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Florence

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For other places with the same name, see Florence (disambiguation).

Florence [1] (Italian: Firenze) is the capital of the region of Tuscany in Italy, with a population of some 366,488. The city is considered a cultural, artistic and architectural gem.

The Duomo
Bridges across the Arno

Understand

Florence was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. Politically, economically, and culturally it was just about the most important city in Europe for something approaching 250 years - from sometime before 1300 until the early 1500s.

Florentines reinvented money - in the form of the gold florin - which was the engine that drove Europe out of the "Dark Ages" a term invented by Petrarch, a Florentine. They financed the development of industry all over Europe - from Britain to Bruges, to Lyon, to Hungary. They financed the English kings during the Hundred Years War. They financed the papacy, including the construction of Avignon and the reconstruction of Rome when the papacy returned from the "Babylonian captivity".

Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio pioneered the use of the vernacular - the use of a language other than Latin, in their case, Tuscan, which, because of them, became Italian. Because Dante, et al., wrote in Tuscan, Geoffrey Chaucer - who spent a lot of time in Northern Italy and who stole Boccaccio's little stories - wrote in English. And others started writing in French and Spanish and so on. This was the beginning of the end of Latin as a common language throughout Europe.

The Florentines - perhaps most notably Filippo Brunelleschi (1377 - 1466) and Leon Batist'Alberti (1404 - 1472) - invented both Renaissance and neoclassical architecture, which revolutionized the way Rome, London and Paris and every other major city in Europe - from Barcelona to St. Petersburg - were built.

Florentines were the driving force behind the Age of Discovery. Florentine bankers financed Henry the Navigator and the Portuguese explorers who pioneered the route around Africa to India and the Far East. It was a map drawn by the Florentine Paulo del Pozzo Toscanelli, a student of Brunelleschi, that Columbus used to sell his "enterprise" to the Spanish monarchs, and which he used on his first voyage. Mercator's famous "Projection" is a refined version of Toscanelli's - taking into account the Americas, of which the Florentine was, obviously, ignorant. The western hemisphere, itself, is named after a Florentine explorer and mapmaker, Amerigo Vespucci.

Gallileo and other scientists pioneered the study of optics, ballistics, astronomy, anatomy, and so on. Pico della Mirandola, Leonardo Bruni, Machiavelli, and many others laid the groundwork for our understanding of political science.

Opera was invented in Florence.

And that is just a smidgen of what went on in this city, which never had a population above 60,000 from the first attack of the plague, in 1348, until long, long after it became unimportant.

And there were the Medici, perhaps the most important family that ever lived - the family that changed the world more than any other. Forget all the art they payed for. They taught first the other Italians how to conduct state-craft, and then they taught the rest of the Europeans. Just to cite one example: Catherine de Medici (1519-1589), married Henry II of France (reigned 1547-1559). After he died, Catherine ruled France as regent for her young sons and was instrumental in turning France into Europe’s first nation-state. She brought the Renaissance into France, introducing everything from the chateaux of the Loire to the fork. She also was to 16th and 17th century European royalty what Queen Victoria was to the 19th and 20th centuries – everybody’s grandmamma. Her children included three kings of France, Francis II (ruled 1559-1560), Charles IX (ruled 1560-1574) and Henry III (ruled 1574-1589). Her children-in-law included a fourth king of France, Henry IV (ruled 1589-1610), plus Elizabeth of Hapsburg, Philip II of Spain (of Armada fame), and Mary Queen of Scots. Imagine the conversation at Thanksgiving Dinner.

And that is without mentioning any "artists". From Arnolfo and Cimabue to Giotto, Nanni di Banco, and Uccello; through Lorenzo Ghiberti, and Donatello and Massaccio and the various della Robbias; through Fra Angelico and Botticelli and Piero della Francesca, and on to Michelangelo and Leonardo, the Florentines dominated the visual arts like nobody before or since. And this list does not include many who, in any other place would be considered among the greatest of artists, but in Florence must be considered among the near-great: Bienvenuto Cellini, Andrea del Sarto, Benozzo Gozzoli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Fra Lippo Lippi, Buontalenti, Orcagna, Polaiolo, Fillipino Lippi, Verrochio, Bronzino, Desiderio da Settignano, Michelozzo, the Rossellis, the Sangallos, Pontormo, just to name a few. And this list does not include the prolific Ignoto. Nor does it include the near-Florentines, such as Raphael, Andrea Pisano, Giambologna, the wonderfully nicknamed Sodoma and so many more, such as Peter-Paul Rubens — all of whom spent time in Florence and were nurtured by it.

In 1300, Pope Boniface VIII said that Aristotle was wrong, the universe was made out of five elements, not four: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Florentines.

The cathedral - the third largest Christian church, topped by Brunelleschi's dome, dominates the skyline. The Florentines decided to start building it - late in the 1200s - knowing they did not know how they were going to do it. It was "technology forcing" - like the Kennedy Administration's decision to put a man on the moon. The dome was the largest ever built at the time, and the first major dome built in Europe since the two great domes of Roman times - the Pantheon in Rome, and Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. In front of it is the medieval gem of the Baptistery, where every Florentine was baptized until modern times. The two buildings incorporate in their decoration the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. In recent years, most of the important works of art from the two buildings - and from the wonderful Bell Tower, designed by Giotto, have been removed and replaced by copies. The originals are now housed in the spectacular Museum of the Works of the Duomo, just to the east of the Cathedral.

Florence is filled with many other churches stuffed with some of the finest art in the world - San Miniato al Monte, San Lorenzo, Santa Maria Novella, Santa Trinita, the Brancacci Chapel at Santa Maria della Carmine, Santa Croce, Santo Spirito, SS Annunziata, Ognissanti, and more.

Then there are the art galleries. The Uffizi and the Pitti Palace are two of the most famous picture galleries in the world. But the heart and soul of Florence are in the two superb collections of sculpture, the Bargello and the Museum of the Works of the Duomo. They are filled with the brilliant, revolutionary creations of Donatello, Verrochio, Desiderio da Settignano, Michelangelo, and so many other masterpieces that create a body of work unique in the world. And, of course, there is the Accademia, with Michelangelo's David - perhaps the most well-known work of art anywhere, plus the superb, unfinished prisoners and slaves Michelangelo worked on for the tomb of Pope Julius II.

In all, Florence has something over 80 museums. Among those at the top of most lists - other than those above - are: The magnificent city hall, the Palazzo della Signoria (aka Palazzo Vecchio), a wonderful building with magnificent rooms and some great art; the Archeological Museum, the Museum of the History of Science, the Palazzo Davanzatti, the Stibbert Museum, St. Marks, the Medici Chapels, the Museum of the Works of Santa Croce, the Museum of the Cloister of Santa Maria Novella, the Zoological Museum ("La Specola"), the Bardini, and the Museo Horne. There is also a wonderful collection of works by the modern sculptor, Marino Marini, in a museum named after him. If you are interested in photography, you should not miss the superb collection of works by the early photographers, the Alinari brothers. The magnificent Strozzi Palace is the site of many special exhibits

To get a great overview of the city, you have plenty of choices: climb the dome of the Cathdral or Giotto's Bell Tower - which is much easier - or head for Piazzale Michelangelo a large parking lot on the hillside just south of the center of town, or climb a bit further to the church of San Miniato al Monte, a sublime 11th century masterpiece, with superb Renaissance scultpures. At vespers, the monks add to the beauty with chants.

There are also a few places to buy things, from the high-end jewelry stores lining the Ponte Vecchio to some of the most famous shops in the world - Gucci, Pucci, Ferragamo, Valentino, Prada, Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna, Buccellati, Frette, etc., as well as many wonderful shops that aren't world famous - yet. It is increasingly difficult to find bargains, but keen-eyed shoppers can still find good deals on smaller, side streets running off of those above and elsewhere in the center of town. The San Lorenzo market is now largely for tourists. There are also a couple of collections of "outlets" in the suburbs.

Great places to walk include along the Arno and across any of its bridges, through narrow, medieval back streets in the Santa Croce area and in the Oltr'Arno - on the south side of the river, in many ways like Rome's Trastevere or Paris's Left Bank - but far, far smaller. There are also superb shopping streets, such as the Via Tornabuoni, the Via del Parione, and the Via Maggio.

Get in

By plane

Florence's Amerigo Vespucci international airport (IATA: FLR) (known to locals as "Peretola") [2] has good connections to the center of the city, which can be reached in about fifteen minutes by taxi or bus. The Ataf-Sita "Vola in Bus" ("Fly by bus") service costs €4.50 one way, and makes the circuit between the airport and the central train station every half an hour from 5:30AM to 8:00PM, then once an hour afterwards. Note that the €1.20 bus no longer exists.

Note that 5:30AM bus leaves from the corner of Valfonda and Piazza Adua which is north of the train station instead of from the ATAF-SITA bus station which is on the west side of the train station. You can buy the ticket on the bus.

There is a €25 flat rate for taxis from the airport to any place in the historic center of Florence. They will charge €1 extra for each piece of luggage handled by the driver.

Much cheaper flights to destinations throughout Europe can be found at Pisa airport [3]. Low-cost airlines which fly to Pisa include Thomsonfly, Easyjet, Ryanair, Transavia and HLX. Pisa airport and Florence are connected by rail and by bus. Both leave from and arrive at the main entrance to the airport. The bus station in Florence is immediately across the street from the main railroad station, "Firenze SMN". Train schedules are available at www.trenitalia.it. Bus schedules are available at www.terravision.eu/florence_pisa.html. The train costs €5.40, the bus costs €10 one way. The buses run more often. Some trains do not arrive at the main railroad station, and others require a change at Pisa Centrale.

By train

Modern, fast Eurostar trains connect Florence with Italy's main cities, and local trains from other parts of Italy and express trains from around Europe arrive in Florence. The main station is Firenze Santa Maria Novella [4], on the edge of the historic old town. Other small stations are Firenze Campo Marte (near Florence Stadium) and Firenze Rifredi. If you take an Intercity train to Florence, you may need to change at Rifredi for another train to Firenze S.M.N.

You might want to consider the overnight train connections to Florence from Paris or most German towns. For example, the train from Florence to Munich leaves at 21:53 and arrives in Munich the next morning at around 08:00. You can sleep comfortably the entire way and it costs about €100.

The train to Vienna takes about 12 hours and costs €70.

By car

Florence is connected by good highways to the rest of Italy. The easiest way to get in and out of the city from the A-1 Autostrada, which connects Florence to Bologna, Milan and the North, and to Rome and the South, is to use the "Firenze - Certosa" exit. This is the same route for those leaving for or arriving from Siena on the "Fi-Si" highway. If you are arriving from or leaving for Pisa and the West on the A-11 Autostrada, it may be best to go by way of Firenze-Certosa and use the A-1 to connect to and from the A-11.

Driving in the historic center - inside the wide "viale" where the old city walls were (and still are, on the southern side of the Arno)- is strictly prohibited, except for residents with permits. Enforcement is by camera, and is ferociously efficient. If you drive in the prohibited areas, you will be tracked down, and you will receive stiff fines in the mail. To see the extent of the prohibited area - "ZTL" - go to: https://ztl.comune.fi.it/tzi/index.jsp.

There is a very strictly defined route to get in and out of the city for car rental agencies in the Via Fineguerra and the Borg'Ognissanti, just south of the Firenze SMN railroad station. If you rent there, be sure to ask at the office how to get in and out without violating the ZTL.

Parking in garages and parking lots is expensive, costing upwards of 1 euro per hour.

There are three kinds of parking places on the street: white, yellow and blue. White is for residents only, yellow ones are reserved, so you can park only on the blue places. The price is 1 Euro per hour and you have to pay from 8 am to 8 pm (12 hours). Leave the ticket inside the car in a visible place. Attention: you need coins for the parking - the machine won't accept banknotes or cards.

You can also find 'free' parking at all hours at "Piazzale Michelangelo" on the south side of the town. However, there are time limits for how long you can leave a car, which are rigidly enforced, and if you violate those limits, your car will be towed. It's about a 20 minute walk to the city centre (down the stairs and across the Arno). It has gorgeous views of the city as well.

By bus

Bus stops have clear, schematic labelling of the routes and are all named according to the street name or major landmark nearby. They do not always give an indication of bus times, however, so it is sometimes difficult to figure out how long it may take till the next bus arrives. Tickets must be bought in advance from Tobacconists or newspaper sellers, and are usually valid for one hour over the whole network, so that you can just hop on and off at will. They cost €1.20 for 70 minutes, and multiple day tickets are also available. Tickets are also available on the bus, sold by the driver, at an increased price of €2 (therefore, no more excuses in case of ticket control!).

The official ATAF website [5] includes maps and timetables.

Get around

Walking

Most of the major tourist sights in Florence are within easy walking distance of each other. It is possible to walk from one end of the historic center of Florence to the other - North-South or East-West in a half hour. Walking is not only an easy way to get around, it also offers the chance to 'take in' much more of the city life. Some of the streets in central Florence are closed off to traffic, and many more are simply too narrow for buses to get through. Therefor, bus and car tours are not recommended. This is a very small, very compact city that really needs to be seen by foot. And, of course, if you need to, you can always buy a new pair of shoes in Florence.

