Florence is a favorite destination for many in Tuscany, Italy. Its abundant cultural sites, art galleries, parks and palaces are captivating and interesting to visit. The city offers incredible shopping with produce markets, flea markets and ateliers hand-crafting their wares. There are Michelin star restaurants to frequent, riverside rooftop bars to sip cocktails in and charming cafes overlooking open-air museums brimming with sculptures. With so much on offer in this vibrant, historic city it’s difficult to know where exactly to stay to gain the most from your visit. So, here’s our guide to a few of our favorite neighborhoods in Florence and where to stay in them.
Best Neighborhood for Culture: San Lorenzo
San Lorenzo, nestled in the heart of Florence is the perfect place for culture, art and history lovers. It’s a few minutes’ walk to the famous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore – known for its red-tiled cupola, the Baptistry of St. John and Giotto’s Campanile in Piazza del Duomo. If you climb to the top of the bell tower you gain bird’s eye views of Florence. Nearby you’ll discover Palazzo Medici Riccardi, an iconic Renaissance art museum and palace and close by, the original statue of Michelangelo’s David awaits at Galleria dell ’Accademia. Of course, no stay in San Lorenzo, Florence would be complete without a visit to the neighborhood’s Central Market. Every day, fresh local produce is piled high ready for customers in this historic 19th century glass and iron hall.
A boutique hotel housed in a historical property, Milu is recently restored with touches of spare modernity and luxurious timeless. The 22 singularly designed rooms ensure an intimate experience for every guest that steps through their doors. Every element in the rooms has been crafted with a specific color palette in mind, and a majority have been made my artisanal local brands. The hotel also boasts an extensive art collection that lines the hallways and staircases, with a grand finale in the Library, and turns the property into a living exhibition that constantly changes. All of the staff are trained to provide insider advice about Florence, and a spa next door has partnered with the hotel to provide for all your wellness needs.
Via de’ Tornabuoni, 8, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Grand Hotel Minerva
Newly refurbished, and right in the heart of Florence’s historic center, The Grand Hotel Minerva seamlessly blends contemporary luxury with a seemingly effortless emphasis on comfort. Well-stocked with amenities, including a heated rooftop pool, a scenic terrace overlooking the city, a fitness center with a hot tub, a scenic terrace overlooking the city, and two dazzling restaurants, this hotel is an absolute haven. A historic hotel that works to provide the highest levels of modern hospitality, there’s a reason this hotel is consistently at the forefront of luxury in Florence. With rooms decorated carefully with soft wooden floors and delicate Florentine touches on every surface, relaxing in your room won’t be a problem.
Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, 16, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Palazzo Vecchietti is a boutique hotel with independent rooms and suites for discerning guests in the centre of Florence. Accommodations are stylish and well-equipped, some with terraces facing the palace courtyard, and if you’re a digital nomad, the hotel offers complimentary WiFi connection. This luxury hotel prides itself on its breakfast, a rich, varied continental style feast using only the finest ingredients. Gluten free and vegetarian dishes are catered for and if you wish to dine out, there are abundant trattorias and international restaurants a short stroll away.
Via degli Strozzi, 4, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Best Neighborhood for Families: Sant’ Ambrogio
Sant’Ambrogio is characterized by quiet, residential streets, churches and Florence’s National Archaeological Museum. Piazzas and side alleys are peppered with traditional osterias, gelaterias and pizzerias favored by locals. There’s a lively produce market to visit and Casa Buonarroti – a museum dedicated to the life and works of Michelangelo. If you decide to stay here you’ll be just a short walk from River Arno and 15 minutes on foot from the landmark sites of Piazza del Duomo.
World-renowned for setting the bar on luxury properties, the Four Seasons in Firenze is a masterful blend of historic beauty and high-end luxury that creates an urban oasis for guests to escape. Boasting a lush garden bordered by an outdoor pool and heated whirlpool, onsite boutiques, and offering the option for in-room spa and salon treatments, you may not want to leave at all, except to dine at the terrace bar or the Michelin starred Il Palagio. The rooms are all tastefully elegant, and will create a haven for you deep in the heart of Florence’s hustle and bustle for the perfect home away from home.
Borgo Pinti, 99, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy
Hotel 1865 Residenza D’Epoca
Tucked away in Sant’Ambrogio neighborhood, this charming boutique hotel features sophisticated rooms which blend a modern sleek style with historic features and awe-inspiring frescoed ceilings. All rooms feature satellite LCD TV, free WiFi and a generous American-style breakfast is served to guests each morning. If you have rented a car during your stay, the hotel has a private car park close by which is available to use at an additional cost. This upscale hotel is within a short walk of bustling Sant’Ambrogio Market, historic churches and pretty piazzas.
