It’s always a warm welcome upon arriving to Florence — the city plays the role of a kind hostess to visitors, doing upon each visitor and doing the best to satisfy their needs. Among Florence’s very best are the 4 star hotels, which provide stellar accommodation in the city’s top locations. These establishments boast excellent service and fabulous amenities and stay true to the Firenze flair that the city’s all about.
Where to stay a 4 star hotel in Florence? Important locations at a glance:
Duomo and Piazza della Signoria: Luxury in the historic city center
© Firenze Number Nine Wellness Hotel The area surrounding the world-famous Duomo and Piazza della Signoria is the beating heart of Florence — a long list of sightseeing gems including the Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio bridge, all the fine Italian cuisine you can dream up, and streets filled with a kind of happy frenzy unique to Italy. The 4 star hotels that look out onto the Old Town are seriously fine: from velvet-lined bed frames to quiet inner courtyards, from lavish breakfast spreads to wine sipped on the balcony over sunset. The jewel of the city and even one of Italy’s, the Duomo Cathedral is something to write home about — this spectacular building is visible for miles and its sheer grandeur becomes only more obvious the closer you are to it. Construction begun in 1436 and since then it has become a tourist destination for visitors from around the world — a trip up the stairs to the top of the Dome may be arduous, but it’s worth it, and is recommended even by locals. The 1299 Palazzo Vecchio is Florence’s most significant administrative building and also embodies a royal grandeur seldom experienced. Just south, Ponte Vecchio may be the world’s most famous bridge; a walk across it and the banks leading up to it will shoot you back to its origins, which are allegedly as early as 996. A 4 star hotel in the city center is the ideal destination both for a romantic getaway, best spent with plenty of pitstops for long Italian meals, or for a family trip — the little ones are sure to get a kick out of the myriad sightseeing opportunities.
Santa Maria Novella & San Lorenzo: Medici family & authenticity
© Rivoli Boutique Hotel What’s unique about Florence is that no matter where you stay, you’ll be immersed in the Florence of your dreams. Santa Maria Novella, located between the Santa Maria Novella Basilica and the Arno River, is another magical area in a city that doesn’t stop giving. Still just a 5-minute walk to the Duomo, Santa Maria Novella and San Lorenzo are brimming with local flavor and life. The areas’ 4 star hotels stay true to Florentine roots while placing you within steps of all the hottest must-see’s and -do’s. A sure-fire way to experience the authentic side of the area is Mercato Centrale marketplace, alive from morning until night in the form of market stalls selling the finest Italian produce and street food. Another kind of authentic finds you wandering the streets governed by the spirt of the Medici family and into the Medici Riccardi Palace, Chapel of the Magi, and the Medici Chapels, all spectacular iterations of the dynasty’s lasting legacy. San Lorenzo Basilica was once Florence’s most important cathedral, and it remains a location of great significance even if just for its outstanding grandeur and unfinished façade.
Santa Croce: The beautiful Basilica square, food, & nightlife
Located along the eastern end of Florence’s historical center, Santa Croce is ripe with chance to view beautiful things. The Piazza Santa Croce is a prime location to while away a day drinking espresso and staring up at the Church, perfect in its symmetry of shape and blue-white color. In the evening, the square also becomes a lively hangout area for students, locals, and visitors to meet and share wine. Surrounding the Piazza are some top Florentine restaurants and cafés, where you can dine on a Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florentine steak) Italian-style and stay for a while, or grab a quick Lampredotto (sandwich with thinly sliced tripe) — if you dare — and sit on the banks of the river. The 4 star hotels in Santa Croce harken back to an old kind of hospitality and style — where the ceilings are painted in the style of Michelangelo, the hotel bar and restaurants are like old Tuscan taverns, and the rooms look out over great Renaissance buildings and centuries-old skyline. Within 13th-century buildings or looking out over the Ponte Vecchio, a stay in Santa Croce promises beauty and opulence all day and all night. The nighttime half of it can be found around the square, where the dance floors of a list of trendy clubs and bars are always full. The 1873-erected Sant’Ambrogio market should be saved for the morning after: there’s no better way to spend some slow hours than wandering through this indoor marketplace, sampling fresh fruit, vegetables, and specialty items at the many stalls.
Piazza San Marco: Culture & student life in northern Florence
© Palazzo Castri 1874 The neighborhood San Marco and its eponymous Piazza are the place to be in northern Florence. The beautiful Piazza San Marco, not to confused with the one of the same name in Vienna, is a hub of culture, sightseeing, student life, and transport. Essentially next door to the square is the home of the world-famous Michelangelo David statue in the Accademia Gallery — even with all the hype surrounding this museum, it’s worth a visit to witness the sheer craftsmanship of this artistic meister. The 4 star hotels in San Marco are stylish, well-equipped, and often offer an extra Tuscan flair to your stay — for example, with an al fresco cocktail in the massive open-air patio. The neighborhood is populated with a suite of traditional trattorias (Italian eateries serving up simple fare), cute wine bars on quiet backstreets, and amazing Renaissance architecture waiting to be discovered. Here is a more authentic Florence, bustling with the energy of the locals and still with its roots deep in history and tradition. Still just a walk from Florence’s main attractions like the Duomo, a 4 star hotel in San Marco is a great option if you’re looking for a slightly quieter stay outside of the center, while still having all you need at your fingertips.
Florence’s Vespucci Airport (FLR) is accessible by most airlines that fly to Italy. From the airport, take a 15-minute taxi ride or 20-minute bus / tram ride to reach the center. Florence is also a stop on Italy’s rather extensive railway system, via which you can travel to Rome in just an hour and a half and to Milan in two and a half. Most budget airlines fly into Pisa’s Galileo Galilei airport, which is located about 100 kilometers from Florence, but is quite easily travelled on a 75-minute, 7.50 EUR bus trip.