Where to Stay in Florence: 5 Romantic Hotels

by Bianca Gignac

where to stay in florence

This is an awesome question from  a reader:

My bride and I are going to Italy to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We will be in Florence for 2 nights before going to Rome. What do you recommend for hotels in Florence? We love small hotels, and it would be great to be near the Duomo.

Thanks!     {Roy S.}

So – you’re headed to Florence?

Congratulations! I’d love to give you my top choices for cozy and romantic hotels.

I’ve personally visited or stayed in all the hotels that I’m recommending to you.

I’m a real picky bitch about these things. I don’t recommend luxury hotels that feel over the top and frivolous. I don’t think that spending a large amount of money equals to having a large amount of fun. The two things aren’t linked in my experience.

But of course the lower end of the price spectrum often delivers generic hotels filled with el cheapo everything. And don’t get me started on wall to wall Berber carpeting or I might have to be sedated.

I can get you closer to your perfect Florence hotel right now.

You say you want to be central:

Just to be clear: Florence is a very compact city!

You can walk to most places you need to be in 20 minutes. It’s also dead flat and is built for an awesome pedestrian experience. I wouldn’t get too hung up on having to be in the centre of Florence; it is a bit of a newbie mistake to think you gotta be parked in a hotel a stone’s throw from the Duomo.

My rant about staying near the Duomo:

The Duomo is beautiful and fascinating but you don’t need to find a hotel near to it. Why? Because then you’ll have no sense of staying in a real neighbourhood. Also, it’s hardly close to any real restaurants I would recommend (the Hardrock Cafe is not my idea of good eats).

Right now I’m going to give you 3 ideas for hotels in central Florence that would suit a special weekend with your love. Then I’m gonna amp up your choices by suggesting two villas outside of Florence – to  impress your partner with your knowledge of all things romantic and Italian.

Like I said, I’ve personally been to all these hotels.

5 Romantic Florence Hotels

1) My top pick is Palazzo Guadagni

Why I love it here:

  • it is located in my favorite neighbourhood in Oltrarno (called Santo Spirito/San Frediano)
  • divine covered patio with comfy outdoor sofas
  • borders awesome Piazza Santo Spirito
  • excellent restaurants and bars within stumbling distance to your bed
  • you’re in a real neighbourhood
  • great value: which is sweet considering it’s the old home of a 16th century wealthy merchant family

Booking Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the Duomo from your bed.

2) Hotel Continentale

Why I love it here:

  • incredible rooftop bar overlooking the river
  • cozy modern vibe
  • super stylish (it’s a Salvatore Ferragamo property)
  • at the foot of the ponte vechio with great access to central Florence and Oltrarno

Booking Tip: yoga classes on the rooftop bar during peak season.

3) Casa Howard

Why I love it here:

  • most unique hotel you’ll ever stay in
  • stunning decor and unique objects collected from around the world
  • has a Turkish Hammam (bath) – perfect for chilly winter stays
  • If you’re traveling by train you’ll love the easy access to the train station

Booking Tip: the “Drawing Room” is massive and drop dead gorgeous. The “Studio” has a private terrace and a cool spiral staircase and the “Hidden Room” has a copper tub sunk into the floor. Oh, and erotic art.

Villas Near Florence:

4) Villa Le Piazzole is located in the Florentine hills: a 10 minute taxi ride into Florence.
Why I love it here:

  • swimming pool
  • incredible gardens
  • olive oils and wines produced on the estate
  • cozy and friendly feeling

Booking tip: get on a 500 Touring Club tour that leaves from the property or join in on a pizza making class.

5) And last, if you are looking for a massive splurge then stay at Villa San Michele with sweeping views of Florence. Note: it’s closed in winter.

  • located in the small village of Fiesole
  • the crème de la crème of Florence hotels
  • cooking classes
  • crazy ass views

Tip: you don’t have to stay here, just go up for lunch and enjoy the views.

I hope I’ve answered your awesome question about where to stay in Florence. So many people have this question, and I know how hard it is to decide on a great hotel in a good area when you’ve never been to a place. I hope I’ve shed some light on the situation, but I’d love other people to add to this conversation.

If you’ve stayed at a great hotel in Florence then leave your recommendation in the comments below. Together we can make a great resource for people who are Florence bound!

Grazie mille,


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }


Hey, great travel advice, I am heading to Florence in August and might try to stay in Casa Howard.


Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Wonderful, Will! Let us know how it goes, ok?



These are all wonderful suggestions by Bianca. Allow me to share with you our selection of hotels with a fantastic romantic view in Florence, might also be helpful.


Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Thanks, Miguel! What a great site!


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