travelers who want to be close to attractions without the hectic nature of the city center.
The hotel is in the midst of a major renovation and the new rooms bring the property into the 21st century with style. Here, you’ll find hardwood floors, cushioned headboards, flat-screen TVs, and other modern accouterments. Pre-renovation rooms are more Florentine classic style.
For the best views, request a room on the river side.
Most of the bathrooms come with rain showers, though you’ll find the occasional bathtub throughout. Bidets are standard and newly renovated rooms have raised sinks.
The lobby is mainly a check-in site though there is a small sitting area with modern art on the walls. You won’t be spending your time here.
The colorfully tiled breakfast room serves a hearty (and free) buffet from 7:30-10 am. Post-renovation, the kitchen will add a lunch and dinner service.
If you book a room in the summer, take your breakfast out to the magnificent rooftop terrace with terra cotta floors. The expansive space looks out over the Arno river and is majestic for sunset sips or morning coffee.
Next to the breakfast area is a small bar where guests can find coffee, tea, and snacks for free all day long. While the bar is always open, getting an alcoholic beverage really gets going after 5 pm.
This quiet neighborhood is outside the city center so renting a car isn’t a huge pain in the butt. But like most places in Florence, walking everywhere is easy and you’re within 15-minutes of most attractions.
Il Rifrullo (3-minute walk) is a classic Tuscan trattoria with a 10 Euro apperitivo that includes a drink and snacks. For lunch, check out Badali Osteria (3-minute walk) for mouthwatering Italian treats.
For great cocktails in a lively atmosphere, walk next door to Negroni (1-minute walk) and make sure to order their eponymous drink. Just next door to Negroni is Zoe (1-minute walk) that also has cocktails and a great happy hour.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Being south of the river has its advantages, and Hotel Silla provides its guests with a quiet street away from the mobs of tourists. The hotel itself has modern rooms inside a historic building (post-renovation), and is basically a 3-star hotel with 4-star amenities. The San Niccolo neighborhood is cute with small trattorias and good bars and is just at the base of Piazzale Michelangelo, which features unbeatable views of Florence. Warm and friendly, the family-run property will make you feel like you’re renting a house just outside the city but still within walking distance to everything you could want.