Planning a trip to Florence and still searching for that truly amazing hotel? This isn’t as easy as it sounds in a city that is as popular as it is often unaffordable in the accommodation stakes.
Usually a place is close to the centre but incredibly sterile, or charming but hard to get to. It is hardly ever the two, but never give up the search though.
We didn’t and were lucky enough to have been swept off our feet with three special accommodations that have kept their authentic heart and reflect the beauty of the region. And so, we present our handpicked selection of very special accommodations in the cultural capital of Italy.
All are located in either historic buildings or charming villas from the turn of the century. The styles may be varied but the common denominator is the same: attractive location, great value and a real Italian family atmosphere.
Antica Dimora Johlea
Its location on the top floor of a 19th Florentine style house ensures a light airy feel in all the rooms: warm earthly tones and colour-coordinated curtains, pillows and bedspreads make the huge canopy bed in itself an experience.
Enjoy the atmosphere on the rooftop terrace with a glass of magnificent white wine - all of Florence at your feet whilst you are surrounded by beautiful plants, high above this wonderful city. It’s like having your own private house in Florence.
Antica Dimora Firenze
Having recently opened its doors to the public, the Antica Dimora is surely set to become one of its classic places to stay. In many ways it is a fair reflection of Florence itself - atmospheric, aristocratic and utterly sophisticated.
Here we have a historical building dating back to the 17th century that has been restored to its historical splendour, through a careful renovation using original materials and articles.
Each room is unique and painted in a different colour, using natural earth pigments, so despite the homogenous feel to the Antica Dimora, a certain individuality remains.
Indeed, attention to detail like this is evident everywhere you look, making it a place where you feel the renaissance is very much alive. Then there’s the location itself, being situated on the Via San Gallo and close by to the Palazzo Pandolfini.
A place where you can feel the atmosphere of Florence as if you were in a Merchant and Ivory film.
Value for money, beautifully decorated accommodations right in the centre of Florence and run by extremely friendly staff are the common denominators.. These two carefully renovated palaces have been delightfully restored and furnished with antique pieces and bedrooms (6 in one 8 in the other) all individually decorated with Tuscan upholstery.
19th century class also meets 21st century sensibilities with air conditioning, Internet connections and all modern comforts included.
All three houses are located in a quiet residential area of Old Town - just five-minute walk from the Galleria dell 'Accademia, with the famous David Statue of Michelangelo, the monastery and the Museum of San Marco, the Botanical Gardens and many other museums and places of the city.
In approximately 10 minutes to reach the Piazza Duomo, Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery.
• Further, on the other side of the Ponte Vecchio, on the Piazza di Santo Spirito is the Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore with the magnificent dome by Brunelleschi. The Piazza is a wonderful place for an aperitivo.
The restaurants in this area tend to be more authentic - and here in via the Serragli you can find some good inns.
• You MUST try a gelato from Vivoli (7, Via Isole Stinche, a block west of the Piazza Santa Croce, try closed on Mondays) -- Simply delicious!
• Trattoria Dante a typical Florentine trattoria "in a unique historic buildings from the 13th Century. The menu offers traditional fish and meat dishes from Tuscany and all Italy fans.
• Santo Bevitore: This restaurant and wine bar offers an infinite Selection and excellent wines. Looks very chic from the outside, but it is relatively inexpensive.
• Trattoria del Carmine: Delicious pasta dishes and superb wines at a reasonable price.
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