By Bicycle

There is a bike rental service organized by the city. Bikes can be hired at several points in the city (and returned to the same place). One of the most convenient for tourists is located at SMN station. There are other locations at many railway stations, but often with restricted opening hours.

While there are hills north and south of the center of town, almost all of the historic center of Florence is easy for bikers, because it is as flat as a hat - flatter than that. But there is a problem: Traffic is terrible, and buses, trucks, cars, motorcycles, motorbikes bicycles, and pedestrians are all fighting for almost no space at all, so you'd better pay attention.

Beyond the city bikes, some of the hotels in town provide their guest with free bicycles. Bike shops also often rent bikes and some of them organize guided bike tours in the countryside.

By Taxi

Taxis are available, but it may be best if you have your hotel or the restaurant you are eating at call ahead. Taxis can be called by phone and the nearest one available is sent to you through the company's radio system. In Florence, it can be difficult to hail a cab from the street curb. You either call for one or get one at the very few taxi stands. One popular taxi stand is at the central Santa Maria Novella Train Station and in a few major squares. The first taxi in the taxi stand line should be free - ask in case of doubt. Be aware that some taxis may not take credit card for payment. Be sure to have cash and ask in advance in case you only have a credit card with you. Please note that taxis in Florence are relatively expensive. Tipping is not expected, unless the driver helps you carry luggage, etc.

By Bus

Another way of getting around is by using the public buses from ATAF. A day ticket costs €5 and a 3 day ticket costs €12. A four-ride ticket costs €4.50. You can buy tickets at tabacchi (shops selling tobacco, which are marked with official looking "T"s out front." kiosks/newsagents/bars where the symbol "Biglietti ATAF" is shown, as well as at the ATAF ticketing office at the bus station outside Santa Maria Novella train station. Several ticket options are available. One very convenient is the 4-rides ticket and the "Carta Agile". The former needs to be stamped when entering the bus (from the front and rear doors of buses - the central door is supposed to be exit only; though now it is more accepted to enter from the central door). The latter has an embedded electronic chip and needs to be held close ("swiped") to the upper part of the ticket machine inside the bus: the "beep" of the machine will inform you that a ticket has been paid and the display will show you how many more tickets ("swipes") you have left. Within 1hr of stamping/swiping you can hop-off & hop-on on any bus of the urban ATAF network. Unfortunately and completely against Italian law, it is not uncommon to see bus drivers talking merrily on their mobile phone while driving. Don't expect riders to complain about it and don't panic - they will still drive with the same non-comfortable style as when they are "only driving". Hold tight to hand rails as Florence traffic is very unpredictable and frequent sudden breaking is necessary. Bus rides are not by all means "smooth". Buses are "safe" but pick pocketing is quite common. Please keep a close eye to your belongings and avoid showing off cash/jewelry/etc. especially in very crowded buses (especially for lines 17/23/14/22 - generally speaking any crowded bus can give a chance to pick pocket).

You can find handy route maps and schedules at http://www.ataf.net/. You can also get ATAF maps on paper at tourist offices, such as the one in the Piazza della Stazione.

By Car

Driving inside the historic center of Florence is virtually impossible.

Only residents with permits are allowed to drive there. Enforcement of the "Limited Traffic Zone" or "ZTL" is by camera. Violators will be tracked down and fined, but the fine may not arrive for a year or more after the infraction. The fines start at about €90. Once you enter the forbidden zone, it is virtually impossible to pass only one camera, and each time you do, it is a separate fine.

Official information on the ZTL is available at: https://ztl.comune.fi.it/tzi/index.jsp

In addition, Florence has some of the teeniest streets in Europe, an amazingly fiendish one-way system that confuses even the locals, and some streets that just come to an abrupt end, with little or no warning.

Parking on the street in the historic center is out of the question. It may only be done by residents with a permit, and all other cars are towed away instantly - if not sooner - to some godforsaken suburb from which it will cost you hundreds of euros to get yours returned.

That said, you may be able to arrange a very temporary - about 30-minute - exemption through your hotel, which will need your license number and other information to make arrangements with the authorities. You will then have to get the car from the hotel out of the ZTL before the exemption expires.

A car can be useful to reach some destinations just outside the city centre, like Fiesole or Settignano (these sights are also reachable by bus service), or for day trips to wonderful places such as Siena, Volterra, Arezzo, etc. It is possible, if a bit tricky to rent a car in Florence and get out of town and back to the car rental agency without violating the ZTL. Those tempted to do so, should make sure to get precise directions from the rental agency.

See

Museums

The Uffizi is the most famous, but Florence also has other amazing museums a short walk away with world class artistic treasures.

Galleria degli Uffizi Florence
  • Galleria degli Uffizi, Piazzale degli Uffizi, +39 055 294883, [6]. Tu-Su 8:15AM-6:35PM. Justly one of the world's most famous fine art museums. The collections of Renaissance paintings and sculptures from classical antiquity are superb. Included is The Birth of Venus by Sandro Boticelli. There are often long lines (several hours' wait is not uncommon) since even before the doors are open. Useful tip: You can call (+39 055 294883) to make a reservation in advance and walk right in, which is strongly recommended if you can spare the extra €4. The phone operator will give you an extension number which you quote at Gate 3 to pay (cash only) and get the tickets. Online booking is available but is much less convenient because it costs more, has a 24 hour waiting period, your specified time may change and you need to print an email. The restaurant/caffè has a large balcony overlooking the main piazza with good views of the Palazzo Vecchio. It is a great place to take a break for art lovers making a non-rushed visit to this fantastic collection. This cafe is rather expensive however. Street performers are often seen outside the Uffizi. Admission €6.50 (Mar 2009) (Phone booking: €4 extra; Online booking: €7.25 extra).
  • Bargello (Officially The National Museu of Bargello), Via de Proconsolo 4, +39 055 294883, [7]. 8:15AM-6PM Tuesday - Sunday and the 1st, 3rd & 5th Monday of each month. Closed the 2nd & 4th Monday of each moth as well as May 1st.. This museum houses one of the best examples of Renaissance and Mannerist sculpture. The works of many great Renaissance sculptors are on display here, including Michelangelo, Donatello, Ammannati, Bandinelli, Andrea and Jacopo Sansovino, Desiderio da Settignano, Giambologna, and Antonio Rossellino. The museum is located near Piazza della Signoria and can be seen in a few hours. Admission is €4.
  • Accademia Gallery, Via Ricasoli 58-60, [8]. Tuesday - Sunday 8:15AM - 6:50PM. Highlights are Michelangelo's David and the unfinished Slaves. The David was recently cleaned in a controversial project. No photography is allowed inside. Wait times can be under one hour in the off-season. It is possible to reserve at the academia in advance and save yourself the long line. If you only interested in see David and Rape of the Sabines,and are short on cash you can see similar replicas in Palazzo Vecchino where you can also take picutres. Please note that while restoring or repairing art the gallery often showcases the replicas (you can tell because the toenail is intact for David, for example), €6.50 (advance booking: €4).
Galileo's Original Instruments, Institute and Museum of the History of Science
  • Pitti Palace. On the quieter south bank of the Arno. The former Medici family palace contains galleries of their art and treasures. The Boboli gardens behind the palazzo offer wonderful walks and excellent views of the city and the countryside south of the city.
  • Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Piazza de Doumo 9 (Directlyu behind the dome end of the cathedral), Reservations +39 055 230 2885. The Cathedral Museum, with artworks formerly in the Duomo and surrounding religious buildings, including sculptures by Donatello, another version of the Pietà (different from that one of Saint Peter's Basilica, in Vatican, Rome) by Michelangelo, and the losing entries in the famous contest held in 1401 to design the doors of the Baptistery. Models and drawings of the Cathedral. Worthy. €6 Children under 6 free..
  • Institute and Museum of the History of Science, [9]. This museum shows the evolution of the instruments used in various scientific fields such as Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Astronomy. The room of Galileo Galilei shows some of his original instruments as well as models from his drawings. The room of Spheres and Globes houses an excellent cartographic collection. In a rather macabre twist the museum also has the middle finger of Galileo's right hand on display.


For those making longer stays in Florence, the city also has an interesting archaeological museum (the Etruscan art collection is particularly good), a Contemporary Art gallery, seated in Palazzo Strozzi, and other collections.

Other sights

Giotto's Tower, from Duomo di Firenze
In the old town center:
Vecchio Bridge
  • Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as the Duomo di Firenze is the city's beautiful cathedral, the symbol of the city. Brunelleschi's huge dome was an engineering feat of the rennaissance. A statue of Brunelleschi is sited in the piazza, with his figure looking upwards towards his dome.
  • Giotto's Tower - adjacent to the Duomo, you can climb the tower for a magnificent 360-degree view of the Duomo, Florence, and the surrounding area.€6 entrance fee, and requires some tenacity to climb 414 steps.
  • Baptistery famous for the Paradise door and beautiful interior.
  • Palazzo Vecchio - old city palace/city hall, adorned with fine art. The replica of Michelangelo's "David" is placed outside the main door in the original location of the statue, which is a symbol of the Comune of Florence. The site displays an important collection of Renaissance sculptures and paintings, including the Putto, by Verrochio, and the series of murals by Giorgio Vasari at the Salone dei Cinquecento (Hall of the Five Houndreds) - the hall which used to display the now lost Renaissance masterpiece, that is, the so-called Battaglia di Anghiari, by Leonardo da Vinci.
Galileo's Tomb, Santa Croce
  • Ponte Vecchio the oldest and most famous bridge over the Arno; the only Florentine bridge to survive WW2. The Ponte Vecchio (literally "old bridge") is lined with shops, traditionally mostly jewellers since the days of the Medici. Vasari's elevated walkway crosses the Arno over the Ponte Vecchio, connecting the Uffizi to the old Medici palace.
  • Santa Croce church contains the monumental tombs of Galileo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Dante, and many other notables in addition to artistic decorations. There is also great artwork in the church. And when you're done seeing that, a separate charge will gain you admission to the Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce, where you can see a flood-damaged but still beautiful Crucifix by Cimabue (Giotto's teacher), which has become both the symbol of the flooding of Firenze in 1966 and of its recovery from that disaster. The Pazzi Chapel, a perfectly symmetrical example of sublime neo-Classic Renaissance architecture is also worth visiting.
  • Santa Maria Novella, near the train station, is a beautiful church and contains great artwork, including a recently restored Trinity by Masaccio. Also, the Chiostre Verde, to your left when facing the front entrance of the church, contains frescos by Paolo Uccello which are quite unusual in style and well worth seeing, if the separate entrance is open. Off of the church's cloister is the wonderful Spanish Chapel which is covered in early Renaissance frescoes.
  • Orsanmichele the beautiful old church of the Medici, converted from it's original purpose as a grainery.
  • San Lorenzo the facade of this church was never completed, giving it a striking, rustic appearence. Inside the church is pure Renaissance neo-classical splendor. If you go around the back of the church, there is a separate entrance to the Medici chapels. Be sure to check out the stunning burial chapel of the princes and the sacristy down the corridor. The small sacristy is blessed with the presence of nine Michelangelo sculptures.
  • San Marco Convent (1436) houses frescoes by Fra Angelico and Fra Bartolomeo in a series of dormitory cells in which the Dominican monks lived.

On the south bank of the Arno:

A statue at the Boboli Gardens
  • Boboli Gardens, elaborately landscaped and with many interesting sculptures, behind the Pitti Palace. Wonderful city views.
  • Santa Maria del Carmine has famous frescos (Masaccio’s Adam and Eve Banished From the Garden and others by Lippi and Masolino) in the Brancacci Chapel
  • Piazzale Michelangelo (Michelangelo square) plaza on a hilltop with a great view of the city (go there by bus) or climb the stairs and paths from the Lungarno della Zecca.
View from Piazzale Michelangelo
  • San Miniato al Monte, uphill from Piazzale Michelangelo, contains a chapel with frescoes by Spinello Aretino. On the cemetry near this church there are graves of famous people of Florence, including Carlo Lorenzi (Collodi) - author of the famous Pinocchio.
  • Santa Trinita, on the Oltrarno side of the Ponte Vecchio, contains frescos by the brilliant and weird mannerist painter, Pontormo, which are to your immediate right when entering.

