My personal Tripadvisor - Hotels in Florence

Tripadvisor is the most utilized way to check out Hotels and Restaurants; at least to have an idea of the type of place, where is located and see some photos. I do it myself too, and I also write feedbacks. But somehow you also have to be careful with Tripadvisor, cause not always it reflects the reality, especially when it comes to “where you are listed as position”.

So, since you often ask my opinion on where you should sleep and eat, here’s my personal list. Today we talk about Hotels, next post about Restaurants.

My favourite Hotels in Florence
For Hotels, I have to say , Tripadvisor’s list is not too bad, but these are my choices:

Luxury 5 Stars

Jk Place – in the beautiful Santa Maria Novella square, a boutique Hotel with a superb design, classy and modern at the same time
Portrait Firenze – the new born of the Ferragamo chain (Lungarno Collection)- unbeatable location (right in front of Ponte Vecchio) top service very personalized and friendly for this boutique Hotel

St. Regis – classic, faboulous, just been refurbished – a bit more out of the tourist path, in Piazza Ognissanti, which is a 15 minutes walking from Ponte Vecchio and Cathedral Square
Villa Cora – on the hills of Florence, if you want to escape from the chaos and breath the Tuscan hills air, a beautiful Villa just restored
St Regis
Villa Cora

Portrait Firenze

4 Stars

Plenty of choice here...classic Renaissance Style, modern, cozy, big... look what’s better for you in term of location, style and of course the car – Florence is a nightmare for driving, in case you need to park your car chose a place that can take care of your car, or get out of the city centre and then move around by bus or taxi

Hotel Lungarno – almost a five stars I have to say, in terms of service and price, but if you can get (and afford) a room overlooking the river it will be your dream becoming true- also part of the Ferragamo chain (Lungarno Collection), classy and beautiful
Antica Torre Tornabuoni – very nice, and excellent location, on Via Tornabuoni, the shopping street

Hotel Santa Maria NovellaHotel OrologioGrand Hotel Minerva – the 3 are located in one of my favourite square, Santa Maria Novella, central, close to the train station and magnificent; each one is different, all are recommendable, the Minerva has a pool on top of the roof.
All 3 are easy accesible by car.

Hotel Continentale and Gallery Hotel Art – best location, next to Ponte Vecchio, both owned by Lungarno Collection/Ferragamo – super hip and stylish, with the best roof terrace bar (at Continentale) and the most incredible sushi and cocktails at Fusion (Gallery).
Hotel Albani – close to the train station, but in a quiet Street, near the San Lorenzo Market and Santa Maria Novella.

Hotel Degli Orafi – between the Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio, where the “a Room with a view” was shot… super central, maybe not too easy by car.

Hotel l'Orologio
Pool at Santa Maria Novella

Hotel Lungarno
3 Stars

This is the minimum of stars you want to get – there are so many options, but the best recommended also by my Clients are:

Hotel Guelfo Bianco, in Via Cavour, charming  Renaissance style, 2 minutes from Accademia

Hotel David , in Viale Michelangelo, excellent if you get by car, in a very elegant residential area of Florence, just outside of the city center 

Hotel Davanzati, in Via Porta Rossa, next to one of my favourite museum, the Davanzati House

Palazzo Guadagni, in Piazza Santo Spirito, a lively and authentic square on the other side of the river, magnificent historical building

Palazzo Niccolini al Duomo, in Via dei Servi, in the shades of the main Dome

Residence Hilda , also in via dei Servi, elegant apartments

Hotel Annalena, in Via Romana, the other side of the river, perfect to visit Boboli Gardens and Pitti Palace
Hotel Macchiavelli, in Via Nazionale, between the SMN Station and San Lorenzo area
Hotel Guelfo Bianco
Palazzo Guadagni

Then, what about B&B?  Oh men, too many!

I hope this post can help you :)  and once you have reserved.... book a tour with Elaiza!  
Next post, my favourite restaurants! Stay tuned



Picasso and Spanish Modernity at Palazzo Strozzi

If you are in Florence between September 20th 2014 and January 25th 2015 and you feel like step for a second out of the "Renaissance cradle"  you should go to Palazzo Strozzi and check this exhibition out, dedicated to Pablo Picasso.

All the masterpieces, over 80, are coming all by Reina Sogia Museum in Madrid.

There is a lot of Picasso paintings, like 3 "Painter and Model", "Dora Maar" and other lovers' portraits, a really interesting settings of his preparatory drawings, engravins and etchings of Guernica.

Then Salvador Dalì faboulous "Arlequin" , Mirò, Juan Gris, Marie Blanchard.....

Open daily from 10,00 am to 08,00 pm, Thursdays until 11,00 pm

Obviously, a visit with me, maybe part of a walking tour, will be an excellent solution :)

Contact me at elisaacciai@libero.it

Enjoy it!

