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Residenza Il Carmine
Ranked #32 of 326 Specialty Lodging in Florence
Reviewed December 15, 2011

I stayed at 'Residenza il Carmine' in the Domus apartment in June of 2011. I found it to be safe, clean, spacious, and conveniently located in Firenze. The apartment and the wonderful walled-in garden were beautiful places to relax and enjoy the ambience of Italian city life. The owners are on-site and very hospitable. Marg, Ottawa, ON, Canada

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Iamas2947
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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55 - 61 of 108 reviews

Reviewed November 7, 2011

You walk through a door off a side street and you are in an oasis. We and our friends had the Oro and Incenso apartments for 5 nights in October. Awesome is the only word to describe the apartments, garden, amenities and the owners.
Caterina met us on arrival and showed us around as well as giving us a map with restaurants, bars for coffee, bakery, fruit store etc. Caterina is very nice and took care of letting the local police know when we had driven into the city to drop off our bags so that we would not get ticketed. She let us use the apt. wifi with our phone and that was very helpful as well as making a reservation for us to see the "David". She is most accommodating.
The apartments are spotless and decorated nicely. There is cheese, yogurt, rolls, coffee etc. to make breakfast. One night we shoped all the local stores for bread, wine, meats and cheese and had supper in our apartment. Everything you could need in a neighborhood is very accessible.
It is about a 15 minute walk to the other side of the Arno where the Palazzo Vecchio, the markets, and the "David", among other things, are located. It is an easy walk and colorful.
We ate at Casalingua, Osteria Santo Spiritu and Gusta Osteria twice. We enjoyed drinks at Volume and some antipasti they serve when you order drinks. These restaurants are in the vicinity of the Residenza.
I could go on and on but would stay here again in a heartbeat!! Thank you Caterina for everything!

Room Tip: I saw 2 of the apartments and liked each equally well. I think regardless which one you stay in, yo...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank WesternPAAndiamo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2011

Of course, there are many gorgeous and wonderful places to stay in Florence. The Four Seasons and the Westin and the Hotel Lungarno come to mind. But if you would prefer to spend your money on outstanding dinners out or shopping along Via Tornabuoni instead of on a fancy hotel room, please consider Residenza il Carmine. We have been loathe to share our secret with the world, but here it is: the Residenza is the best place to stay for the money in Florence. We have stayed in all the apartments that look out on the garden and in the two that don't. The smaller ones are perfect for one or two guests. The largest one is terrific for a family. Our experiences are based on two or three trips a year over the last 10+ years. The garden is one of the Residenza's biggest pluses. After a full day of visiting museums (or riding bicycles out in the Tuscan countryside), a late afternoon spent in the beautiful garden with a glass of wine and a good book will rejuvenate you. It's also a great place for kids to stretch their legs, plus there are two excellent public playgrounds within easy walks of the Residenza. And if you need more space the Boboli Gardens are five minutes away. Come the evening, you'll be ready to walk to any of the outstanding restaurants in the Oltrarno for dinner. Or add a few minutes to your stroll and you are in the Centro. And four of the six best gelaterie in Florence are within easy walks of the Residenza. Our Italian has improved over the years, but the English of the owners - Miriam, Emilio and Caterina - puts us to shame. They can help you with taxis or reservations or whatever you may need. There are Internet cafes nearby, but a polite word to Emilio or Caterina will win you the password to their own WiFi access and you can use your own laptop in your room.The apartments are spotless and casually elegant. There are no laundry facilities in the rooms, but there are two clean and accessible laundromats three minutes' walk from the Residenza, and a brand new one a 30-second walk away. There is a small market diagonally across the street from the nearest laundromat, and several fruit/vegetable markets and a butcher nearby, if you want to cook at "home". An excellent larger "supermarket" is steps from the Ponte Vecchio, and it's less than 10 minutes on foot from the Residenza. You can choose to have breakfast in your own rooms, or at several of the excellent "bars" nearby, or pick up pastries at one of the outstanding bakeries a block or two away. Of course the Centro - the Duomo, the Uffizi and all the other star attractions of Florence - is an easy walk from the Residenza. Maybe 15 minutes. For a longer stay, please consider the Apartment Ramaglianti. It is a lovely large one-bedroom apartment literally steps from the Ponte Vecchio. We stayed there for two months this past year and it was perfect. And there is a washer/dryer in the apartment. With all the money that you save by staying at the Residenza or at the apartment Ramaglianti, you can splurge for drinks at the Hotel Lungarno, feeling very smug that you are sleeping somewhere equally elegant and costing you so little!

