The hotel has only been in operation from the mid-1980s, but the building dates back to the 16th Century and was a former convent. Today, the charming and quaint boutique still boasts original arched ceilings and cotta floors, but the religious overtones are now only symbolic. Located in the Santa Croce area of the city, the hotel is a family and budget-friendly spot that’s ideal for seeing the entire city while getting an impression of life in Florence 500 years ago.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There’s no elevator in this historic building. If you can’t make it up stairs, make sure you let the hotel know in advance.
Every room here is unique, and you’ll find historic touches like original frescoes, high ceilings, terra cotta floors, and more. If you book one of the suites, you’ll be treated to an outdoor courtyard right outside your room.
Renovated bathrooms have all modern amenities and feature marble showers and tubs, slippers, bidets, and shaving mirrors. Duck Island products are typical.
Look up and you’ll be mesmerized by the original vaulted ceilings that look like something out of an alien landscape. Beyond the main entrance area, there is a breakfast nook and outdoor courtyard that invites guests into long, tranquil afternoons of reflection.
The hotel has four bicycles that are first-come-first-serve and great for touring the cobblestone streets of the city.
There’s no formal restaurant here, but there is a continental buffet breakfast served on the first-floor courtyard area and is free for all guests.
Like most places in the city center, everything is walkable. From this east-side location, you’ll be minutes away from fantastic restaurants, nightlife, and attractions. Don’t bother renting a car as it’s difficult to navigate and can get costly.
Just down the street from the hotel is Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio (3-minute walk), a market with fresh produce and small restaurants inside. For insanely original Italian food, check out Bar e Cucina (10-minute walk) and discover how tomato sauce is supposed to taste.
Stick around at Bar e Cucina (10-minute walk) after dinner as their clever bartenders poor masterful drinks. For something a little closer, cheaper, and wilder, head over to The Lion’s Fountain (6-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
Santa Croce is a really fun area with inexpensive shops, great nightlife, and walking distance to many of the city’s most important attractions. The hotel itself is small and with that comes more personalized service. The history of the place can be seen throughout with original ceilings and art strewn across the property. Mainly, this boutique is ideal for budget-conscious travelers who want a little history, a lot of service, and a little peace and quiet.