Pablo Picasso - neosnet.it

Guernica sketches - ilreporter.it
The painter and the model - weekendromanticotoscana.info
Dora Maar and Marie Therese - Firenze.repubblica.it

Equipe 57 and Salvador Dalì - toctocfirenze.it


Florence Bike Tour with Elaiza, me :)

Florence is a quaint city, with a pretty small city center that allows you to visit the main sights just walking from a place to another, in a short time.
But still, having a bike would be a fantastic way to enjoy the beautiful palaces, churches, Piazzas, Lungarni (the streets along the river Arno are called Lungarni)...

The best way is to rent a bike for a couple of hours or more in case you wish to go also to the hills (for example Piazzale Michelangelo and San Miniato al Monte Church).

Where? I wish to suggest you a couple of places:

Bici In Firenze is a service organized by the Comune di Firenze (city hall of Florence) and it is located in front of Santa Maria Novella train station or in Piazza Ghiberti.

The other one is Florence By Bike, located in Via San Zanobi

Bikes of Bici in Firenze
So, rent a bike of course, but call also Elaiza, which is the best way to tour around the city!
I could come to your Hotel downtown and pick you up, or we could meet somewhere - we will go to rent the bikes together and we will start a fantastic tour through the medieval streets of Florence, for the most part pedestrian.
We can lock our bikes and visit the inside of Santa Trinita Church, or Orsanmichele, or wherever you want, I'm open to discuss the itinerary with you.

on the way to Santissima Annunziata

On a bike tour with me we will certainly see:

Cathedral Square and Brunelleschi's Dome

Signoria Square

Ponte Vecchio

Repubblica Square

Strozzi Palace

Santa Trinita

Pitti Palace

Santa Maria Novella Square

Santa Croce Square

The nice weather and the Tuscan sun are coming, book a bike tour with Elaiza :)

Santa Croce

Cathedral Square

San Lorenzo

Repubblica Square

Santa Trinita

Palazzo Antinori

Palazzo Spini Feroni

Palazzo Strozzi


Santa Maria Novella


Clet - searching for his traces around Florence

Clet Abraham is a French artist, moved to Florence where he has a studio in Oltrarno.
Why I talk about him? cause I'm sure if you have been to Florence you have noticed that our streets signs sometimes were "different".... well, this is Clet!
I felt in love of his way of changing streets signs, in a very simple but funny way. He's affecting the severe sense of rules with a humour that doesn't change the utility of the street sign, but for sure it will make you smile :)

So, every day, when I'm walking alone or while I'm touring people around, I discover a new Clet's trace.... and love it!


Christmas 2012 and New Years Eve in Florence 2013

Christmas is just few days away, and also New Year's Eve... I know from the increase of visitors that a lot of you are luckily spending time in Florence for these festivities, so here some tips to enjoy your time over here, swinging by closed restaurants, closed museums, lots of people, lots of drinks.. :)

*** Museums exceptionally open ***

Christmas and January 1st will be basically all closed, shops museums and most restaurants... so stay in your hotel room as much as you can, or if you really want to do something here what there is open:

- Archeological Museum - Dec 25th from 08,30 am to 2,00 pm and Jan 1st from 1,30 pm to 7,00 pm
Medici Villas La Pietraia and Poggio a Caiano - Jan 1st from 09,30 am to 3,30 pm
"Never Seen" temporary exhibition at Reali Poste room - Jan 1st from 1,30 pm to 7,30 pm
"30ies - Art during Fascism" temporary exhibition at Strozzi Palace - open Dec 25th and Jan 1st
Vecchio Palace Museum - Jan 1st from 2pm to 7 pm

*** Restaurants for Christmas Lunch 2012***

Just few places are open in this occasion, cause Christmas is definitely the most important religious event in Italy, and everybody is home eating like it's their last supper in the life, so if you are around and you don't want to come over my house, you could go to:

- Touch Florence - Via Fiesolana 18/r - 055 2466150 - a new and super yummy reality in Florence
- Caffè Pitti - Piazza Pitti 9 - 055 2399863 - causy and charming caffè
- Paoli - via dei Tavolini 12/r - 055 216215 -  a guarantee in the tuscan cuisine

*** Restaurants open for New Year's Eve***

They are divided into 3 categories: those who are closed; those who are open and have a huge, fixed, long and pricy menu; those who have an almost regular à la carte Menu. Here's my favourites:

- Touch Florence - Via Fiesolana 18/r - 055 2466150 - à la carte
- BSJ - Borgo San Jacopo 12/r - 055 281661 - big Menu
- Buca Lapi - Via del Trebbio 1/r - 055 213768 - à la carte
- Alle Murate - via del Proconsolo - 055 240618 - big Menu
- Cinghiale Bianco - Borgo San Jacopo 43/r - 055 215706 - à la carte

Have fun!

Cappellacci @ Touch
Bistecca @ Buca Lapi
Gazpacho and fried prawns @ BSJ


Vasari Corridor November 3rd

Se capite un pò d'italiano e siete a Firenze il prossimo weekend, venite con me a visitare il corridoio Vasariano! Una visita unica! Per dettagli visitate l'altro mio blog qui

Hi! I'm organizing a special visit November 3rd at the Vasari Corridor, it is going to be in italian, therefore I have written in italian :) If you understand enough my language check details of the tour here and then write me!