Room Tip: For one person or a couple, choose one of the three "garden apartments". We don't have...
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  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank Emily C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2011

My husband, teenage daughter, and I stayed in the Domus apartment during our visit to Florence. We were very comfortable; in addition to the bedroom, there is a living room with sleep sofa and daybed. As you can see from the hotel website pictures, the Domus contains a very nice dining area next to the kitchen. and the 1.5 bath arrangement was perfect for the three of us.
We found ourselves in the garden after a day of sightseeing, and that is what made this hotel so special. Everything you need is fairly convenient. We purchased bread from the bakery around the corner and fruit from the market square down the street. There is also a small "supermarket" that is two blocks away where you can buy groceries till fairly late at night. One of the bakeries actually makes sandwiches . Caterina is a very pleasant and helpful owner, and she will make good solid recommendations for dinner. While we loved Casalinga and Quattro Lioni, I (and my wallet) appreciated the simple fare at "Il Gatto and la Volpe" , the Cat and the Fox, on the corner of Via Ghibellini and Giraldi. I had the Braciole salad and we shared the Salad Caprese.(They should warn you that the Salad Caprese means the biggest slice of mozzarella you have even seen on a plate surrounded by bright red tomatoes. ) They also offer a 10% discount for "international students" .

Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
4  Thank Beckysmom31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2011

My wife and I were on a 30th wedding anniversary trip around Italy (May 2011) starting in Venice we travelled to Florence by train. We used the high speed La Frecce train which was good value and fast in comparison to UK trains and very comfortable too.
We stayed on a self catering basis at the Residenza Il Carmine (via D'Ardiglione) Santo Spirito, Oltrarno, for 89 Euros a night. This was by far the best accommodation we had on our trip to Italy because of the quality of the apartment and for the view and access to garden. There appeared to be 3 apartments on one side of the garden with the owners apartments on the other. There was some intermitent work being carried out to the adjacent church of Santa Maria del Carmine, which backed on to the property, and apart from the bells the only other sounds were of the birds singing. The apartments are basically in the garden of an ancient building and as soon as as you enter through two outer doors a gorgeous waft of jasmine hits you.
We stayed in the "Incenzo" apartment and possibly had the best view of the garden. We would stay here again without question. After wandering the hot streets of Florence it was good to return at anytime and either relax in the cool apartment or in the shade of the garden. The peal of bells of Santa Maria del Carmine at 8.30 am in particular and other times too, is an enduring sound something, I really enjoyed listening to.
We didn't encounter any mosquitoes but the windows had in insect proof mesh infront of them enabling them to be opened fairly safely.

The owner Emilio his wife (and daughter i presume) were very polite and couldn't have been more helpful. It really was a pleasure to stay here as you may guess by now.

The Santo Spirito area of Florence is full of family run small grocery shops/ wine bars/gelateria and restaurants and without the crowds. The Pontevecchio bridge takes about 10-15 mins to reach on foot. The station is 10 mins in a taxi if the traffic is light and is walkable with wheeled cases in about 25 mins.

Although self catering we ate out for the five nights we stayed. We ate 3 times in Trattoria Casalinga (via del Michelozzi) 5 mins walk or so away close to Santo Spirito church. This restaurant was always busy and we queued twice for a table, but not for very long. The food apart from a very chewy was very good plentiful - 2/3 courses + wine costing between 24 and 45 euros for two.
We ate at Ai Tranvai (Piazza Torquato Tasso) a very small looking restuarant full of locals with room for about 20 people, but another room poss upstairs. The food here was very good and served by the chef although i cannot recall what we had . A help urself carafe of red wine was on every table and a couple brought their 2 dogs in with them too!

We took a Taxi uphill to the church San Miniato Al Monte to visit the spectacular church and take in the far reaching city views. We made a point of being there for the 5.30 vespers in the crypt and were openly invited to listen to the Monks. Quite a moving experience. You can walk down to the Pizzale Michangelo for more widespread city views and another 20-30 min walk will see you at the Ponte Vecchio.

