Bed and breakfast accommodation has become very popular in Italy over the last few years and B&Bs are often a comfortable and cheap alternative to hotels.
A typical Florence B&B will be based in an apartment on one floor of a large mixed-use building. There will be a few guest bedrooms (typically between two and five). Some will offer ensuite bathrooms, others have shared facilities. Some establishments may provide a very basic breakfast on the premises, others may simply direct you to a nearby bar (sometimes providing a voucher for a drink and croissant). On this list we’ve included establishments officially described as ‘bed and breakfasts’ and also ‘town house suites’ and residences, two similar accommodation categories lying between an independent stay and a B&B. At these you are more likely to find basic kitchen facilities and provisions.
Although B&B proprietors and staff will be welcoming and helpful, you shouldn’t expect the amenities or services of a hotel. You may need to confirm your arrival time in advance, or telephone to summon someone to gain admittance to the property. It is unlikely there will be staff on the premises throughout the day and night. Other inconveniences may be that – occasionally – you will have to pay in cash, or that it is difficult to store your bags on arrival or departure. The description page and guest reviews for each B&B will help you ascertain if the accommodation is right for you, and will inform you of payment arrangements. As long as you don’t mind the lack of hotel facilities, a B&B can be a great way to save money and to enjoy a more ‘authentic’ Florentine stay. You are likely to enjoy both the benefits of friendly interaction with the local owners, and the independence of having your own key.
Olga’s House B&B
A great central option, just off Piazza della Signoria, Olga’s House is a well-run and affordable B&B. Rooms are simple, clean and comfortable. Note that there are several flights of stairs to climb.
Tourist House Ghiberti
Tourist House Ghiberti is a very up-to-date B&B with nice, modern decor and good facilities including free wireless internet. It’s very close to the Duomo in the centre of Florence.
La Terrazza su Boboli B&B
The simple, airy rooms at the B&B are decorated with a light contemporary touch. All seven rooms are en-suite, and there is also a lounge and a terrace where guests can take breakfast in clement weather. It is located outside the historic centre, though within walking distance; over the Arno and alongside the Boboli Gardens.
This B&B is right in the middle of Florence and is a friendly and welcoming place to stay. There are six nice en-suite rooms, a lounge and a kitchen area (no formal breakfast is served, but snacks are provided). Good value and practical for tourists.
Casa Howard is a sought-after ‘lifestyle’ destination: incredibly stylish, richly appointed and luxurious. This is for travellers wanting a really special stay surrounded by quality, rather than those worried about budget – although prices aren’t always as bank-breaking as you might expect, particularly out of season or if you find short-notice availability (note that you may find there is a minimum stay of at least two nights). Bedrooms are individually named, furnished and decorated. The ‘Library’ contains books and antiques, while guests in the ‘Hidden’ room are offered a ‘small erotic book’.
These are groovy suites for a semi-independent stay in Florence, close to the Boboli Gardens and a ten-minute walk from the centre of town. Each of the ‘suites’ consists of a boldly-decorated mini-apartment with a basic kitchenette. There is free car-parking on-site if you make a request in advance, though past guests have observed that it’s a tight squeeze.
Residenza della Signoria
This new ‘town house suite’ is a fairly simple modern option with good-value prices. The Residenza della Signoria is an apartment right in the historic heart of Florence, with six guest rooms, furnished with king size beds, making the Residenza a good option for a romantic hideaway in the middle of Florence. Breakfast is offered at a nearby cafe.
Floroom 1 B&B
A ‘design B&B’ with just four rooms, this is a cool alternative to hotel accommodation. Decor is simple and contemporary and the service is praised by past guests. Floroom 1 is located just over the Arno from the main sites, between the Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti.
Some more B&Bs
Selected below are some more good B&Bs for a decent, affordable stay in Florence, and one or two smart and pricier options.
> Alloro B&B a historic location and spacious, stylish bedrooms
> Residenza dei Pucci – nicely-decorated B&B with helpful staff, in a central location
> Argentiere – popular B&B outside the centre with 18 rooms and apartments, gardens and private (paying) parking
> B&B Old Tower – a modern B&B in a historic building with excellent bedroom facilities including tea/coffee-making and computers with internet access.
> Monte Oliveto – peaceful, friendly and home-like haven outside the centre of town
> Residenza D’Epoca Home In Palace – see the tempting photos of this smart residence, just north of the centre
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