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A room with a view: the best B&Bs in Florence

Stroll any Florentine strada and you'll come across places to lay your head. Some are well advertised, but some of the grandest hotels and best B&Bs in Florence are hidden behind courtyards with tiny, inconspicuous entrances, so you may not even realise you're passing these exclusive homes-from-home. Tiny Florence, packed with cultural treasures, is awash with guest houses, hotels, villas and B&Bs of all shapes and sizes. But the more choice the harder the decision!

Florence city view

If you need access to a laundry, gym or onsite restaurant then you probably need to stay in a hotel, but if you don't then Florence is the perfect city to opt for B&B accommodation.

There are so many wonderful places to eat here, and the centre of town is so packed with things to do that you can't not find culinary, and other, treasures within a short walk from your bed. Staying in a B&B is also a great way to get personal recommendations.

Palazzo Vecchio

Some of the best B&Bs in Florence were once the city's great homes and mansions, and plenty of owners boast of charming 18th Century features - and they would know, as many properties have been in the same families since then!

The huge number of hotels and guest houses means that in the cooler, quieter months there are some excellent accommodation deals to be found. There's always something on here. A thousand and one events are packed in from late spring through early autumn - this is when there are outdoor events as well, but Florence is also a wonderful place to visit in December, January, February.

Our selection of the best B&Bs in Florence is not ordered in any form of preference, rather we have grouped them according to type or location.

Florentine Grandeur

Cradle of the Renaissance, Florence is one of the world's most beautiful cities, packed with wonderful art and architecture on a grand scale. Marble statues grace piazzas, ceilings and walls are fresco-covered and views are handsome and historic. And if you're here for Michelangelo, Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci, then why not have the accommodation to match!

Palazzo Galletti

  • If you want the best location there is then Residenza d’Epoca is one of the best B&Bs in Florence. On the upper floors of a private house on the edge of the Piazza della Signoria, there are few rooms with a better view than these ten. Traditional, unfussy decor focused on heritage and comfort, and an excellent breakfast make this a B&B you'll remember fondly.
  • Palazzo Galletti has an enviable location, occupying the first floor of a mansion-with-a-view. Galletti has eleven rooms, nine of which have elegant, semi-contemporary decor and tiny terraces, and two of which are spectacular - vast, with wonderful frescos. The nine are a pleasant, comfortable place to stay with a beautiful view, the two suites make this one of the best B&Bs in Florence for people looking for something really special.
  • Built in 1517 to be used as a convent Loggiato dei Serviti is one of the most prestigious historic residences in Frolence. Add to this its views across the Piazza SS Annunciata to Brunelleschi's Ospendale deli Innocenti, the charming antiques, rich fabrics and parquet floors, and you have one of the best B&Bs in Florence if you're after class, character and original features.

Traditional and affordable

It's not surprising that Florence, with her numerous charms, is one of the most expensive Italian destinations. But it doesn't have to be. B&Bs are often a more affordable accommodation option, but not all guest houses are created equal, so beware of the false economy so often found in Florence - sparsely furnished rooms, exaggerated locations and non-existent public spaces… And check out our tried and tested recommendations for some of the best B&Bs in Florence where style and comfort is also comfortably priced.

Antica Dimora Firenze

  • Charmingly traditional, only 10 minutes from the Duomo and starting at less than £85 per night, Antica Dimora Firenze is one of the best B&Bs in Florence if you're looking for good value. There are only six rooms in this delightfully chintz-tastic guest house, several have four poster beds and all are airy and fresh feeling.

Florentine City Break

As well as historic art treasures, Florence has a rich modern cultural scene. This is a place to come to eat extremely well, to attend great classical music concerts or the opera, to see the latest art exhibitions - both old and contemporary and to live a little, or a lot. So Florence has long been the city break of choice for people whose taste runs to the artistic.

Floroom

  • If you love the beauty of Florence's architecture, but prefer something more modern when it comes to your own space, Floroom is probably the one for you. The decor in these four rooms is monochrome, splashed with modern art. You're right in the heart of town, just behind the Ponte Vecchio.
  • Le Stanze de Santa Croce is another B&B with more modern interiors. It's possible to book out Le Stanze de Santa Croce for your exclusive use - it has eight rooms. So this is also one of the best B&Bs in Florence for large groups.

Tuscan Peace

Florence has a lovely rural-urban feel, so some of the villas on the outskirts of town feel like they're deep in the Tuscan countryside, while still being only about a 30minute stroll to the centre of town.

One of the best things about staying in one of the villas on the outskirts of Florence is that there's a chance you'll have a lovely view of Florence. There's also the benefit of being close to the vine-lined hills of Chianti.

Villa Rucellai

  • Villa Antea is in the north of Florence, about 15 minutes from the centre of town, in a lovely, leafy old neighbourhood, shaded by lime and poplar trees. One of the best B&Bs in Florence if you want peace and quiet, Its six rooms are large, luxurious and traditional.
  • The Villa Rucellai is a charming 18th Century villa just outside Florence, surrounded by its own olive groves and grape vines. Public areas are grand yet homely, while the eleven rooms are simple and comfortable. If you feel the heat this may be the best B&B in Florence for you, as it's one of the very few with its own pool.