Via Luigi Carlo Farini, 12, 50121, Florence
Where to Stay for Romantic Getaways: San Niccolò
San Niccolò lies in the Oltrarno of Florence, across the river southeast of the historic center. It’s still a relatively easy walk across the bridge to the Duomo and museums, plus you can gain the best views of the entire city from hilltop Piazzale Michelangelo. With beautiful verdant rose and iris gardens to explore and a beach by the river, it’s a romantic area of Florence which exudes a village-like atmosphere. The area is home to cocktail bars, hidden speakeasies and charming cafes overlooking the river. For an ultra-romantic evening, try a night tour of Florence to end the day.
This hotel effortlessly combines comfort with contemporary design for clean and classic rooms equipped with handcrafted furniture that you won’t want to leave. Enjoy the panoramic views of the Arno River and the sprawling city of Florence from this luxurious property, or head to the nearby White Iris Spa at the sister Hotel Continentale to escape for just a little while with the help of the 24/7 lifestyle assistants on staff. If you’re looking for a mouthwatering meal, look no further than the Caffè dell’Oro, run and designed by a Michelin starred chef for an otherworldly dining experience.
Borgo S. Jacopo, 14, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Hotel Villa Cora
A 10-minute drive and 30-minute walk to San Niccolò is the outstanding 5-star Hotel Villa Cora. A perfect retreat for a romantic getaway, the opulent villa-style hotel was constructed at the end of the 19th century and overlooks the famous Boboli Gardens. The décor is palatial in design throughout, rooms and suites are decadent, some with four poster beds draped in rich velvets in cool, bold shades. An aquamarine outdoor swimming pool shaded by evergreens tempts guests to take an early morning dip. There’s a luxurious spa offering all manner of lavish treatments and a fabulous restaurant serving seasonal Tuscan cuisine. End a day of Tuscan sightseeing on the Bellevue Roof Terrace overlooking Florence as it illuminates, sipping champagne by the pool or regaling new friends with stories of your thrilling adventures in the Cigar Room.
Viale Machiavelli, 18, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Best Shopping & Dining in Florence: Santo Spirito
Santo Spirito like San Niccolò lies across the River Arno and is bursting with character. It’s just a 10-minute walk to the open-air sculpture museum of Piazza della Signoria and a short stroll from Ponte Vecchio with its wooden-shuttered jewelry shops. Santo Spirito is not a neighborhood for large department stores and designer shops, those can be found across the river. Instead, you’ll discover quirky antique treasure troves, clothing by local designers, sculpture, art and furniture workshops and stores selling handmade jewelry and leather goods. You can also get involved in craft workshops yourself, learning how to paint like the masters or speak Italian language basics in just a few days. Dining in Santo Spirito is also a treat, as the neighborhood introduces you to traditional trattorias and osterias serving pasta and meat dishes just like mama used to make. Learn to make your own food on this Tuscan Culinary Tour.
An intimate boutique hotel with only 13 rooms is minutes away from the stunning Ponte Vecchio that was designed by locals with an artisanal touch, the SoprArno suites are a stunning marriage of design and comfort. Decorated with antique and salvaged furniture with bespoke art hanging on the walls, even the shared spaces of this hotel feel like a visit to an eclectic salon. Each room is carefully and individually designed, while all of the ceilings are painted with unique frescoes. Combine all of that with concierge service, and you’ve got yourself a stunning stay.
Via Maggio, 35, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Hotel Ottantotto Firenze
This property is tucked away a few blocks from the river surrounded by trattorias, stylish cafes and cocktail bars. To the rear of the hotel, Torrigiani Garden offers respite from the hustle and bustle of the city and to the right, Boboli Garden and Palazzo Pitti allow you the opportunity to delve into history and lives of the Medici family. The hotel is quirky, bursting with charm, punctuated with exposed brick walls, fireplaces, and bookcases boasting all the classics. Patio gardens are decorated with fountains and ceramic plant pots and there’s a botanical theme which weaves itself throughout the hotel. There are 7 rooms and suites of differing sizes which are spread over 4 floors and smart check ins if you arrive late in the day. Breakfast and drinks are served in the Living Room or garden areas and free WiFi is available throughout the property.
Via dei Serragli 88, 50124, Florence, Italy