Oh Italy, we really, really missed you. Summers were not the same, when we couldn’t wander through quaint villages gelato in hand. We pined for vacation days punctuated by pasta and a bottle of Brunello. Well, Italy is back, and it’s better than ever. One of the best year-round cities, but especially prime during the summer, is Florence. So this is your guide to where to stay in Florence. Some of these, are as much of draw, as the Duomo itself.
The Place Firenze
Location: Piazza Santa Maria Novella
The Place feels like staying in Florence as a guest in a private home, a home with 20 rooms that is. This boutique hotel right in the heart of Florence and across from the Piazza Santa Maria Novella church. The space’s design fits into this surrounding area thanks to Florentine architect Michele Bönan. The Place, once known as JK Place, which was apart of the hotelier Ori Kafri’s including one in Paris. The Place finished rebranding and updating the property just last year in 2021. The Kitchen and Bar is the hotel’s in house restaurant. It has a city view of the Piazza and a menu stocked with Mediterranean and Tuscan favorites. Most romantic off the menu is the L’astice Per Due, or Mediterranean lobster for two. It is a must try for couples looking for where to stay in Florence, or eat.
The Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
Location: Borgo Pinti
The Four Seasons has a lot to brag about, especially when it comes to The Four Seasons Hotel Firenze. Not only is it one of the most iconic, recognizable, and grand hotels in Florence, it also holds the city’s biggest private garden, and Michelin-starred Italian food. The two residences that make up The Four Seasons Florence are the 15th-century Palazzo della Gherardesca and the 16th-century La Villa. Both of these historic buildings have been restored and cared for so that you can vacation the same way the Pope, the Viceroy of Egypt, and centuries of Italian nobles did. When they asked themselves where to stay in Florence, the answer was clear. For guests today planning large parties, the Palazzo della Gherardesca ballroom complete with frescoes and 18th-century chandeliers. Also stemming from local tradition is the Spa, which includes a treatment which has products infused with 24K gold.
The Rocco Forte Hotel Savoy
Location: Piazza Della Repubblica
Florence is sightseeing, shopping, and a chic luxury boutique hotel. Hotel Savoy fills this role and brings your right into the action at the Piazza Della Repubblica. Since Florence is also known for its treasure trove of Renaissance art, the rooms in Hotel Savoy provide a mix of decadent and modern style. This is best to come home to after visiting both the must see Medici owned museums in town, and the gallery in Hotel Savoy itself. The “Zeffirelli’s Divas” Exhibition is a compilation of photos of those who have worked with Franco Zeffirelli such as Cher, Olivia Hussey, Brooke Shields, Valentina Cortese, Faye Dunaway, Carla Fracci, Judy Dench and more. The exhibition runs through the whole hotel, and adds even more to this local luxury brand.
Grande Hotel Minerva
Location: Santa Maria Novella Square
The recently redone Grande Hotel Minerva is a quaint and contemporary boutique hotel in the historic center of Florence. The 97 new rooms give you views of the cafe lines streets, but if you really want to see the whole city, take a look from the roof top. The roof top pool and bar are essential to seeing the city from above. After planning and taking a tour of this sector of Florence, the less tourist like atmosphere of the Grande Hotel Minerva is appreciated. Rooms over looking the square provide festive people watching, without having to take out a mortgage to experience it.
Villa San Michele
Villa San Michele, which is a a Belmond Hotel, is a retreat outside of the city. In the hills of Fiesole, Villa San Michele looks over the city, only a fifteen minute shuttle ride away. The historic 16th Century monastery which makes up Villa San Michele is surrounded by the privacy of the Florentine countryside. It’s facade was designed by Michelangelo himself and encompasses the style of tuscan fantasy. The whole property is a piece of living art, with many art pieces, frescos, and sculptures attributed to Italy’s best artists, Renaissance and beyond. With all this history, it is no wonder Chef Alessandro Cozzolino looks to local ingredients at La Loccia. Villa San Michele gives you retreat outside of Florence whether you stay in suites with a private pool or the former orangerie, the private Limonaia Villa.
Location: Ponte Vecchio, on the Arno
With it’s living room suspended comfortably over the Arno river, Hotel Lungarno is modern nautical luxury. The hotel is sleek, clean, and has the perfect backdrop of the Arno River. Here the medieval quarter of Florence is balanced by the blue and white aesthetic found in suites like the Panorama Executive floor. This excellence in design is no surprise after you learn the owners of Hotel Lungarno are the Ferragamo family. Aside from high fashion, the art world is also represented in the hotel with guests being surrounded by over 400 works of original art, including that of Picasso, Sironi, Maccari and Cocteau.