This B&B offers a great location at a reasonable price. It’s literally just down the street from the Duomo which looms large as soon as you set foot out side the front door. It only takes ten minutes to stroll from the accommodation, past the Duomo, down to and through the Piazza Della Signoria, past the Uffizi to the Ponte Vecchio. It’s only a few minutes further to the Boboli Gardens on the opposite bank of the Arno river. It takes 10-15 minutes to walk from the train station to the B&B which is helpful as trying to drive around Florence is horrific so it’s better to walk than get a taxi.
The accommodation is on the first floor of the building. There is no lift but the stairs are easily manageable with luggage. The owner, Federico, is not on site that often so if you stay here make sure you email him with details of what time you expect to arrive so that he can arrange to be there. He was friendly and helpful with me and we had no problems at all but you don’t want to arrive to find there’s no one to let you in.
We'd booked the Garden 2 room but were actually given the Suite Terrazza, which is normally more expensive, for the same price. It was fairly sparsely furnished but had a large double bed, wardrobe, bedside cabinets, table and chairs. The bathroom with shower was also an acceptable size if lacking on complimentary toiletries. The decoration was typically Italian – basic but in decent order and everything was clean and tidy so no complaints. Our room did also offer access to our own patio area with a couple of chairs and the area was surrounded by a canopy of fragrant jasmine which was a pleasant place to relax. Watch out for the mosquitoes though and make sure you turn on the insect repelling device in the room as well – we weren’t aware of this and suffered repeated bites on the first night as a result.
Breakfast is taken at the OK Bar (that’s the name, not an opinion) just around the corner. You’ll get a choice or croissant, tea or coffee and juice free of charge and you can pay for anything above and beyond this.
As our room was vacant after our departure we were allowed to use it for the rest of our last day free of charge which was particularly helpful as it meant we were able to get showered and changed at our leisure before departure. Overall the accommodation was decent enough and met our needs as well as being perfectly situated for sight-seeing. There’s nothing I would criticise and ideally I’d give this 4.5 out of 5, just losing half a point as it perhaps lacked some little flourishes that would make it perfect.
Some general hints for Florence. If you want photographs that are not full of crowds head out in the early morning while everyone else is still in bed. At 6am in June you’ll find the streets empty of all but the occasional market stall holder heading off to work and you’ll get nice images without hordes of fellow tourists blocking your shots. You’ll need a wide angle lens if you want to even attempt to get a shot of the Duomo in one go.
It’s free to go inside the Duomo cathedral and queues can be long but in all honesty it’s not all that special. If you really want to go inside try to go early and save yourself an hour in the queue. The entrance to climb the dome or Giotto’s Campinile are separate and open earlier than those for the cathedral proper. It’s over 400 steps to get up each and can be hard work, particularly in the heat of the day so again, try to go early to beat the beat and the crowds.
We were lazy and ate at one restaurant close to the Duomo as it was convenient, Ristorante Battiostero I think. Mistake! Dreadful food that arrived far too soon to have been cooked fresh at inflated prices. These places are there for the tourists and they know their customers will change from one day to the next so there’s no need to make an effort in order to entice you back. Try walking a few minutes in the opposite direction and find somewhere quieter where the locals eat instead.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.