Tours

  • Limousine tours of florence with Driverinflorence, +39 3384180978 (), [10]. Visit Florence and sourrounding areas with reliable ,fun and friendly driver/guides.
  • Driving Guide Tours, +39 055 632 930 (), [11]. Private excursion in Tuscany with driver guide in luxury sedan and minivan
  • Context Florence, Via del Campanile, +1 888 467 1986 or +39 06 48 20 911 (), [12]. daily. This group of scholars and specialists in various fields organize in-depth "walking seminars" of Florence and its monuments, including the Uffizi. Walks are organizes around themes like the Medici, artisan traditions, and daily life in Renaissance Florence.
  • Italy Segway Tours, Via dei Servi 13, +39 055 2398855 (, fax: 055), [13]. from=9:00 a.m. to 18:00 from Monday to Saturday. Have fun gliding through the timeless streets of the Renaissance Pearl that is Florence and discover all her wonders on the coolest ride of the 21st century! Our 3 hour tours are limited to 6 and a minimum of 2 clients, so as to provide an intimate and unique experience. Price 75 €.
  • Walking Tour, Via dei Cimatori 9/r angolo Piazza de' Cerchi, +39 055 215358 (). from=9:00 a.m. to 18:00 every day. One and a half hours of audio, walking through the centre of Florence, on your own, browsing along streets, piazzas and shops, accompanied every step of the way by AudioGuide. With AudioGuide, discover a Florence that others can’t show you. Price 12 €.
  • Guides in Florence, Via Verdi, 10, +39 347 7378374 (, fax: 055 2480902), [14]. from=9:00 a.m. to 18:00 every day. Walk down its medieval alleys and historical piazzas seeing its antique workshops, the homes of the artists, the basilicas and all the most important churches.
  • Walking Tour - Dante's Florence, Via Toscanella 33R, +39 331 904 9410 (), [15]. Are you up for a walk around the center? This is not an introduction to the city's history, but rather an enriching experience for someone already familiar with the history of Florence or the text of the Divine Comedy. With Florence's Dante plaques as our guide you trace the poet's ascent from the lower circles of hell to the heights of paradise, beginning with the house of Fillipo Argenti (instrumental in Dante's exile) and ending at the famous Baptistery where Dante himself was christened in 1265 and where he vows to don his famous wreath if he ever returns from exile: Sei mai continga...vinca le crudelta che fuor mi serra... in sul fonte del mio battesmo prendero il cappello. But of course he never returned, and to this day the magnificent sepulcher which bears his name lies empty in the Basilica of Santa Croce. A 3-hour tour is 150.00 Euro, group size notwithstanding.
  • Artisan Quarter Walking Tour, Sdrucciolo Dei Pitti 13R, (), [16]. On our Art Immersion tour of the Artisan Quarter, participants get an introduction to Florence as a city of art and crafts, with a glorious history that still influences the work of artists and craftspeople in the city today. The price of this tour is dependent upon group size.
  • Artviva The Original & Best Walking Tours (Artviva The Original& Best Walking Tours), Via Sassetti 1, 055 2645033, [17]. Artviva The Original and Best Walking Tours Italy, Via Sassetti 1 Florence Italy (Near Piazza della Repubblicca on the corner of Piazza Davanzati), ☎ 055 2645033, [new]. The Best Tours and Tour Guides in Florence, Italy. The Original and Best: The first company in Italy to offer high quality guided tours with professional specially trained guides. Our experts make history come alive and give entertaining and informative tours. High quality services at a great price. About Our Guides: All our tour guides are highly qualified enthusiastic experts. Our tour guides and historians have a sense of humor and can speak excellent English; ensuring a wonderful tour for you. Also does Tuscany Chianti Bike Tours, Cooking Classes, Tuscany Tours, Wine Tours Venice, Rome and other parts of Italy. Calling within Italy 055- 264 5033 Calling within Europe +39-055-264 5033 Calling from the United States 011-39-055 264 5033 Calling from Australia 0011-39-055 2645033 Fax from inside Italy +39-055 272 8680 Fax from other parts of Europe +39-055 272 8680 Fax from the United States 011-39-055 272 8680 Fax from Australia 0011-39-055 272 8680 NOTE: leave the '0' in before the '55' when dialing from over seas as well as in Italy
  • FlorenceForFun, Via della Pergola, 0552476605, [18]. M-F 12-6. FlorenceForFun is a student oriented event planning company and travel agency, working specifically with the International Student Community. They offer various services to students studying abroad, such as cooking and wine classes, sports events, tours and excursions in and around Italy, and soon all of Europe — all at a discounted student rates. It’s great if you are trying to get the most out of your time abroad, on a budget.
  • Photography Walking Tour of Florence (with photographer Susanna Lucia Lamaina), Via Toscanella 33R (In the Oltrarno just steps from Piazza Della Passera), (39) 331-904-9410, [19]. Destination: San Miniato Al Monte: The Basilica di San Miniato al Monte stands perched atop one of the highest points in Florence, Italy. It has been described as one of the finest Romanesque structures in Tuscany and one of the most beautiful churches in Italy. The price of this tour is dependent upon group size.
  • 2054 - Florence. If you are the kind of person that prefer to find your way through the city on your own instead of being guided consider the Florence edition of whaiwhai, [20]. , a series of guidebooks that turn visits to Florence into intriguing treasure hunts.

Do

See art, eat, drink, see more art, hear music, shop, take a day trip into the Tuscan countryside, people watch, climb to the top of the Duomo or Campanile, see more art, eagerly plan for your return visit.

  • Get a bike and get out of Firenze. There are magnificent places to ride around the city. Unfortunately, the landscape of the places worth a ride are usually hilly or even mountainous, therefore you need a little training and stamina most of the times (but effort is not always strenuous and if the road goes too much uphill, you can take it easy or even dismount). Best destinations are in the Chianti area, where you can fully enjoy the hills and the elegance of the landscape surrounding you, which has been taken care of endlessly through centuries. Strong scents can be enjoyed in Spring. The warm temperatures and usually stable weather in the good seasons can make the ride even more enjoyable. If you feel more energetic, ascents to Vallombrosa from Pontassieve through Tosi can be very enjoyable. You start from the Arno river plain and you end up in a thick, shady, fresh forest. In all cases, avoid the hottest hours in Summer and be aware of the traffic, which can be heavy and not cyclist-savvy, until you get in secondary or less populated roads.
  • Stroll the Boboli Gardens. These extensive gardens behind the Piti palace provide excellent views of the city of Florence and numerous sculptures in a relaxed environment. Stop in the hilltop cafe, grab a drink and a seat outside and enjoy the view.
  • Street Performers by the Uffizi, in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. In the evenings street performers often put on a show here. Performances can range from violin duets to people dressed as sculptures. A nice place to stop while you eat your after-dinner gelato.
  • Enjoy the view from the Piazzale Michelangelo. It's a big square on a hill, but somewhat distant from the traditional tourist sites. It's easy to reach it even on foot using the stairs called "Rampe di San Niccolò". They are on the side of the Arno river just in front of the national library. Do this thing during the summer and during the night to admire Florence's lights.
  • Climb the Duomo or Campanile. Traverse the winding staircases inside the duomo or the nearby bell tower to see some of the best views of Florence. Not only can you see the Tuscan countryside in the distance and the impressive palaces and churches of Florence in the fore, but it also shows you just how large the duomo is.


Learn

  • The University of Florence has a Cultural Center for Foreigners [21] which offers 5 to 10 week courses in Italian language and culture. The preparatory course is suitable for people with no previous knowledge of Italian. The courses are taught entirely in Italian, i.e., they are totally immersive [22]. The staff can help you find student accommodation.
  • Authentic Tuscan cooking class in a wonderful Chianti villa, tailor-made course up to 6 people. You would enjoy a fantastic cooking course. We will teach you everything you will need to know to prepare an authentic Tuscan meal with a hint of international twist from the antipasto course to the dessert. Carry back with you the ability to recreate an enviable Italian dinner at home, from homemade pasta, lasagne, panzanella and ribollita to tiramisu and schiacciata con l'uva. While we cook we will have a great time!.


  • Italian language and Art courses [23] at Accademia del Giglio school. Intensive Italian language courses in small classes, specific Italian, home tuition programme and crash courses. Drawing and Painting classes: classical techniques such as oil, sanguine and fresco. Classes are taught in English. Accommodation services.
  • Beaded Lily Glass Works [24]. Glass Beadmaking Courses. Learn how to make glass beads in the heart of Florence, Italy's artisan district, the Oltrarno. Our bead making courses introduce students to both basic and advanced lampworking techniques and help pave the way towards finding your own artistic voice.
  • Learn to cook Italian Cuisines [25], [26]. Good Tastes of Tuscany, a wonderful cooking school in Florence, Italy which allows you to take home the recipes of Italian delights.
  • Organic Cooking Classes in Tuscany [27] mail: info@organictuscany.org Organic Tuscany offers week-long cooking courses in the Florence countryside. The course includes visits to local organic farms where the fresh, local organic food they use is grown, hands-on cooking classes with traditional Tuscan and Italian recipes, wine tastings and tours of Siena and Florence.
  • Tuscany, [28]Guide to Tuscany written by resident of more than ten years in the Region.

Work

Firenze.jpg

Buy

Souvenirs related to art and Florence's sights can be found everywhere. Shops that are not located in the very centre of the city are significantly cheaper.

Books, leather goods, art handcrafted journals, frames, pencils etc. in that gorgeous Florentine paper with swirls of color and gold.

Better stores in/near the city center offer superb leathers at sometimes decent prices...perhaps after some bickering. Goldsmiths on the Ponte Vecchio display beautiful and quality work, but can be very expensive.

Some of the most uniquely Florentine shops and sights can be found in the Oltrarno, which is Florence's "left bank" and home to countless generations of artisans. This section of town can be found by crossing "Ponte Vecchio" (the old bridge) or Ponte Trinità from the center. This "undiscovered" Florence is a must-see!

Beware: If the police catches you while buying a knock-off version of something with a brand from an (illegal) street vendor, you can be fined up to €10,000. You'll see plenty of people on the street selling imitation Gucci sunglasses, Rolex watches, and Prada purses for dirt cheap. It's okay if the item doesn't have a real brand on it, but buying a knock-off is illegal.

  • Madova, 1R Via Guicciardini, +39 055 239 6526, [29]. A classic for Italian gloves.
  • Enoteca Mondovino, Via S. Agostino 27-29/R, +39 055 215214. Decent wine and Liquor store with interesting collection of potable bitters in the back (Italian and German).
  • Beaded Lily Beads & Designer Jewelry, Via Toscanella 33r (In the Oltrarno - Steps from Piazza Della Passera *Walking directions posted on website), +39 331 904 9410 (), [30]. An inspiring array of unique beading delectables, handmade designer jewelry, Italian ribbons and yarns and more... Now offering glass beadmaking and jewelry design courses!
  • Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, Via della Scala 16 N, [31]. An old farmacy, which sells high-qualitiy beauty products like soaps, shaving cream, eau de Cologne,...
  • Pitti Vintage - Italian & European Vintage Clothing & Accessories, Sdrucciolo Dei Pitti 19R (In the Oltrarno - On Sdrucciolo between Palazzo Pitti & Piazza Santo Spirito), +39 055 230 2676 (), [32]. Fendi, Ferragamo, Gucci, Lancetti, Valentino. Specializes in Italian and European designer and one-of-a-kind vintage pieces!
  • Cose Del 900 - Italian Glass Connection, Borgo San Jacopo 45R (Just two minutes from Ponte Vecchio!), +39 055 283 491 (), [33]. Monday - Saturday 10:30am - 7:30pm. Since 1981 - Specializing in sized-to-order, affordable beaded jewelry featuring handmade Murano glass beads.
  • Zei Cinofilia, Via P. Colletta n.30/32r, 055 2477909, [34]. 0900-1900. Since 1962 the pet shop has been selling stylish Italian accessories for cats and dogs.

Eat

Remember that restaurants have separate prices for food to go or eaten standing up versus sit down service; don't try to sit at a table after paying for food or coffee from the restaurant's to go booth. Also ask always beforehand for the price if you want to sit at a table. Otherwise you might be uncomfortably surprised. Cappuccino al banco i.e. standing up might cost €1-3; but at a table €4.

Florence's food can be as much of a treat to the palate as the art is a treat to the eye! There is good food for any price range, from fine restaurants to take out food from window stands. The best price/quality ratio you will find outside the historical center where normal Italians go to eat. The worst ratio is probably in the neighbourhood of Mercato di San Lorenzo where there are a lot of tourist restaurants, while many of the best restaurants in the city are found in the Santa Croce district. In some, requests for pizza may be met with a rebuff.

Typical Tuscan courses include Bistecca alla fiorentina which is huge t-bone steak weighing from 500 to 1500 grams. It has always price given per 100 grams e.g. 3,5€ etto (etto is "hecto" pronounced in Italian). Crostini toscani are crostini with tuscan liver paté.

There are many gelato (Italian ice cream) stands; some connoisseurs consider the better Florentine gelato the finest in the world. Many times gelato is made in the bar where you buy it. Because of this there are many exotic tastes of ice cream like watermelon, spumante or garlic.

Tuscany is also the wellspring of cantuccini, also called biscotti di Prato. (Please note that in Italian, the singular of biscotti is un biscotto.) It's traditional to enjoy them after a meal by dipping them in Vin Santo ("Holy Wine"), a concentrated wine made from late-harvested grapes, but you can also buy bags of them in stores throughout the city and eat them however you like.

Budget

There are numerous caffè and pasticcerie where you can find excellent sandwiches. Pizza sold by weight is an equally excellent solution for budget dining, as is any caffè displaying a "Primi" card in its window where you'll find pastas and other dishes at low reasonable prices. The delis (rosticcerie) are very affordable (and the food is often quite good), and some also have dining tables if you don't want to take away.

A general rule: the closer you are to the historic old town, the higher the price.