Nothing here that ticks all the right boxes? Then take a look at all our Florence recommendations.

  • Residenza d’Epoca in Piazza della Signoria 10 rooms from $207

    Florence (Tuscany)

    Imagine waking up in Piazza della Signoria surrounded by history, comfort, frescoed ceilings, stonewalls, and parquet floors. Highly popular, family run B&B offers the true 'Florence' experience from classic rooms to delicious communal breakfast. A great choice for couples, families and groups.

    Sights nearby  -  Shares the famous Piazza della Signoria with Neptune's Fountain and the Palazzo Vecchio.
    Lively  -  On the busy Piazza Signoria.
    Full of character
    Lively area  -  In the thick of the action.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Fodors
    Check prices
  • Palazzo Galletti 11 rooms from $201

    Florence (Tuscany)

    1931 elegant Neo-Classical Palazzo now boutique B&B offering great value rooms, prime location and romantic interiors. Two beautifully intact frescoed suites, the rest semi contemporary rooms, all have breakfast in room. Quiet, intimate location is perfect for a romantic break and city exploring.

    Honeymoons  -  Take the Cerere suite, with incredible top to toe frescoes, linger over breakfast in bed and indulge at the spa- bliss!
    Sights nearby  -  A five minute walk brings you to the famed Il Duomo di Firenze, a must see.
    House party feel  -  Be prepared to meet people.
    Full of character
    Check prices
  • Loggiato dei Serviti 37 rooms from $204

    Florence (Tuscany)

    16th Century convent transformed into a delightful, antique filled boutique hotel. Rooms with views provide both comfort and value. Breakfast is served in the courtyard by attentive and knowledgeable staff. Magical stay in the heart of Florence.

    Sights nearby  -  Discover the Ospedale degli Innocenti built in 1419 by none other than Brunelleschi for the orphans of Florence.
    Views  -  Views across to Brunelleschi's Ospedale degli Innocenti
    Full of character
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Recommended by  -  Frommers
    Check prices
  • Antica Dimora Firenze 6 rooms from $93

    Florence (Tuscany)

    Charming hospitality welcomes guests to this stylish, owner-run B&B in a prime location near the Duomo. Four poster beds, antiques and decorative detailing is a delight to wake up to. Gawp at Florence from the rooftop over your breakfast or nightcap. Perfect for families - a home away from home.

    Sights nearby  -  Next door to Renaissance Palazzo Pandolfini and gardens.
    Special Offer  -  Last minute bookings could work in your favour here.
    Views  -  Rooftop over the whole of Florence.
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
    Check prices
  • Floroom 4 rooms from $128

    Florence

    Chic boutique B&B with just four bedrooms. White walls, black parquet floors, wooden beam ceilings and splashes of modern art. A great city spot, and great value.

    City Style
    Sights nearby  -  Located just behind the Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, CN Traveller
    Check prices
  • Le Stanze de Santa Croce 4 rooms from $170

    Florence

    A cheerful B&B, also available for exclusive use. A more affordable option for Florence if travelling as a group of 8. Brightly coloured rooms and a lovely breakfast terrace.

    Value chic
    Cooking classes  -  Visit the local markets, then learn to cook your purchases
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check prices
  • Villa Rucellai 8 rooms from $85

    Florence (Prato)

    18th Century family run B&B, nestled between its own vines and olive groves, on the outskirts of Florence. The warm decor with family antiques and pictures, give a true Italian homely feel. Simple comforts, full of character and a wonderful countryside spot from which to explore the region.

    Value chic  -  An enchanting villa with beautifully manicured gardens, period furnishings and impeccable service at an astonishingly low price.
    Hideaway  -  A romantic and characterful hideaway in the Tuscan Hills with balconies overlooking vineyards and olive groves.
    Great walks  -  Located in the Bisenzio river valley, on the lower slopes of the Retaia the last ramparts of the Calvana pre-Appenine chain.
    Sights nearby  -  Check out Prato Cathedral in the local town, dedicated to Saint Stephen, the first saint in Catholicism.
    Check prices
  • Villa Antea 6 rooms from $223

    Florence

    Tranquil bed and breakfast in a lovely villa with elegant interiors in the north of the city. Spacious rooms with large sash windows, parquet flooring and antique furniture. Charming, good value and family run. In a great location for an authentic stay outside of the tourist area.

    City Style  -  A unique find with, large airy bedrooms adorned with lavish silken drapes, floor to ceiling windows and parquet floors.
    Great walks  -  The local residential area has charming winding lanes, historic villas and a small river for exploring.
    Sights nearby  -  The Duomo and Baptistery are within a twenty minute walk.
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
    Check prices

 

Written by Nicky Swallow

posted Friday, 12th February 2010
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