Climbing to the top of the Duomo for 8 euros is well worth the effort. We went at 10 am and was reasonably empty and could take our time. The last 20-40 foot of the climb would I think be a little awkward for any elderly person - but not impossible.

Room Tip: All the apartments looked good but I would pick the Incenso appt again if visiting.
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  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Touring_cricket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2011

My family and I have stayed at the Residenza Il Carmine over ten times and we will not stay anywhere else! The owners, Emilio and Miriam, go out of their way to ensure your stay is as pleasant as possible. The Residenza is in walking distance of grocery stores, restaurants and all attractions - you feel like you are living like a true Florentine!

The rooms are clean and beautifully decorated. The apartments are fully serviced so they are cleaned every day.

Thank you Emilio and Miriam for always making our stay so memorable!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank Toronto C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2011

This was my 6th time staying at Residenza Il Carmine. I have stayed in both the Mirra apartment and also Domus apartment. Both of these have access to the beautiful garden.
Binoculars are good to have as there are a lot of birds which fly around the Basilica di Santa Maria del Carmine, which you can see from the garden. Listening to the bells of the church ringing is music to my ears!! After a busy day of museums, churches, eating and shopping, it's a fabulous, warm feeling knowing that your "home" at Il Carmine is waiting for you to plop down on the sofa and relax, or pour yourself a glass of Prosecco to enjoy in the garden.

The building has been around for hundreds of years. I think Filippo Lippi lived next door or one of the Lippis. I would imagine Brunelleschi himself walked along this street at one time or another! Plenty of nearby shops to pick up grocery items, too many great restaurants to choose from only minutes away.

The apartments are spotless and a cleaning lady comes every day (except Sunday). The beds are comfortable with plenty of extra blankets if needed. The kitchen in both apartments are stocked with plenty of dishes, pots and pans, French coffee press and moka Italian stove top percolator. The apartments have a stove and small refrigerator, no oven. There is a microwave. Also air conditioning for those hot summer months. I had everything I needed.

The bathroom's (one in Mirra apartment, 1 1/2 in Domus) have great water pressure! Towels provided are more of a linen type material, not 100% fluffy terry cloth like many American's prefer, but they are absorbent and just fine. Shower, toilet and bidet, no bathtub. Plenty of counter space in Domus' large bathroom (important for this girl with a lot of "stuff") LOL. Hairdryer provided.

Caterina gave us the password for the internet; while sometimes "spotty" I never had much of a problem using my IPodTouch. A friend staying in Oro apartment had an IPad and had no problems.

The Li Pira family hold a very special place in my heart. Miriam, Emilio and Caterina are so helpful and kind. Their English is very good and they are a joy to deal with. They will help you in any way they can. Oh, I must not forget to mention Maria, their adorable English Bulldog.

I would recommend any of the apartments of Residenza Il Carmine. A wonderful treasure in a wonderful part of Florence.

Room Tip: All of the garden apartments are wonderful. I may stay in Incenso apartment next visit. Lots of cou...
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  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with friends
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3  Thank PokeyJo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Residenza Il Carmine

Address: Via d'Ardiglione 28, 50124, Florence, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Florence > Santo Spirito / San Frediano
Amenities:
Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #32 of 326 Specialty Lodging in Florence
Price Range: $90 - $174 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Residenza il Carmine is the ideal alternative to a standard hotel.We are located in the Oltrarno ( meaning "Beyond the river Arno ),in Santo Spirito area,just few steps from Ponte Vecchio,Pitti Palace and Uffizi Gallery.One of the most fascinating parts of the city,where the narrow streets,little squares,old trattorias,markets and craftsmen'sworkshops,still breathe the spirit of old Florence.Our apartments,well furnished and particulary warm,are located in our beautiful garden and in the historical 17th century Palace.Residenza il Carmine è la perfetta alternativa ad un hotel.Ci troviamo nell'Oltrarno,nella zona di Santo Spirito,proprio a pochi passi dal Ponte Vecchio,Palazzo Pitti e la Galleria degli Uffizi.Questo è uno dei luoghi più pittoreschi e affascinanti della città,dove le stradine, le piazzette, le vecchie trattorie e i mercati ci fanno ancora respirare il legame con la Firenze antica.I nostri appartamenti,totalmente e finemente arredati,si trovano nel giardino della Residenza e nel Palazzo storico del 1600. ... more   less 

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