A luxurious sandwich @ 'Ino

This place is a hidden pearl, a very little Bottega where you can have the sandwich of your dreams. You can inspire yourself looking the full list of possibilities or just asking a suggestion to the girls at the desk, as I did.
I have chosen a fresh Pecorino Cheese with herbs, and they easily suggested me to mix it with a Pepperoni Mustard and Salame.... It will come hot, crunchy and definitely delicious.
It will cost you a bit, but you can trust the excellent level of quality of food.
In the small rooms, three, there are high chairs and little tables to enjoy your sandwich, and maybe putting the icing on the cake by buying some of the products they sell, all coming by DOP regions (italian control system of quality and specific areas where a product come from), like Capperi from Pantelleria, Pasta of Gragnano, all different types of ExtraVergine Oil, wine, sundried tomatoes, jams, wines.....

Via dei Georgofili 3/7 red
just behind Uffizi Gallery
open from 11,00 am to 04,30 pm 


Outlet the Mall and restaurants close by

Florence it's a fantastic city, full of art treasures, nobles palaces, art galleries, sculptures... a month it is not enough to visit all of the secret corners... while you're exploring the city, you might want to desire to do some shopping. Why not, we have the best boutiques, or the small artisan shops... but if you feel like do some shopping AND save a bunch of money, then you have to go to the Outlet the Mall!

It is very famous, people come on purpose, I think it's the best outlet. 22 of the main brands, such as Gucci, Armani, Valentino, Ferragamo, Sergio Rossi, Loro Piana, Marni, Dior, Tod's and so on....

Discount from 30 to 70 %, on items of the past collection.

It is only 30 minutes south Florence, going south on the highway A1 directions Rome; exit at "Incisa Valdarno", turn right after 10-15 minutes ride you'll get to Leccio, the little town where the Mall is located.

Very close by there is also Dolce & Gabbana outlet, and a bit more far away, 20 minutes souther there is Miu Miu and Prada Outlet.

The Mall
Via Europa, 8

Photo Source: Hotel Rigacci

Inside the Mall there is a cafeteria and a restaurant. But if you want to experience also the typical tuscan cuisine, in the countryside, then follow these tips:

Piazzetta al Burchio - a little Alimentari (a groucery shop) that have few tables where you can have a very simple but incredibly tasty meal. Typical tuscan cuisine, of course, pasta, lasagne, ravioli, tortelli, tagliata, bistecca, fried chicken, also different types of fish and cakes.They have a Menu del Giorno (menu of the day) that changes frequent, written on a simple yellow paper. Prices are incredibly low, first course 5 Euro, second course from 7 to 10 Euro, side dish and desserts 2 Euro. Nothing, no?
It is open every day for lunch and dinner, and it is also take away.

- How to get there from the Mall?
Go back towards Incisa Valdarno (out the Mall turn right) - before to get inside the town of Incisa turn right, cross the river Arno and turn right. Follow that street for 5 minutes and you'll get to a very small group of houses, called "Il Burchio". Park the car and look for the Alimentari, right on the main street.

There is also a Trattoria, but I have not tried. Seems definitely more expensive, and not necessarily better tasting.

Piazzetta Il Burchio

Località il Burchio, 13
055 8330880 - cell 335 6831844

No website
Open daily lunch and dinner

Accept credit cards

Rigatoni Gorgonzola and Mascarpone

Sformati (similar to omelette) of Broccoli, Zucchine and Spinach

Tagliere di salumi and crostini

Tasty Tagliata rosemary

If you want another tip, then I have to tell you a secret place, a pure jem, an Agriturismo located in the middle of Chianti hills, with 4 rooms, an amazing pool, a beautiful traditional restaurant... during the summer they organize open air cinemas, art forum, paitings exhibitions, it is a very cute and interesting place. And of course they produce their own wine, oil, vegetables, raise chickens and rabbits. The owner, Perla, is a charming lady very welcoming and warm.

What's the name of the place? Perlamora. They have fixed menu lunches and dinner, with 25 euro, beverage included, you'll have a full meal of antipasti, 2 first course, a second course and dessert. All products of the Agriturismo.

Go, I love this place.

- how to get there from the Mall?

Go right out the outlet, like going back to highway. Pass the town of Incisa and go on until you get to the next town of Figline Valdarno. Turn right at the Hotel Torricelli, then again right, towards Greve in Chianti and Ponte agli Stolli. Follow directions for Perlamora.

Via Golfonaia, 29

Pavelli - Figline Valdarno

055 951904

Reservation recommended

Accept credit cards

The beautiful Art Decò Villa in front of the agriturismo

the Restaurant

Antipasto Coccoli (like fried bread) ham and stracchino cheese

Sorry, no more photos, too much wine :)


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