Amid the masterpiece-stuffed Accademia, the picture-perfect Ponte Vecchio, the soaring dome of Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral, here’s our list of the best bed and breakfasts in Florence, bookable with Culture Trip.
Florence is, quite simply, one of Italy’s most enticing cities. Knowing you’ll be out exploring – taking in everything from Renaissance art to pretty piazze – gives you all the more reason to book a cosy, friendly B&B. Not only will you feel like you’re coming home at the end of each day, hospitable hosts will be on hand with tips on the best local spots.
You’re a few streets away from the priceless artworks of the Accademia at this upmarket B&B, as well as an easy hop from Florence’s central railway station. The historic neighbourhood is officially known as San Lorenzo, and Sette Angeli’s bones are all old-world Tuscan – red-tiled floors and aged-wood beams. The décor, however, is distinctly updated, with muted greys and monochrome photography. Expect a warm Italian-style welcome with free tea or coffee at check in.
This stay near Piazza San Marco ticks off all the trends: palm-printed cushions, brass detailing, statement pendant lights. Of course, this being Florence, it’s not all new: frescoed or wooden ceilings and ornate mouldings remind you that you’re in Europe’s most spectacular Renaissance centre. Book a room with a garden in summer so you can sink an evening aperitif outdoors before venturing out to tackle Florence’s thriving restaurant scene.
If you love a garden, look no further than San Pier Novello in Oltrarno – you’re sandwiched between three brilliant ones, Boboli, Corsi and Torrigiani. And if that’s not enough for you, one room even comes with its own wee internal courtyard, ideal for morning coffees. Florentine history oozes from every corner of this building – original 14th-century frescoes join you in the breakfast room over morning OJ, making you feel like you’re booked in to stay at a museum.
A cool, contemporary vibe prevails at this guesthouse to the north of Florence’s main core, in a subdued, local neighbourhood. Smart enough for business travellers, it’s also a winner if you’ve got kids in tow, with family rooms available to book. There’s also a terrace for stretching out, and even though you’re away from Florence’s most touristy spots, all the major sights are within walking distance.
How often do you get the chance to sleep in a palazzo? This stylish palace near the pin-up Duomo (cathedral) blends the historic shell of a quintessential Florentine building with 21st-century interiors. A highlight is undoubtedly the roof terrace, furnished with seating and with views to Santa Maria’s burnt orange dome. Larger rooms, with sofa seating and fruit bowl-topped tables, give you the space to unwind after a busy day touring the museums.
The alfresco terrace breakfasts – of fluffy American-style pancakes drizzled in syrup, or eggs on toast – are reason enough to book into La Marmora. Add to that the fact that it’s stylish (rooms are modern with bold pops of colour and quirky wallpaper prints) and within walking distance of most of Florence’s top sights, and a stay is a no-brainer. There’s even a bar, so you can have a celebratory spritz as soon as you check in.
If you want to be in the heart of the Florentine action, look no further than San Remigio – the Ponte Vecchio is only a seven-minute walk away. And yet, when you’re perched on the sunny terrace, lined with plants and dotted with seating, you’ll feel so tranquil that it’s easy to forget you’re at the heart of one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Rooms are just as homely and welcoming, with cream hues and splashes of floral print, as well as the odd piece of Florentine art.
Waking up in the muted environs of Tornabuoni Place – all sage green, gold and navy – you might think you’re in New York or London. But gaze out the window and there’s nowhere you could be but Florence: a time-worn statue rises from small Piazza Santa Trinita, ringed by historic buildings. The B&B’s friendly host, Alex, ensures you have a proper Italian breakfast spread to fuel up on ahead of a day of sightseeing, too.
La Dimora Degli Angeli has one epic selling point: you can see Florence’s iconic Duomo from some of its rooms. And if the possibility of falling asleep in view of the city’s most famous rooftop isn’t enough to convince you, the room itself should be: contemporary and, in some cases, colourful, with quirky wallpaper prints. Breakfast is served in the sister hotel, a short walk away, but free coffee, tea and biscuits are on hand here at any time of day or night.
Set on the third level of a mid-century palazzo in central Florence, Velona’s is a chic B&B with a rainforest-inspired theme. A mix of contemporary and vintage design, the interiors have original marble and parquet floors with black-lacquered wood trim and jungle-printed textiles. Each of the hotel’s four spacious suites is individually decorated in unique colour palettes and larger rooms include extras such as canopied beds and chromotherapy showers (a shower using coloured lights, believed to promote health and balance). A vegan-friendly breakfast is offered until noon, serving fresh pastries, artisan jams and organic yoghurt. Though many are drawn in by the decorative style, it’s the personal and friendly service of the Velona-Grecchi family that will keep you coming back.