  • I fratellini, Via dei Cimatori, 38R. Nothing but the essentials: panini (€2.50) and wine (€1.60+) from a tiny hole in the wall. Patrons eat on the sidewalk while resting their glass of wine on small shelves nested along the street wall.
  • Oil Shoppe, Via S. Egidio 22r; Tel 0552001092, [35]. This quaint deli has affordable (€4) hot and cold sandwiches made with a variety of meats (try the meatball sandwich), sauces and fresh vegetables. You can get a meal deal with chips and small drink for €6.50. It is open from 10.30 in the morning to whenever the bread (white, wheat and sub rolls) runs out, which is usually between 6 and 7 in the evening. During the peak period of February to June, it can get very crowded in the day with students, but their love for the sandwiches there is apparent in their loyalty. A good mid-day meal to take with you on the go as you explore Florence, Via S. Egidio is not too far off the beaten track. The Oil Shoppe also sells its own extra virgin olive oil, which they generously use in their sandwiches.
  • Trattoria Mario, Via Rosina 2/R (near Piazza Mercato Centrale); Tel. 055 218550 (no bookings) The restaurant opens for lunch and they sit you with other people walking into the restaurant. There is a menu on the wall and the food is great and if you can, save room for a secondi (meat plate).
  • Trattoria Le Mossacce, Via Del Proconsolo, 55R, 055294361. Lunch until 2PM, Dinner starting at 7PM. A local eatery that has been well-reviewed by multiple publications. Local produce and meats are prepared simply using traditional recipes and time-honoured tradition. Some pastas are made fresh daily, so ask for the daily special. If you want to experience Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florentine-style steak), they do it amazingly without breaking your wallet. They sell and cut the steak from a larger rib slab in increments of 100g (with a minimum of 500g per serving). Primi: 3-6, Secondi 6-25 Euros.
  • Leonardo, Via de' Pecori 11, 055 284446. 11:45-14:45 for lunch, 18:45-21:45 for dinner. Closed on Saturday. A cozy self-service restaurant at the corner of Via de' Pecori and Via de' Vecchietti. About 2 minutes walk from Duomo. Although there is a menu at the enterance, it is better to go straight to the restaurant, see what they have on their counters and pick what you like. You can also order Bistecca alla Fiorentina. Primi €3.5-4. Secondi €4.5-5.5. About €10 per person for a full-course dinner.

Mid-range

  • al Tramvai, Piazza T.Tasso, 14 r, Tel 055 225197. An excellent restaurant for authentic Tuscan fare away from the tourist centre. This place gets very busy around 8pm with the locals so be there a bit before. Very traditional Tuscan food at decent prices. 1st courses at 7euros and 2nds at about 10 to 16eruos. Vino at 4euros/0.5L. The rabbit, asparagus souffle and fiori fritti are excellent and the service very welcoming and warm.
  • Trattoria da Garibaldi, Piazza del Mercato Centrale 38r ; Tel. 055 21 22 67.
  • Birreria Centrale, Piazza Cimatori 1r ; Tel. 055 21 19 15.
  • Trattoria Baldini, Via della Scala
  • Trattoria Anita, Via del Parlascio, 2r; Tel. 055 218698
  • "Il Latini" Restaurant, Via dei Palchetti, 6r, 055-210-916. You actually are seated at a table with other people and that is the fun of the restaurant. The owner visits each table and everyone is in a great mood. It is the combination of all that is mentioned above plus the personalities of the waiters make it a fun place to eat, visit and enjoy the whole Florentine experience. At 7:30PM when it opens, you will see a crowd outside the restaurant trying to be first in line - even with reservations! Don't panic. The restaurant is bigger than it looks. Even if you do wait, they bring you wine and cheese to those in line. The line is worth it. You might try and ask the owner if you could see the cellar because that is where there is a small private dining area for wine lovers (group party) and the wine is stored there.
  • "Palle d'Oro", Via S. Antonino, 43/45R, Tel. 055 288383. Three generations of the same family have managed the restaurant, started as a wine seller (they have also been producing wine). They specialize in Tuscany traditional food. Quality of food is excellent, since they not only are good cookers, but also use very good quality ingredients.
  • Trattoria Cammillo, Borgo San Jacopo 57/R (near the fountain at the 5 way dangerous intersection south of the river), 055 212427. closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Fairly good Tuscan cuisine, with a number of options for vegetarians and vegans. Make reservations or arrive at 7pm.

Splurge

  • Restaurant Terrazza Brunelleschi Piazza Unità Italiana, 6 - 50123 Florence. Ph. +39.055.23580 - Fax +39.055.23588895. [36]. From the Panoramic "Terrazza Brunelleschi" Restaurant you can catch all of Florence in a glimpse: the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore designed by Brunelleschi and Giotto's famous campanile, the roofs of the age-old buildings of the historical center and the green hills that surround the city on the horizon.
  • Enoteca Pinchiorri Via Ghibellina, 87 - 50122 Florence. Ph. +39 055 242777 [37]. Situated in the center, near Santa Croce, perhaps the most expensive and exclusive winery and restaurant in Florence. You will choose from a selection of the best Italian wines. Expect to spend more than €100 each, but according to your wine taste, it can easily reach much higher prices. You will be presented with separate bills for the food and for the wine.
  • Il Cibreo Via Dei Macci, 118/R - 50122 Florence, Ph. +39 055 234 11 00 - Fax +39 055 244 966. In the center near Santa Croce. Vast and great choice of Tuscan food, with highly selected ingredients. €50-100 each.

Dessert

  • Gelateria dei Neri, Via dei Neri 20r. Ice cream in many flavors, some experimental, all excellent.
  • Vivoli, Via Isole delle Stinche, 7/R; Tel 055 292 334. Close to Piazza Santa Croce. The best gelato in Florence! Vivoli features one of the best gelato fruit selections, so definately try the fragola, or strawberry! Make sure that you ask for the cream on top as well, because it adds another element to an already great dessert!
  • Perché No! - The best Gelato in town - freshly made daily from quality ingredients. E.g. pear will be made with real pears and will taste of pears. Typically fruit flavors will be made with seasonally available fruits. Chocolate flavor will taste of cocoa rather than chocolate milk-powder - if you are a chocolate fan, this is the place to go. Specialties are "sorbetto" (ice cream made with water rather than milk - both fruit and standard flavors) and "mousse" ice creams. Ask for the "special" taste of the day. In Via dei Tavolini 19.

Drink

Tap water is safe and the taste is now good enough (it got really nasty right after the flooding and stayed so for many years), but those who still prefer bottled water will find it plentiful. Sample the excellent wines of the region.

Chianti is the local wine that can be ordered cheaply. Many eateries will offer carafes of various sizes of "house chianti", usually for under 4 Euros.

Mid-range

  • Uffizi Museum The bar at this museum offers an amazing view overlooking la Piazza della Signoria, but it's only accessible through the museum, so you'll have to buy a ticket.
  • Irish Pub Piazza Santa Maria Novella.

Splurge

  • Rivoire Piazza della Signoria. Founded in 1872 this terrace facing the Palazzo Vecchio is a Florentine institution.
  • Paszkowski or Gilli. Situated on the Piazza Republica, next to the hotel Savoy. Note that the terrasses on the other side of the piazza are equally pricey.

Sleep

As elsewhere the price of hotels in Florence has been climbing quickly in the last few years. The golden rule here is if you want something cheap you'll have to stay outside of the historic center. The area around the train station is cheaper, but not as safe, especially for women travelers at night. If you are looking at big chain hotels you should be aware that they are usually quite a ways out indeed, the Novotel for instance is almost at the airport.

Certain hotels, particularly those oriented toward business travelers offer special reduced rates during the weekend (eg. Starhotel Michelangelo) or during slow weeks like Baglioni. Sometimes you can also get a substantial discount by reserving online. In the train station there is a tourist information office which also offers hotel reservations; you can often get good deals through them at the very last minute, but it's not guaranteed.

Budget

There are quite a number of one or two-star alberghi within a short distance of the station. Young women can find accommodation with certain convents at very low prices, and usually in historic locations. On the other hand, you'll have to forget about any late-night Tuscan crazyness.

Camping

  • Camping Michelangelo has a scenic location on the hillside close to Piazza Michelangelo. Usually it is very crowded. It has "house tents" available, which are tents for two people with bunk beds inside.

Hostel

  • Hostel Archi Rossi - Via Faenza, 94r. Tel. 055 290804 - Fax. 055.2302601 [38] - Never mind the renaissance-kitsch walls. This hostel is close to the SM Novella train station and not far from the city's main attractions. More importantly rooms are clean and rates include breakfast, dinner (except Saturdays) and round the clock internet access. Bonus: the Hostel offers a free walking tour daily starting at 10AM. An English speaking guide rotates between the classical and off-the-beaten-path walking tours around the city. Rates from €18 (dorm) and €26 (private room; per person)
  • Hostel 7 Santi - Viale Dei Mille, 11 Tel. 055.5048452 - Fax 055.5057085 [39] - A recently converted 19th century convent in the Campo di Marte area, 10 min from the center by bus. Rooms are clean and quiet - no earplugs necessary! Rooms start at €18 (dorm) info@7santi.com"

Rental

  • Casa Luce in San Lorenzo (Apartment in Florence), Piazza del Mercato 77 (near Basilica di San Lorenzo), +39 347 5286380 (), [40]. checkin: 3:00 p.m.; checkout: 10:00 a.m.. Apartment in the centre of Florence, with beautifull views and latin atmosphere. Sleeps 4. 100euro/day. (41.442726,12.392578,17.078154,35.068359)
  • Apartments Florence, Via della Scala, 32 The best vacation rentals at the best locations in Florence, +390553980522 (), [41].

Bed and Breakfast

  • Bed and Breakfast di Piazza del Duomo Florence, Via dell'Oriuolo, 49, +39 055.285018 (, fax: +39 055.285018), [43]. A charming accommodation in the ancient heart of Florence, in the evocative frame of Duomo square, refined and pleasant hotel rooms with privat bathroom with shower , conditioned air, Lcd Tv, free WiFi. Euro: 45-100.
  • Cristina House B&B, Via Leone X, 2, +39 055.483145 (, fax: +39 055.483145), [44]. Bed & Breakfast situated 300 meters from the Fortezza da Basso exhibition center, the site for many important trade fairs in Florence. The rooms are equipped with modern conveniences.
  • Accademia House bed & breakfast of florence, Via san gallo 61, +39 055 484879 (fax: +39 055 484879), [45]. Charming rooms in romantic Florence. Unique 1500 AD location. All rooms with AC, Ensuite, TV & minifridge.
  • Alloro B&B, (), [46]. The Alloro bed and breakfast in Florence is located in the city centre and is the ideal budget accommodation for those travellers on a low or medium budget
  • Mr My Resort B&B Florence – Via delle Ruote 14 – Cap: 50123, Florence, Italy. [47]. Telephone +39 055 283955 • Fax 055 2676505. Elegant B&B close to the Exhibition Centre and the down town of Florence, proud to be gay and lesbian friendly. This guest house boasts a superior variety of service for a Bed and Breakfast, like internet connection, LCD TV screens, and Turkish Baths and a large Jacuzzi, both available upon request.
  • Le Querciole B&B Florence – Strada di Quercia al Poggio 1 - Monsanto, Barberino Val d'Elsa (Florence) Italy. [49]. Telephone +39 055 674023. Elegant and relaxing B&B Le Querciole offering large apartments with bedroom, comfortable reading area, large kitchen, chimney and common swimming pool, hosted in an old country house of the 17th century located in the Chianti region of Tuscany.
  • B&B Ricci, [50]. Historic centre Just 50 meters from Duomo.
  • Quartopiano Bed and breakfast, Via panicale 3, +39 3293149042, [52].
  • Residenza Betta Florence – Via Poliziano Agnolo, 9 - Cap: 50129, Florence, Italy. [53]. Telephone +39 055 486601 • Fax +39 055 486601. The Residenza Betta is an elegant B&B of Florence capable to offer 5 bedrooms divided in double and twin, and 2 suites. The guest rooms of this guest house of Florence boast private bath, LCD TV with foreign channels, air conditioning and wireless internet connection.
  • San Giovanni Bed and Breakfast, Via Cerretani 2, +39 055 288385 (, fax: +39 055 213580), [55]. 20 metres from the main square of Piazza San Giovanni
  • Relais Villa Antea, Via Puccinotti 46, +39 055.484106 (, fax: +39 055.484539), [56]. Ideally situated off the beaten path yet well within walking distance of the city's historic center, a luxuriously appointed Villa built in 1903 amid even older poplar and lime trees.
  • Bed and Breakfast La Casa di Zefiro, Via Castra, 58/A, +39 0571.979026 (), [57]. Situated in the heart of the Montalbano a true relaxing area reaching from Florence to Pisa and from Prato to Pistoia. From the house you’ll be able to spot the ancients castles and villages of Capraia and Montelupo, famous for the production of ceramics and terracotta (well known since ancient Romans), and the town of Montespertoli one the best known centers of Chianti wine production and where a great festival is held every year in June.
  • Bed and Breakfast San Lorenzo, Piazza San Lorenzo 7, +39 055.288385 (), [58]. A lovely B&B in the heart of Florence. Rooms with private bathroom, conditioned air,Tv, safe.
  • Il Giglio GuestHouse, Rooms for rent, Viale Fratelli Rosselli.74, +39 347 5300438 (), [59]. Located Just Next to the main Railway station of Santa Maria Novella, in a nice and safe area. We want to share with you how special Florence and Italy are! We also love to take time to talk with you about everything you want to know about Florence. We‘ll tell you where to go off the beaten track and experience cheap and good places to eat, taste a cappuccino or espresso, enjoy a real Italian “gelato” or in winter a very good hot chocolate.
  • Hotel L’Argentiere Bed & Breakfast Florence – Via G. Borelli, 8 – Cap: 50125 Florence - Italy. [60]. Telephone +39 055 2320078 • Fax +39 055 3909948. Comfortable apartments and 18 bedrooms for this B&B located less than four km from the central Duomo Square. Garden, dining room, terrace and free private parking, are just some of the facilities of this B&B located outside the noisy streets of the city centre of Florence.

Hotels

Budget

  • Airone, Via P.Toselli, 147, [61]. The Airone offers cheerful accommodation at rooms for €130 a double room. Located 15 minutes from the city centre the Airone is the perfect budget hotel for travellers on a tight budget.
  • Hotel Dali, Via dell'Oriuolo 17, 0039 055 2340706, [62]. Just down the road from the Duomo, this hotel is walking distance to the train station and many of the most popular sights in town. Some rooms open onto a quiet and picturesque inner courtyard. Other rooms offer a view of the Duomo. Owners Marco and Samanta are always ready with good restaurant recommendations and speak excellent english. 40-80€. (43.772061,11.260683)
  • Alba Hotel, Via della Scala, 22, +39 055.282610 - (, fax: +39 055.212370). The Alba Hotel is a lovely little three star hotel located in the immediate vicinity of the train station Santa Mara Novella.
  • Andrea Hotel Piazza Indipendenza, 19, +39.055.483890, Fax: +39.055.461489, [63]. In the center of Florence, at 5 minutes from Fortezza da Basso and Palazzo dei Congressi and only a few steps from Santa Maria Novella. Doubles starting from €70.
  • Arizona Hotel (budget hotel florence), Via Luigi Carlo Farini, 2 (Located in Florence city center), +39 055.245321 (, fax: +39 055.2346130), [64]. checkin: 12.00; checkout: 11.00. This three star hotel is located in a renewed villa of the 18th century. Few minutes walkig to all major monuments. From €69 for a double in low season. (43.772651,11.265353)
  • Ascot Hotel Hotel Ascot Florence via Nazionale, 8/a, 50123 Florence, Italy tel 0039 55 284171 fax 0039 55 212976 [65]. owned and managed by the same family as the Hotel Airone the budget hotel Ascot in Florence is a favourite with young travelers due to it's location right next to the San Lorenzo flea market and some thriving Florentine nightlife. Doubles starting from €70.
  • Bijou Hotel Via Fiume, 5 Florence, Italy tel +39 055 214156 fax +39 055 214156 [67]. Cheap and simple 2 star hotel near the train station in Florence, ideal for backpackers or other low budget travellers. Satellite TV and private bathrooms on request.
  • Budget Hotel Panorama Via Cavour, 60, +39.055.2382043, Fax: +39.055.264404, [68]. This family-run hotel is centrally located, just one block away from the Accademia Art Gallery and close to all the main points of interest (all within walking distance). From the breakfast room on the 4th level guests can enjoy a beautiful view of the city.
  • Convitto della Calza Piazza Della Calza, 6 | 50125, Ph. +39 055.222287 | Fax +39 055.223912. [69]. The Convitto della Calza is located in the center of Florence and, in addition to hotel de charme, combines a 16th-century cloister and frescoed rooms with a modern conference center. Rooms from €60.
  • Hotel Axial, Via dei Calzaiuoli, 11, +39 055 218984 (, fax: +39 055 211733), [70]. Budget hotel enjoying a unique central position, in the main pedestrian street between piazza Duomo, where the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, Battistero and Giotto's Bell tower are found, and Piazza della Signoria, represented by Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizzi Gallery.
  • Hotel Casci Via Cavour, 13, +39.055.211686, Fax: +39.055.2116461, [71]. This small hotel is very centrally located in a fifteenth century palace and boasts some original fresco ceilings: the building was house and property of the famous composer Gioacchino Rossini during the 19th century. Only 150 yards from Florence Cathedral and 500 yards from the main train station, with the Gallery of the Accademia (David), the Gallery of the Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio and all sights, museums and monuments just a few steps away. Doubles starting from €60.
  • Hotel Axial Via dei Calzaiuoli, 11 , +39-055-2118984, Fax: +39-055-218984 , [72]. 3 star hotel in the centre of Florence within walking distance of the Uffizi Gallery, Duomo and the Academy.
  • Relais Farm Holiday Via Imprunetana per Tavarnuzze, 19 , +39-055-2311311, Fax: +39-055-2311313, [73]. Hotel Relais Farm Holiday Villa L'Olmo is an oasis in the green Chianti countryside: discover its private villas with pool, apartments and a traditional farmhouse with rooms furnished in the best decor and most modern services.
  • Hotel Careggi Florence – Via Taddeo Alderotti, 43 - Cap: 50139, Florence, Italy. [74]. Telephone +39 055 4360262 • Fax +39 055 416250. Comfortable and cosy two star hotel close the Airport of Florence, which is only five km from the centre of this renaissance city. Economic, clean and equipped guestrooms which are able to accommodate up to four people. From the hotel, the down town of Florence is easily reachable by bus.
  • Hotel Castri Piazza Indipendenza 7, 50129, Florence, [75]. 3 Star Hotel Castri occupies 2 historical buildings right on the edge of the ancient city walls, standing today near the Fortezza da Basso Congress Centre and the enchanting Santa Maria Novella. The Castri also has a 1000m² garden for guests' relaxation and enjoyment.
  • Hotel Derby Via Nazionale 35, +39 055 2193308, Fax: +39 055 285839, PIVA 05265000488, [77]. Small family run hotel located on the fifth floor of a 6th floor building. All the rooms contain private facilities and the location is convenient for those arriving in Florence by train. Doubles starting from €60.
  • Hotel Europa Via Cavour 14, +39.055 2396715, Fax: +39.055 268984, [78]. Facing Brunelleschi’s Dome and Giotto’s Bell Tower, Hotel Europa is on the 2nd and 3rd floor of a Florentine building dating back to the 14th century. Multilingual professional staff.
  • Hotel Erina Via Fiume 17, 50123 Florence, Italy T +39.055 288294 F +39.055 284343. [79]. an elegant palazzo signorile built in the nineteen-thirties and is run personally by Mr. Calabrese, who makes it his job to offer all the guests a warm welcome. With its friendly, informal atmosphere, guests immediately feel at home.
  • Hotel Fiorita, Via Fiume, 20 - Ph. +39.055.283189/055.283693/055.2654376, fax +39.0552728153. [80] (Toll free number from Italy 800.280722), An elegant building in the center of Florence, elegant surroundings and quality services. Rooms have air conditioning, a minibar, direct telephone line, satellite TV and a safety deposit box. Some rooms also have modem sockets. Singles starting from €65.
  • Hotel Ginori Florence – Via de Ginori, 24 – Cap: 50129 - Florence - Italy. [81]. Telephone + 055 218615 • Fax + 055 211392. Special offers and great rates for longer stay in this 2 star hotel with 14 bedrooms, located in the city centre of Florence and close the main renaissance monuments of the city.
  • Hotel Gioia, Via Cavour, 25, 50129 tel +39 3293149042, Ph. +39-055-2398997, [82]. Hotel Gioia is located in Via Cavour, of the historic streets of Florence's old town center, just a stone's throw from the Duomo and Piazza della Signoria. Doubles from €65
  • Mario’s Hotel Florence, Via Faenza 89, 50123. Florence . Italy., [83]. Family run hotel with a really nice, relaxing atmosphere but a high standard of service. Ideal for a short walk into the tiny historical centre and near the train station too. Ask Mario for recommendations and to organize a wine tasting tour.
  • Hotel Masaccio, Via Masaccio, 228, +39 055 578153 (, fax: +39 055 578153), [84]. If you are a budget conscious traveller and you are looking for fun, and efficient hotel accommodation, Hotel Masaccio in Florence, is the smart way to stay! Our cheap hotel rooms are ideal for Online reservation booking of weekend deals, city breaks, business travel, group trips, lastminute vacation or holidays
  • Hotel Medici Florence – Via dei Medici, 6 – Cap: 50123, Florence - Italy [85]. Telephone +39 055 28 48 18 • Fax +39 055 21 62 02. Great roof garden with view on some of the most important monuments of the city, for this two star hotel located in the heart of the historic centre of Florence, with 40 bedrooms offered in different size, all with private bath.
  • Hotel Meridiana, Viale Don Minzoni, 25, [86]. Recently renovated 3 Star hotel near Fortezza da Basso Congress Centre offering comfortable and affordable accommodation. Ideal for business clients.
  • Hotel Monica, Via Faenza 66, +39 055 283804 (, fax: +39 055 281706), [87]. Sophisticated environment and friendly atmosphere in the heart of Florence.
  • Hotel Nuova Italia Florence – Via Faenza, 26 - Cap: 50123, Florence, Italy. [88]. Telephone +39 055 287508 • Fax +39 055 210941. The Nuova Italia is a two star hotel located between the Exhibition Centre of Fortezza da Basso and the Duomo of Florence, offering 20 bedrooms with private en-suite facilities, tourist information service, free breakfast, room service and convenient rates.
  • Hotel Pagnini, Via Montebello, 40, +39 055 2381238 (, fax: +39 055 216685), [89]. Hotel Pagnini is a warm and welcoming 3 star hotel, managed by the Cinelli's family putting particular attention on detail in decor with florentine and floral style on prints,antiques,fabrics,ceramics
  • Hotel Piccolo Florence – Via San Gallo, 51 – Cap: 50129 Florence - Italy [90]. Telephone +39 055 475519 • Fax +39 055 474515. Central two star hotel of the San Lorenzo neighbourhood, and ten minutes away for the Congress Centre of Fortezza da Basso. All the rooms of the Piccolo Hotel come with private bathroom, satellite TV and direct telephone, while the internet connection is available in one of the public areas.
  • Hotel Por Santa Maria, Via Calimaruzza, 3, +39 055 216370 (), [91]. Right in the center of Florence near Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi gallery, offers comfortable and economical lodgings.
  • Hotel Rex, Via Faenza 6, Firenze , 50123, 055/210453 (fax: 055/2382390), [93]. 3 Star near all of the great Renaissance Capital's most valuable jewels. Affordable accommodation in the heart of the city allowing guests to make the most of Florence even on a budget.
  • Albergo San Giovanni, Via Cerretani 2, 50123 tel +39 055 288385, fax +39 055 213580,http://www.hotelsangiovanni.com. A characteristic old worldly Florentine pensione located right on the corner of Piazza San Giovanni (the cathedral square). You will enjoy the amazing view from your window of one the world's most beautiful piazzas.
  • Hotel Spagna Florence – Via dei Panzani, 9 – Cap: 50123 - Florence - Italy. [94]. Telephone (+39) 055 211860 • Fax (+39) 055 266270. Ideal accommodations for travelers on budget, this two star hotel is located between the train station of Santa Maria Novella and the Duomo. Very close to the main city attractions, with last minute deals available on the hotel online reservation system.
  • Hotel Stella Mary Florence – Via Fiume, 17 – Cap: 50123 Florence - Italy [95]. Telephone +39 055 2741599 • Fax +39 055 208 853. Seven large and cosy bedrooms for this small two stars hotel located in the historic centre of Florence. All the rooms can be booked on online at convenient rates and offer a private bathroom, the air conditioning and the right environment to host even your pets for free.
  • Hotel Ungherese, Via G.B. Amici, 8, +39 055 573474 (, fax: +39 055 571409), [96]. Hotel Ungherese, a typical Tuscan villa, is situated at the picturesque foothills of Fiesole and immersed within the peaceful residential neighbourhood of San Gervasio, yet only minutes from the historical City Centre. The large and comfortable rooms of Florence Hotel Ungherese, of which some overlook a picturesque garden terrace, are distinguished by their typical Tuscan style. The hotel can be easily reached by car where ample parking is available.
  • Pensione Ferretti Via delle Belle Donne, 17 Italy T +39 055 238 1328 F +39 055 219 288 PIVA 05265000488. [97]. Delightful family run Bed & Breakfast in the city centre. Low cost budget accommodation with authentic Florentine hospitality.
  • Albergo Firenze, Piazza Donati, 4 (Via del Corso), +39 055 268301 / +39 055 214203 (, fax: +39 055.212370), [98]. A precious black pearl tucked away in the heart of the historical center, Albergo Firenze is located in Piazza Donati just steps off of the main Via del Corso where one can easily reach important monuments like the Florence Dome, Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizi, and Ponte Vecchio.
  • Hotel Giada, Canto de' Nelli, 2, +39 055 215317 / 055 217980 (, fax: +39 055 268615), [99]. is located in the city center of Florence in front of the church of San Lorenzo and the Medici Chapel, one of the most important museum of Florence.
  • Hotel Giada, Canto de' Nelli, 2, +39 055 215317 / 055 217980 (, fax: +39 055 268615), [100]. is located in the city center of Florence in front of the church of San Lorenzo and the Medici Chapel, one of the most important museum of Florence.
  • Hotel Silla, Via de' Renai, 5, +39 055 2342888 / 055 2342889 (, fax: +39 055 2341437), [101]. is located on the left bank of the Arno river 5 minutes walking from the Ponte Vecchio.