Just off Piazza d’Azeglio on the east side of the historic heart of Florence, 1865 is a modern guest house with elegant flair. Deep-red velvet walls, plush leather sofas and a large gilded mirror create a cosy atmosphere in the quaint reception, which doubles as a breakfast room. In contrast, the five individually designed guest suites are contemporary, with muted colours and simple, tasteful furnishings. Every morning, the owners prepare breakfast with local market-fresh ingredients such as warm brioche, eggs any way you like them and pecorino cheese. Be sure to ask about the “secret Florence” tour, which includes museums and restaurant bookings.
Centrally located just off the Piazza della Signoria, this B&B combines genteel Florentine design with genuine hospitality. It dates from the 15th century, and the interiors are decorated in a traditional style with frescoed ceilings, antique furniture and personal touches creating an atmosphere that is both elegant and inviting. There are 1o guest rooms, each named after a different Renaissance artist, and have original coffered ceilings (or frescoes), fine fabrics and parquet flooring. A decadent breakfast of homemade cakes and pastries, as well as more filling fare such as eggs and bacon, is served on the third floor (or via room service) every day. More than just a place to rest your head, this family-run B&B also offers cooking classes and sailing tours for those seeking adventure.
On the west end of Via della Scala near the Novecento Museum, Casa Howard is an endearing and eccentric B&B. A fusion of elegance and eclecticism, the bold interiors bring together antique furnishings and modern luxury. This small B&B has 12 guest rooms, each with a unique theme, including the cosy book-filled Library Room, the unique and spacious Studio Room and the dramatic black-and-white Drawing Room. An Italian-style breakfast is brought to your room on a silver platter with warm pastries, Parma ham and honey straight from the owner’s farm. From massages and beauty treatments to painting lessons and quad bike rides in the countryside, everything you could want can be arranged by the friendly concierge at this one-of-a-kind Florentine guest house.
Across the road from the famous Duomo, Niccolini is an 18th-century palazzo built on the former site of Donatello’s sculpture studio. The interiors are refined, with walls covered in frescoes, warm terracotta flooring and soaring arched entryways. Five individually decorated rooms provide a romantic getaway amid antique furniture and hardwood floors, while deluxe suites boast enchanting city views and a full-size jacuzzi. Breakfast is served in the grand salon, which more than lives up to its name; enjoy the first coffee of the day and an array of pastries among Italian tapestries, large gilded mirrors and ornately painted ceilings. The owner is on hand to answer questions and offer excellent recommendations for things to do in Florence.
A short walk from Piazza San Marco by the Northern Gate, Antica Dimor Johlea is a peaceful B&B located in a calm, quiet neighbourhood. Filled with antique knick-knacks and colourful rugs, the atmosphere is more like that of a stylish, comfortable home than a hotel. The six charming guest rooms have four-poster beds with fine silk curtains, tiled flooring and an energetic colour scheme. Breakfast is served daily, with eggs, fruits and cheeses on offer, and there’s endless coffee and cakes available all day, perfect for a quick bit of refreshment in between sightseeing. In the evening, pour yourself a glass of wine from the honesty bar and head to the rooftop terrace for 360-degree city views.
Steps from Santa Croce Basilica in the historic centre, La Maison du Sage occupies a 16th-century building with a 1920s vibe. Light maple wood furnishings and hardwood flooring, offset by raspberry red corridors, create a chic yet understated atmosphere. The art deco inspiration continues in the 18 individually designed rooms, decked out in duck-egg blue, deep pink and dusty green. A breakfast of fresh fruit, brioches and locally baked cakes is served from 8am until 10am on every floor, and an aperitivo is offered from 6.30pm in the evening, giving you the chance to mingle with other guests and staff.
Situated across from Pitti Palace in the historic city centre, this B&B of the same name occupies a grand 16th-century building. Original frescoed ceilings, herringbone wood floors and antique furnishings create an aristocratic atmosphere. The hotel’s four genteel rooms are bright and airy, each individually decorated in true Florentine style (the magnificent floor-to-ceiling fresco in the King Suite is a must-see). An Italian breakfast of cakes, pastries and fruits is served every day in a refined salon with white tablecloths and delicate crockery by warm and welcoming staff. After fuelling up for the day, head out to Ponte Vecchio, or the beautiful Giardino di Boboli just a short walk away.
Located on the north bank of the Arno next to Ponte Santa Trinita, Palazzo Alfieri is a stylish B&B in a serene setting. Tall windows and chic modern furniture make the space feel luxurious without being too fussy. Set across two separate buildings, contemporary rooms range in size from the elegant Executive Annex to the Prestige Suite, which is decked out with 18th-century frescoed ceilings and panoramic river views. A well-presented Italian buffet breakfast is served in the adjacent café, offering a spread of eggs, sweet pastries and sausages along with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. After a long day of sightseeing, the rooftop bar is the perfect place to relax with a negroni with the Duomo as your backdrop.