Mid-range

  • Hotel Franchi, Via Sgambati, 28 (Ang. Viale Gori), +39 055.315425/311527 (, fax: +39 055.315563), [102]. checkin: 2.00 pm; checkout: 12.00 noon. Franchi Hotel's interior presents a new meaning to a refined contemporary welcome. Guests enjoy a pleasant and comfortable stay due to the strategic position in the modern business area north of Florence, only 300 metres from Florence airport and the motorway exit.
  • Calzaiuoli Hotel Florence, via Calzaiuoli 6, +39 055 212 456 (, fax: +39 055 268310), [103]. The Calzaiuoli Hotel Florence is located in the very heart of Florence, on the Calzaiuoli street which connects Palazzo Vecchio square to Florence Dome (S. Maria del Fiore Church by Brunelleschi). €99-230 (double).
  • Club Hotel Florence, via San Caterina di Sienna 11R, 50123 Florence, +39 055 217707 (fax: +39 055 284872), [104]. This stunning little Florentine Albergo rises well above its station as an affordable 3 Star hotel in Florence. Near its sister hotel, the 4 Star Hotel Santa Maria Novella, on the piazza of the same name, this delightful accommodation offers luxury, comfort and excellent value for money.
  • Colomba Hotel Florence, via Cavour, 21 - 50129 Florence. Phone: +39.055.289139 Fax: +39.055.284323 info@hotelcolomba.com [105]. Hotel Colomba in Florence has the best of modern comforts and traditional Tuscan hospitality in a 3 star hotel in the heart of the historical city center.
  • Galileo Hotel, Via Nazionale, 22/a, Ph.: +39 055.496645 - Fax: +39 055.496447 [106]. An elegant nineteenth-century building furnished with style in the best of Tuscan tradition, in the heart of Florence. Average prices: single rooms €80, doubles €120, superiors €150.
  • NH Anglo America, [107] Via Garibaldi, 9, 50123, E-mail: nhangloamerican@nh-hotels.com, Tel: + 39 055 282114, Fax: + 39 055 268513. This hotel is recently refurbished and reflects the history and fascinating age of the city Città del Giglio (City of Lirio). Central but pricey in the high season. (There are more NH hotels in Florence if this one is full).
  • Hotel Alamanni, Via Alamanni 35, [108]. In the heart of Florence, just a walking distance from all city sights. Charming and newly first class hotel, The Alamanni Hotel is located at the second floor of a modern palace to the borders of the historical centre.
  • Hotel Alba, Via della Scala, 22/38r, +39 055.282.610 - 055.211.469 (, fax: +39 055.288.358), [109]. Adjacent to the cloisters of Santa Maria Novella in the historical center of Florence, the three antique buildings surrounding the covered courtyard, now our breakfast room.
  • Hotel Alessandra, Borgo SS. Apostoli, 17, +39.055.283438 (, fax: +39.055.210619), [110]. Situated in Borgo SS. Apostoli, one of the museum-streets of the city centre.
  • Hotel Annalena, Via Romana, 34 - 50125 Florence,, +39 055 22.24.02 Fax.+39 055 22.24.03, [111]. Painstakingly developed over generations, this 3 star Florence hotel on the south side or the River Arno is filled with antique furniture and the markings of an almost obsessive attention to detail.
  • Hotel Balestri, Piazza Mentana, 7, 50122, Florence, Italy [112]. Charming 3 star hotel founded in the late 19th century offering 46 air conditioned, spacious guest rooms. Located just by Ponte Vecchio, this delightful accommodation is an ideal option for a romantic getaway.
  • Hotel Bigallo, Vicolo degli Adimari, 2, 50122 Florence,, +39 055.216 086 - 055.5216 086, [113]. Moments off the stunning Piazza del Duomo, the affordable priced 3 Star Hotel Bigallo offers that personal touch with only 17 much sought after guest rooms and great views of the Duomo.
  • Hotel Botticelli Florence, Via Taddea, 8, 50123, Florence, Italy, Tel: +39 055290905, Fax: +39 055294322, [114], [115]. 3 Star hotel in the historical heart of Florence located close to all of the most important cultural attractions.
  • Hotel Caravaggio, Piazza Indipendenza, 5, 50100 Florence,, +39 055 496 310, [117]. Attractive and well run 3 star hotel near Santa Maria Novella, occupying a 19th century building.
  • Hotel Carolus, [118]. Via XXVII Aprile, 3 - 50129 Florence - Ph.(0039) 055 2645539, Fax.(0039) 055 2645550 - e-mail: info@carolushotel.com The Carolus Hotel, in Florence, is situated in a beautiful neo-classical palazzo built, between the Dominican convent of San Marco and the Fortezza da Basso, near the Orti di Barbano. Located in the historic city center of Florence, close to the Accademia and the Duomo, provides magnificent hospitality for leisure tourists. But also who comes to Florence on business will find the Carolus Hotel an ideal base, conveniently close to the Palazzo dei Congressi, the railway station Florence Santa Maria Novella, and the ring-road giving access to the motorways and the airport. The hotel rooms overlook some of the most celebrated and best-loved churches and monuments of Florence and the hills of Fiesole.
  • Hotel Cimabue, Via Bonifacio Lupi, 7, +39 055.475601 • +39 055.471989 (, fax: +39 055.4630906), [119]. The Hotel is also found only a short walk away from the Gallery Dell'Accademia, Museum of San Marco, the Cupola Brunelleschi and the Giotto Bell Tower.
  • Hotel Corona d’Italia Florence – Via Nazionale 14 - Cap: 50123, Florence, Italy. [120]. Telephone +39 055 261501 • Fax +39 055 288639. This three star hotel is located on the central street of Via Nazionale, in the historic centre of Florence. All the interiors of the public areas and the 80 guestrooms of the Corona d’Italia are decorated in the classical Florentine style, though equipped with modern facilities such us Wi-Fi Internet connection.
  • Hotel Cosimo de’Medici Florence, Largo Fratelli Alinari, 15, 50123, Florence, Italy., [121]. Exceedingly smart 3 star hotel just a few minutes from Santa Maria Novella. Internet connection and a nice mix of classical Florentine design and modern Italian chic. Affordable luxury, in a nutshell.
  • Hotel Crocini, Corso Italia 28 - Ph: +39.055.212905 - Fax: +39.055.210171 [122]. In the center of Florence, just steps from the Theater for Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Hotel Crocini welcomes you with a typically Tuscan spirit. Average prices: twin (without private bathroom) €40, triple (without private bathroom) €50, single (with private bathroom) €40, twin (with private bathroom) €50, triple (with private bathroom) €60.
  • Hotel D'Annunzio, Via G. D'Annunzio 141a-b, +39 055 602960 (, fax: +39 055 6193113), [123]. Hotel Villa Gabriele D'Annunzio, a new and prestigious receptive-structure, is placed in a suggestive site in Florence, amongst lots of green, a few minutes from the city centre.
  • Hotel delle Nazioni Florence, Via Luigi Alamanni 15, 50123, Florence, Italy, Tel: +39 055 283575 Fax: +39 055 283579, [124], [125]. 3 star hotel in the centre of Florence to the east of the central train station. The location provides excellent access to the main tourist attractions, shopping areas and to the conference centre.
  • Hotel Delle Tele, Via Panzani, 10, Tel: 0039 055 2382419 Fax: 0039 055 290797, [126], [127]. Personable and friendly 3 star located in an ideal spot on Via Panzani literally minutes from everything. 17th century building with prints of renaissance artwork in the rooms.
  • Hotel Donatello, Piazza Indipendenza, 23, 50129 Florence Ph.: +39 055 4633477 - Fax: +39 055 4625064 [128]. 19th century hotel on Piazza della Indipendenza on the northern side of the city centre. Reasonably priced 3 star accommodation, walking distance to all of the major tourist attractions and in a vibrant yet tranquil zone of restaurants and bars.
  • Hotel Erina - Via Fiume 17 - Cap. 50123, Florence, Italy [129]. Tel: +39 055 288 294 • Fax: +39.055 284 343. Refurbished in 2008, this three star hotel built in the 30’s offers large bedrooms with Internet connection and LCD TV with international channels, and is located next Florence central train station.
  • Hotel Executive Florence, Palazzo Storico, Via Curtatone, 5, 50123, Florence, Italy, Tel: +39 055 268346 Fax: +39 055 217451, [130], [131]. 4 star hotel located in downtown Florence and only a short walk away from most of the main tourist attractions and galleries in Florence.
  • Hotel Fiorino Florence – Via Osteria Del Guanto, 6 - Cap: 50122, Florence, Italy. [132]. Telephone +39 055 210579 • Fax +39 055 268929. The Fiorino is a three star hotel which boasts an excellent location truly a few hundred meters away from Ponte Vecchio and Uffizi Gallery. Even if hosted in a medieval palace, in the 23 bedrooms of this three star accommodation one can find also modern services and facilities as the internet connection and the satellite TV.
  • Hotel Golf, Viale F.lli Rosselli, 56, +39 55 281818 (, fax: +39 55 268432), [134]. a fantastic quality/price 3 star Hotel in Florence is found in a great location only a short walk away from the historical center near the Florence Dome, Piazza della Signoria, and Uffizi Museum, and only 200 meters from the central train station of Florence, Santa Maria Novella.
  • Hotel Goldoni Florence – Via Borgo Ognissanti, 8 – Cap: 50123, Florence – Italy. [135]. Telephone +39 055 284080 • Fax +39 055 282576. Classical style for this three star hotel hosted in a Florentine palace of the 18th century. The Goldoni is located next the Arno e in the characteristic Borgo Ognisanti, full of elegant shops and restaurants. Wide selection of rooms and large hall with fireplace, where every morning it is served the complementary breakfast.
  • Hotel Il Guelfo Bianco, Via Cavour 29, 50129 Florence - Ph: +39.055.288330 - Fax: +39.055.295203, [136]. Hotel Il Guelfo Bianco, on historic Via Cavour, in the center of Florence, where past and present blend in comfort. It is in the heart of the city, near the most famous tourist sites and monuments: in 5 minutes by foot you can easily reach Piazza San Giovanni, the Duomo and the baptistery, the Gallerie dell’Accademia and the San Marco Museum and much more. To get to the Duomo, Piazza della Signoria and Uffizi Gallery, takes around ten minutes on foot. Prices starting from: Single €105 - Double €130 - Apartments €270
  • Hotel La Gioconda, Via Panzani 2, 50123, Florence - Ph. +39-055.211023, Fax +39-055.213136, [137] This 3 star hotel is located in the historic heart of Florence, only a few steps from Santa Maria Novella, at 3 minutes from elegant Via Tornabuoni. Doubles from €85
  • Hotel La Residenza, Via Tornabuoni, 8 50123 Florence - Ph: 055.2340650 - Fax: 055.240863, [138]. Overlooking the prestigious via Tornabuoni, the Hotel La Residenza hosts travelers in a historical and classically Florentine setting, enhanced with facilities of the highest quality. The luxury of its roof garden with a charming view, makes the Residenza one of the most fascinating hotels in the heart of Florence. Prices: Single from €78 - Double from €110 - Triple from €145
  • Hotel La Selva, Via di Barberino, 221 - Florence Calenzano - Ph: +39 055. 8876824 - Fax: +39 055. 8876806, [139]. Located on the Tuscany hills, Hotel La Selva distinguishes itself as one of the 3-star hotels in Florence that have opted to incorporate during its remodeling the principles of bioarchitecture. Average prices: Single €40 - Double €55
  • Hotel Lorenzo il Magnifico Florence, Via Lorenzo Il Magnifico, 25 50129 Florence - Ph: +39 055 4630878 - Fax: +39 055 486168, [141]. 4 star hotel near Fortezza da Basso Congress & Expo center, inside a small villa of the high Renaissance.
  • Hotel Machiavelli Palace, via Nazionale 10, +39 055 21 66 22. situated in the heart of Florence, Hotel Machiavelli Palace just a few hundred meters from Santa Maria Novella station and the Fortezza da Basso (exhibition and conference centre), and a short walk from all the city's monuments and main museums.
  • Hotel Malaspina, Piazza Indipendenza, 24 - Florence - Ph: +39 055 489869 - Fax: +39 055 474809, [142]. Hotel Malaspina, a charming late 19th century residence, enriched with modern comforts for the most pleasant stay possible in Florence. It is close to Fortezza da Basso (5 minute walk), the most important trade show center of the city, Palazzo dei Congressi and Palazzo degli Affari. To get to the Duomo, Piazza della Signoria and Uffizi Gallery, takes around ten minutes on foot. Average prices: Single €90 - Double €110.
  • Hotel Mario's, Via Faenza 89, Ph. +39 055 216.801 Fax +39 055 212.039 [143]. Romantic hotel in the heart of Florence, Hotel Mario's welcomes you in an ambiance of noble Florentine tradition. The hotel is the ideal place from which to comfortably discover on foot the city, the traditional tourist spots and even the less frequented places that are nonetheless just as charming, as well as the famous historical and artistic landmarks, the museums and suggestive areas that have made Florence famous the world over. Average prices: Single €67 - Double €82.
  • Hotel Mia Cara, Via Faenza, 90 (red) 50100 Florence - Ph: +39.055.216053 - Fax: +39.055.2302727, [144]. The Hotel Mia Cara is a small-scale, simple yet elegant hotel in the center of Florence situated just a short walk from Santa Maria Novella and the Duomo. Friendly english speaking staff. Continental breakfast included. Prices: Single from €35 - Double from €50 - Triple from €75 - Quadruple from €80.
  • Hotel Monica, Via Faenza 66 - Ph: +39 055.283804, Fax: +39 055.281706, [145]. Elegance and sophistication just a short walk from Fortezza da Basso and from the Santa Maria Novella Station. The Hotel Monica is the ideal solution for a holiday concentrated on art and culture or for a business trip, thanks to the fact that it is close to the Fortezza da Basso, the enormous international conference center.
  • Hotel Palazzo Vecchio, Via Cennini 4, 50123, Ph. +39.055.212182 Fax +39.055.216445. [146]. The rooms in the 3 star Hotel Palazzo Vecchio are in the wing of an elegant building from the 1920's in a typical Florentine architectural style.
  • Hotel Park Palace, +39 055.222431 (, fax: +39 055.220517), [147]. Admire the unique view from your own balcony or bedroom window, have a glass of cool white wine on the terrace, and enjoy the Park Palace, your Florentine Villa.
  • Hotel Paris, Via Dei Banchi 2 - 50123 - Florence - [148]. This elegant 3 star hotel in the deep heart of Florence is a historical building in every sense of the word. Designed and built in the 16th Century by the master architect Bernardo Bontalenti, who spent his life under the service of the Medici Family, the Hotel Paris is unquestionably an integral part of the history in which this legendary city is steeped.
  • Hotel Perseo, Via Cerretani 1, 50123. Tel. +39.055.212504 Fax +39.055.288377, info@hotelperseo.it, [149]. A superbly central location near the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, a friendly and welcoming atmosphere combine with stylish décor to make Hotel Perseo an ideal accommodation when visiting Florence.
  • Hotel Porta Faenza Florence, Via Faenza 77n - 50123, Florence, [150]. Beautiful family run 3 Star hotel by the Fortezza da Basso. Mother tongue English staff.
  • Hotel Porta Rossa Florence, Via Porta Rossa, 19, 50123, Florence, Italy, Tel: 0039 055 287551 Fax: 0039 055 282179, [151], [152]. The oldest hotel in Florence centrally located allowing easy access to the main attractions in Florence.
  • Hotel Rapallo Florence – Via S.Caterina d' Alessandria 7 – Cap: 50129, Florence – Italy. [153]. Telephone +39 055 472412 • Fax + 055 470385. The Rapallo is a convenient three star hotel with 27 soundproofed bedrooms located next the Exhibition Centre of Fortezza da Basso, and not far from the city centre and the train station of Santa Maria Novella.
  • Hotel Rosary Garden Florence, Via di Ripoli, 169 - 50126 Firenze - Tel. +39 055 6800136 / Fax +39 055 6800458 [154] - Small 3 star hotel in a residential area of Florence, 10 minutes from the historical center yet near Tuscan countryside. Rooms reflect a British country house elegance, smartly decorated with floral patterns and frescos representing views of Tuscany and Florence. Hotel location is very convenient for those who travel by car, near the exit Firenze South of the Highway A1 (Milan-Rome).
  • Hotel San Giorgio and Olimpic, Via S. Antonino, 3, Tel: 0039055284344 Fax: 0039055283580, [155], [156]. Three star family run hotel just a few minutes walk from many of Florences attractions including the Ponte Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery, Michelangelos David and the Duomo.
  • Hotel Sempione, via Nazionale 15, +39 055 21 24 62. [157] Beautiful family run 3 star for 3 generations with a truly cosy feel. Located in the historical centre of Florence, Hotel Sempione is just 100 metres from Santa Maria Novella train station, the Congress Palace, Fortezza da Basso Exhibition Centre and just a few steps from the Duomo and the most important Florentine museums and churches.
  • Strozzi Palace Hotel, [158] Via de' Vecchietti, 4, 50123, +39.055.283898, email, Fax: +39 055 268201. Modern and stylish hotel in the center of Florence featuring period interiors and decorative arts from the 19th century. Walking distance from all the main historic monuments of the city such as the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti.
  • Hotel Universo Florence – Piazza Santa Maria Novella 20 – Cap: 50123 Florence - Italy. [www.hoteluniversoflorence.com]. Telephone +39 055 293890 • Fax +39 055 29389199. Being located on Piazza Santa Maria Novella, in front of the main train station of Florence, very close to the City Congress Centre and the main tourist attraction, this three star hotel is ideal for the travellers coming for pleasure and for business.
  • Hotel Vasari Florence – Via Cennini Bernardo, 9 – Cap: 50123, Florence – Italy. [159]. Telephone +39 055 212753 • Fax +39 055 294246. A prestigious historic building for this three star hotel close to the Exhibition Centre of Fortezza da Basso, but also to the most important monuments and museum of the city centre. The 27 rooms of this Florentine house are equipped with air conditioning, direct telephone and television. The breakfast is served every morning in the hotel hall.
  • Hotel Villa Carlotta, Via Michele di Lando, 3, Tel: +39 0552336134 Fax: +39 0552336147, [161], [162]. The 4 Star Hotel Villa Carlotta Villa Carlotta is located in the wooded avenues surrounding Piazzale Michelangelo. It is near to the Pitti Palace and Ponte Vecchio.
  • Hotel Villa Liana - Via V. Alfieri 18 – Cap. 50121, Florence, Italy. [163]. Tel: +0039 055 245303 • Fax: 0039 055 2344596. 24 bedrooms for this three star hotel very close from the Doumo of Florence, with a modern and secure book online system.
  • Hotel Villa Liberty Florence – Viale Michelangelo, 40 - Cap: 50125, Florence, Italy. [164]. Telephone +39 055 681 0581 • Fax +39 055 6812595. Three star hotel situated in a real Florentine villa with its medieval tower. The hotel is located on the edge of the city centre of Florence and offers 15 guest rooms divided in single, twin, double, triple quadruple and suite with living room.
  • Hotel Villa Stanley, Only 20 minutes by car from the historical center of Florence, easy accessible by the hotel's free shuttle bus or by public transport. The architectural beauty of the fourteenth century building, set in a peaceful park, ensures a wonderfully relaxing atmosphere. The hotel also offers a swimming pool and tennis court. The "La Limonaia di Villa Stanley" Restaurant serves excellent Tuscan and Italian cuisine. Spacious parking.
  • Hotel Waldorf Suite Florence – Piazza della Stazione, 10 – Cap: 50123, Florence, Italy. [165]. Telephone +39 055 212244 • Fax +39 055 2381973. Modern and elegant interior for this four star hotel of the city centre of Florence with 42 suites. The Waldorf Suite four star Hotel also offers a congress centre with 15 meeting rooms capable to gather any kind conference, plus internet and parking service.
  • Loggiato dei Serviti, P.za SS. Annunziata, 3 - 50100 Florence,, +39 055.289592 Fax.+39 055.289595, [166]. Historic hotel in Florence facing Brunelleschi's Spedale degli Innocenti, in Piazza della Santissima Annunziata
  • Relais & Suites Grand Tour Florence – Via S.Reparata, 21– Cap: 50123, Florence, Italy. [167]. Telephone +39 055 283955 • Fax +39 055 2676505. An historic building from the 18th century with garden and classical decorations for this Florentine Guest House located in the centre of the renaissance city and the Exposition Centre of Florence. Due the interior design of the bedrooms and of the whole property, the Relais and Suites Grand Tour is the ideal accommodation for a romantic trip and new weds.
  • Relais Piazza Signoria, Via Vacchereccia 3, 50123. Tel. +39.055.3987239 Fax +39.055.286306, info@relaispiazzasignoria.com, [168]. Its location allows you to enjoy the treasures of the historic center in complete relaxation. All the principal artistic and cultural attractions can be visited with a simple walk.
  • Residenza Belli Florence, Via Nazionale, 35, Tel: +39 055 2654648 Fax: +39 055 2654648, [169], [170]. Residenza Belli Florence is located near the centre in Via Nazionale 35. It is close to the Santa Maria Novella train station and most of of the main attractions in Florence.
  • Viva Hotel Alexander Florence – Viale Guidoni, 101 – Cap: 50127, Florence, Italy.[171]. Telephone +39 055 4378951 • Fax +39 055 416818. Eighty eight guestrooms divided in single, double and triple with private bathroom, internet, air conditioning and television, for this four star hotel located in the quarter of Novoli. Among the common areas of this four star accommodation of Florence, are also available the breakfast room and the conference centre.
  • Viva Hotel Fleming Florence – Viale Guidoni, 87 – Cap: 50127, Florence, Italy. [172]. Telephone +39 055 4376773 • Fax +39 055 435894. A residential neighbourhood located 3 km away from the historic city centre for this convenient three star hotel of Florence. All the 118 rooms are equipped with modern and useful services, while in the public areas of the Fleming Viva Hotel guests will find the ideal breathing space to relax.
  • Viva Hotel Pitti Palace Florence – Borgo S. Jacopo, 3 – Cap: 50125, Florence – Italy. [173]. Telephone +39 055 2398711 • Fax + 39 055 2398867. Located next to the Arno River and Ponte Vecchio, the Hotel Viva Pitti Palace is a great choice for a romantic holiday in Florence. This three hotel offers 73 bedrooms with private bathroom, air-conditioning system and television… and last but not least an ancient beautiful.
  • Viva Hotel Capitol Santa Croce Florence – Viale Amendola, 34 – Cap: 50121, Florence, Italy. [174]. Telephone +39 055 2343201 • Fax +39 055 2345925. A three star hotel with 91 soundproofed bedrooms sited on the edge of the historic centre of Florence. In few minutes, an amazing walk through the cobbled street of Florence will lead you up to the Duomo and the other renaissance monuments of the city.
  • Viva Hotel Laurus Florence – Via de' Cerretani, 54/R – Cap: 50123, Florence, Italy. [175]. Telephone +39 055 2381752 • Fax +39 055 268308. A recently renewed four star hotel with 50 single, double, triple e junior suites, and with a cosy American bar and a panoramic roof terrace. The Laurus Hotel also offers a great location close the Exhibition Centre of Fortezza da Basso and between the train station and the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.
  • Viva Hotel Meridiana Country Florence – Via di Barberino, 253 – Cap: 50041, Calenzano, Florence, Italy.[176]. Telephone +39 055 8819472 • Fax +39 055 8819023. Thanks its position 20 km away from the city of Florence and its 32 guestrooms with garden or balcony, this four star hotel is the ideal choice for a relaxing holiday in the Tuscan countryside. Also available a meeting hall.
  • Ville sull’Arno, Lungarno C. Colombo, 1/3/5, +39 055 670971/2/3 (, fax: +39 055 678244), [177]. One of the few hotels in the city center of Florence with a swimming pool, Ville Sull Arno's charming group of villas offer a welcoming atmosphere with the combination of old world Florentine charm.

Splurge

  • Hotel degli Orafi, Lungarno Archibusieri, 4, +39 055 26622 (, fax: +39 055 2662111), [178]. Owned by the Brini-Batacchi family the Hotel Degli Orafi is well known worldwide , as the setting for James Ivory’s film “A Room with a View”.
  • Albergotto, Via dé Tornabuoni 13, 50123, Tel.: +39 055 2396464, Fax: +39 055 2398108, info@albergotto.com, [179].
  • Grand Hotel Adriatico, Via Maso Finiguerra, 9 - 50123 - Florence - Italy, [181].
  • Grand Hotel Cavour, Via del Proconsolo, 3 - 50122 Florence, Ph: +39 055.266271, Fax: + 39 055.218955 [182]. 4 Star luxury hotel in the historical city of Florence, occupying the medieval former noble residence of the Strozzi-Ridolfi families - powerful Florentine families whose history is intertwined with that of the legendary Medici dynasty as well as the Republic of Florence itself.
  • Grand Hotel Majestic Florence, Via del Melarancio, 1, 50123. Florence . Italy., [183]. High quality 4 star hotel just east of the historic centre and a 5-10 minute walk away. Particularly adept for business travellers and events. Large complex with professional and cordial service.
  • Grand Hotel Minerva, Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 16 - 50123 - Florence - Italy, [184].
  • Hotel Adler Cavalieri, 40, Via Della Scala 40 - 50100, Florence, +39 055 277810 (fax: +39 055 27781509), [185]. Near the train station Santa Maria Novella, the 4 star Hotel Adler Cavalieri is a refined hotel in Florence with a small spa and a parking.
  • Hotel Ambasciatori, Via Luigi Alimanni 3, 50123, Florence, +39 055 287 421 (fax: +39 055 214 456), [186]. Hotel Ambasciatori is one of Florence’s premier 4 Star hotels. Located by Santa Maria Novella, this superior 4 Star hotel is ideal for business guests as well as those wanting to enjoy this fantastic city to the max.
  • Hotel Anglo-American, Via Garibaldi, 9 50123 Florence Italy, +39 055 282114 (fax: +39 055 268513), [187].
  • Hotel Aprile - Palazzo dal Borgo, Via della Scala 6 - 50123 - Florence - Italy, +39 055.216237 (fax: +39 055.280947), [188].
  • Hotel Athenaeum, Via Cavour, 88, +39 055 589456 (fax: +39 055 589456), [189].
  • Hotel Brunelleschi, Via Santa Elisabetta 3,, +39 055 27370 (fax: +39 055 219653), [191].
  • Hotel Certosa, Via di Colle Ramole, 2, +39 055.2047171 (, fax: +39 055.268575), [192]. The Hotel Relais Certosa is located on 15 acres of a park-like setting surrounded by olive trees, cypresses, pines and oak trees.


  • De Rose Palace, Via Solferino, 5, 50123, Florence, Italy, +39.55.23.96.818 (fax: +39.055.26.82.49), [193]. In a former stately home, the sublime Hotel De Rose Palace offers 4 star luxury from the picturesque banks of the River Arno.
  • Diana Park Hotel, Via G. Pascoli, 10, 50129, Florence, Italy, +39 055 575 788 (, fax: +39 055 580 930), [194]. Great value for money family and business travellers orientated 4 star hotel near Piazza della Libertá just 10 minutes on foot out of the heart of the city and Florence’s Exhibition and Congress Centre at Fortezza da Basso.
  • Hotel Diplomat, Via Luigi Alimanni 9, 50123 Florence, Ph: +39.055.2608400, Fax: +39.055.2646525 [195]. One of the newest and most exclusive 4 Star hotels in the city of Florence. Located near Santa Maria Novella, this luxury 4 Star accommodation is just a few minutes from the heart of the historical centre, the Duomo and Piazza della Signoria.
  • Hotel Fenice Palace, Via de' Martelli, 10 - 50129 Florence, (+39) 055.289942 (fax: (+39) 055.210087), [196]. Luxury 4 Star located seconds away from the Duomo on Via de'Martelli, La Fenice Palace al Duomo offers luxury and the personal touch in one of the world's most romantic cities.
  • Jolly Hotel Carlton, Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 4/a 50123 Firenze, [197] Luxury 4 Star hotel just 10 minutes from the heart of the historical centre. Offering value for money at 4 star quality, this welcoming and atmospheric hotel is the ideal choice for a family holiday or weekend getaway.
  • Hotel Kraft, Via Solferino, 2, +39 055 28 4273 (, fax: +39 055 239 8267), [198]. Enjoy a dramatic view of Brunelleschi's dome or Giotto's Tower while relaxing in the Florence Hotel Kraft's terrace swimming pool (from June to September).
  • Hotel MarignolleVia di San Quirichino a Marignolle 16, 50124, Florence Tel. +39 055 2286910 Fax +39 055 2047396, [199]. The relais is surrounded by the typical scenery of the Florentine hills, with cypresses and cane-apple trees, broom bushes and pine trees, amongst the scents of lavender, rosemary, time and catmint. A pool with a large solarium, presenting deck chairs and sunning beds, is at guests’ disposal from May to October. Double rooms from €165
  • Hotel Mediterraneo, Lungarno del Tempio, 44, +39 055 660241 (, fax: +39 055 679560), [200]. The Mediterraneo Grand Hotel Florence is situated in an enchanting and peaceful position on the banks of the Arno River just a short distance away from the city center of Florence in a central.
  • Hotel Mirage , Via Francesco Baracca, 231 (interno 18), Ph. +39 055 352011 (Fax +39 055 374096), [201]. An elegant, exclusive and comfortable four star hotel 5,6km away from Piazza Duomo and less than 500mt from the Florence airport (FLR). Single rooms from €110, doubles from €140 and triples from €160; apartments from €300 per week.
  • Hotel Monna Lisa Florence,, Borgo Pinti, 27 – 50121 Florence [202]. Picturesque 4 Star in the heart of the Tuscan capital, this 14th century building allows guests the possibility to relax in the luxury of a genuine and authentic Florentine noble palace restored to its former glory. Also featuring gym facilities, sun terrace and meeting rooms.
  • Montebello Splendid, (5 stars hotel), Via Garibaldi, 14 - 50123 Firenze - Tel +39 055 27471 (Fax +39 055 2747700, email info@montebellosplendid.com), [203]. An old villa from 19th century with private garden located in the lively heart of Florence and transformed into a boutique 5 stars hotel full of charm and warm atmosphere according to the neoclassical florentine tradition. All rooms are elegantly designed and decored differently but all equipped with the most up-to-date comforts.
  • Hotel Orto dei Medici, Via S. Gallo, 30, +39 055.483427 (, fax: +39 055.461276), [204]. Hotel Orto de' Medici is located in a peaceful position in the city centre just a few steps away from the Cathedral in Piazza del Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery.
  • Palazzo Gamba, Via Martelli, 2 - 50129, +39 055.271861 (, fax: +39 055.27186220), [205]. In an unbelievable location, with Florence Duomo and Brunelleschi’s dome almost within touching distance, Palazzo Gamba offers apartments with view featuring charming Florentine style and all the latest comforts of home and beyond, including extremely clean and well equipped kitchens.
  • Palazzo Magnani Feroni, Borgo San Frediano, 5 - 50124, +39.055.23.99.544 (, fax: +39.055.26.08.908), [206]. checkin: from 2:00 p.m. since 9:30 p.m.; checkout: 12:00 p.m.. Palazzo Magnani Feroni is an all-suites luxury property in the heart of the historic centre of Florence, Italy. The Palace is a amazing aristocratic Renaissance building offering a unique Florentine experience. Its location makes it easy to walk to all major Florence attractions, such as the Ponte Vecchio, Old Bridge, the Pitti Palace, the Dome, the Uffizi Gallery and many many more. The Palace was built in 1500 and completely restored in 2002. All luxury amenities available.
  • Relais di Lorenzo, Via Lorenzo il Magnifico, 20/22, +39 055 482902 (, fax: +39 055 4620372), [207]. Relais di Lorenzo Suites & Spa is a luxury guest-house located inside a historic villa of the second half of the 19th century.
  • Relais Piazza Signoria, Via Vacchereccia, 3 50122 Florence, Ph: +39.055.3987239, Fax: +39.055.286306, [208]. Relais Piazza Signoria Florence is the perfect solution to experience the historic center of the city to the fullest and to admire its cultural and artistic treasures. Apartments are available in a variety of types that meet the needs of singles, families, as well as those of business travelers.
  • Relais Villa L'Olmo, Via Imprunetana per Tavarnuzze, 19 - 50023 Impruneta (Florence) , Ph: +39 055.2311311, Fax: +39 055.2311313, [209]. Relais Villa l’Olmo is located at only 10km from Florence and a real Tuscan country estate offering apartments with a big pool and garden area, private cottages with private pools and gardens, and one big independent farmhouse. Reception and Concierge service, breakfast room. All accommodations offer great comfort, attentive and selected decorations and furnitures, today’s technologies. The village that can be reached on foot in approx 5 minutes is called Impruneta and world-famous for its artisan terracotta production. Furthermore Impruneta is the entrance door to the Chianti region. Comfortable public bus connections into Florence. The property is ideal to combine the arts of Florence and the relaxation countryside with pools and garden.
  • Hotel Pierre, VVia de' Lamberti, 5, 0039 055 216 218 (fax: 0039055 2396573), [210]. Exclusive 4 star hotel in the centre near Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio, this luxury hotel occupies a 13th century historical building.
  • Hotel Raffaello, Via Morgagni 19, [211]. Large 4 Star hotel completely refurbished in 2002. Ideal for special events and conferences.
  • Relais Santa Croce, Via Ghibellina, 87 50122, Ph: +39 055.2342230, Fax: +39 055.2341195[212]. An age-old noble palace with luxury and refinement in the heart of Florence, between Santa Croce Basilica and the Duomo. Relais Santa Croce has two large meeting rooms capable of hosting up to 70 people each and offers all the necessary equipment, from video-conferencing to overhead projectors for multimedia presentations and a hostess and interpretation service.
  • Hotel Santa Maria Novella, [213] Piazza Santa Maria Novella 1 - 50123 Florence, Hotel Santa Maria Novella, Ph: +39 055.271840, Fax: + 39 055.27184199 located on the by the famous Basilica Santa Maria Novella, is one of the finest 4 Star hotels in Florence. Only a short walk to the Palazzo Vecchio and the rest of the historical centre, this Firenze 4 Star combines luxury with convenience.
  • Hotel Strozzi Palace, [214] Via de' Vecchietti, 4, - 50123 Florence, Phone 0039-055-283898 - Fax 0039-055-268201 . in the heart of the city centre, small (26 guestrooms) 4 star hotel offering exclusive service and a warm welcome to you and your family.
  • Westin Excelsior, Piazza Ognissanti 3 Firenze,Italy Ph: +39 055 637710, Fax: +39 055 63771600[216]. In Bagno di Ripoli, a very short distance from the heart of Florence, an age-old country estate; Villa Olmi Resort is an exclusive example of good living offering rare comforts, innovative services, gourmet restaurant, wine bar...
  • Residence Palazzo Ricasoli, Via Mantellate, 2, +39 055.352151 (, fax: +39 055.495001), [217]. More than 100 apartments; studio, one-room, two-room and three-room, are all soundproofed and air conditioned, furnished with satellite TV, and Internet connection and can also be reserved as individual rooms at a daily rate with breakfast services included.

Contact

Since there are a large number of tourists around, the center of Florence is brimming with webcafés and telephone call centers. Most evenings there are long lines for access to the phone-booths.

You can also buy a pre-paid card which will give you a steep discount on international calls by dialing a special number.

Wireless LAN access is becoming popular. Even when offered for free, you will need to provide your name and contact details to the provider of the service to obtain an access code. This is because of Italian anti-terror laws. Anonymous access is not possible.

Stay safe

Florence is generally safe, but take precautions against the opportunistic thieves common to major tourist attractions - pickpockets and purse snatchers. Savvy thieves congregate in crowds, particularly around Santa Maria Novella train station. If you have a pocketbook with a classy, noiseless zipper, it will be opened. Also exercise caution on buses: pickpockets can be active on crowded ones and, as everywhere, they preferably target tourists. Occasionally, some types of beggars can be insistent and distracting while at the same time another thief quietly steals your wallet or phone. Again, nothing new to major tourist spots.

External Links

  • Fisheyes Florence – 53 Moss Street, Paisley, PA1 1DR, Scotland. [218]. Telephone 0044 141 570 3060 • Fax 0044 141 570 3061. Practical portal dedicated to Florence. All the information to travel around, sleep and visit the monuments and renaissance attractions of this city. Also available guided tours and some suggestions about the restaurants, and the cinemas and theatres of Florence.


Stay healthy

Beware of Stendhal syndrome, namely, dizziness caused by being overwhelmed by Florence's fantastic art. Yes, it's a real syndrome, named after 19th-century French author Stendhal, who suffered from it during his stay in Florence. If you get overwhelmed, rest your eyes and legs, get some food (remember gelato?), and save the rest of Florence for tomorrow.

Get out

Florence is a great starting point and base for a tour of Tuscany. Attractive day trips include Pisa, Lucca, San Gimignano, Arezzo, Fiesole, Lucignano, Siena, and of course the wine zone of Chianti. Greve in Chianti is the market town of the Chianti zone and it is in the hills surrounding Greve that you can rent a B&B room or a small apartment on a working vineyard for less than a hotel in Florence. The SITA Pullman buses take you to Greve and Panzano in about an hour. From then on you see few cars and many cypress and olive trees.

If you are to visit one place in Florence, it has to be the Piazzale Michelangelo. It offers an amazing view of the city. There is a lovely walking trail and even a large church, San Miniato, at the top of the mountain. It is a MUST SEE!!!

Fiesole is located in the hills above Florence, only a short bus ride away from the center. It offers a beautiful view of the sunset, and a small museum located on ancient Roman and Etruscan ruins of a temple and an ampitheater.

World War II Florence American Cemetery and Memorial[219]: 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) south of Florence on the west side of Via Cassia. The Rome-Milan highway passes near the cemetery. Open daily except for December 25 and January 1; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The cemetery is the final resting place for 4,402 American military dead lost during after the capture of Rome and the battle for the Apennines. A monument is inscribed with the names of 1,409 Americans whose remains were never found or identified. The atrium of the chapel contains marble maps of World War II Italy campaign. 20 minute bus ride from the Sita Station, just ask agent (get a return ticket). Free to enter.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



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