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Florence, the capital of Tuscany, offers bits and pieces of everything travelers love about Italy as a whole. Art lovers will find some of the most well-known Renaissance architecture including the Duomo Cathedral, paintings from Sandro Botticelli and Leonardo Da Vinci and, of course, Michaelangelo's iconic David. Likewise, foodies and oenophiles will find antipasti, traditional pane (bread), pappardelle (long, wide pasta) and rich reds from nearby Chianti. With stunning sights and gastronomic indulgences around every bend, romance is — no surprise here — also at a premium. Whether you're traveling on business, taking the kiddos on their first European trip or looking for an intimate hideaway for your honeymoon, you'll find something favorable on this list.
Best Overall: Il Salviatino
Perched high on the hills of Fiesole, just 15 minutes from Florence's city center, Il Salviatino commands the most stunning views. Originally built as a farmhouse then refurbished over the years, this historic orchard property offers luxuriously-appointed Renaissance villa accommodations. For an extra special view, book the Ojetti Suite — an elegant and seductive living space which is spread across two floors. The bedroom and dining area are decorated with a warm, rich palette which directly contrasts the delicate light of the glass floor in the living room area. The rooftop includes a jacuzzi and direct access to a private balcony where guests can enjoy jaw-dropping views of the rolling Tuscan hills to one side and Florence’s distinguished skyline and iconic Duomo on the other. Enjoy a garden-side dinner at onsite La Cucina, where a portion of the menu is actually harvested from the property's organic veggie garden.
Best Budget: Hotel Palazzo Guadagni
Charming Hotel Palazzo Guadagni — situated on the top floor of a historic Florentine palace — enjoys a location just off Piazza Santo Spirito and offers a beautiful roof terrace that basically begs to be Instagrammed. Here, saving money on your stay starts first thing each morning: Buffet breakfasts on the roof terrace are included — something that will help your budget in a big way. Classic Italian rooms boast frescoed ceilings, fireplaces and staggering views. Though you may love the one you stay in, switch it up if you visit a second time as each is said to have its own unique personality. The hotel is a scenic 20-minute walk from the train station, which is ideal for business travel or if you plan on sight-seeing in another region for the day. Of course, there's no need to leave Florence at all — especially when you can reach Palazzo Pitti, Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo all on foot from your hotel.
Best Boutique: Helvetia & Bristol Firenze – Starhotels Collezione
Located near Brunelleschi's Dome, between Piazza della Repubblica and Via de’ Tornabuoni, Helvetia & Bristol Firenze is an elegant historical retreat right in the center of Florence. Here, rooms offer stunning views of the city and are said to have great natural light. Stay in a suite and you'll find classic antique furniture, 17th-century artwork and flawless marble features. Don’t forget to stop for a cocktail and a snack at cozy Art Deco Bar Bibendum, or for a more substantial Florentine-style feast, head to the hotel’s own Hostaria Bibendum. Rounding out its stellar boutique offerings, Helvetia & Bristol is known for its warm Italian hospitality which extends from reception personnel and 24-hour room service staff to Les Clefs d'Or concierges and onsite babysitters.
Best for Families: Castello di Ristonchi
Castello di Ristonchi, just 18 miles from Florence, offers travelers a beautiful taste of the Tuscan countryside. The picturesque 1,000-year-old castle-turned-hotel is family-friendly thanks to a great pool and playground as well as nearby forest which is ripe for exploring. The hotel even offers family-centered activities like Make Your Own Pizza Night, pasta making classes, foraging walks and more. Traveling broods will also appreciate a dedicated family room and even in-room kitchenettes — but don't worry, there's also plenty of opportunity for adult-only indulgence with a combined bar and lounge if you need to get away for a cocktail. Wi-Fi also means that you can catch up on a bit of work if you absolutely have to. With a peaceful location and plenty to do this retreat perfectly pairs exploration and relaxation.
Best for Romance: Hotel Hermitage
With a gorgeous rooftop overlooking the river, the cozy Hotel Hermitage may feel removed from Florence's hustle and bustle, but in reality, it's centrally located — just a three-block walk from the Duomo. With scenic river views on one side and hot tourist spots on the other — like Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens and more — the three-star property is ideally located. The homey hotel offers free Wi-Fi and breakfast is included in the room rate. Common areas, sitting rooms, the rooftop garden and breakfast room are all manned by staff that is said to be very friendly and helpful. Share a hot whirlpool bath in the comfort of your room — most are done up in Florentine upholstery and white-lacquer — and then enjoy a negroni or prosecco on the rooftop deck and take in the romantic ambiance of Florence.
Best Luxury: Hotel Lungarno
Owned by one of the most powerful Italian families — the Ferragamos — five-star Hotel Lungarno is known for its implausible art collection which boasts 450 pieces from such illustrious artists as Picasso, Cocteau and Guidi. After opening in the 90s, Hotel Lungarno became known as the first fashion hotel and from the start, it prided itself on its artistic intentions. Today, with an iPad placed in every room, guests can take a virtual tour of the hotel and dive into the artwork at any time of day. Sixty-five luxury rooms and suites offer awe-inspiring views of River Arno and Ponte Vecchio from private terraces, original artwork from Italian artists, antique furniture, marble bathrooms and bath amenities from Bianco di Carrara by none other than Salvatore Ferragamo.
Best for Singles: Plaza Lucchesi Hotel
Plaza Lucchesi Hotel will have singles primed for meeting that special someone. In fact, guests can even amp themselves up by staying in the very room where D.H. Lawrence penned Lady Chatterley’s Lover — one of the greatest romantic novels of our time. The hotel is centrally located, making it prime for solo walks around the city without fear of getting too lost. There's also a rooftop terrace that boasts sunset cocktails and a pool — aka the perfect place to mingle after a day out and about. Located right in front of Basilica of Santa Croce, you’ll be in awe of the sights. Contemporary guestrooms and suites, 92 in total, are kitted out with crisp white linens, parquet flooring and views over the River Arno and Piazzale Michelangelo. Room service is available and there’s also free high-speed internet, but don’t get so caught up in your room that you forget to go out and find your Italian-style romance.
Best Business: Hotel Savoy Firenze
The Savoy brand is known for being one of the hippest luxury hotel chains in Europe, and the company's Florence location proves why. Situated right on Piazza della Repubblica, just a stone's throw from Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo and Florence's famous fashion houses, the luxe stay caters to a chic crowd. From large and luxurious suites to the hotel's fitness room, incredible views — like that of Brunelleschi's cupola — are around every corner. But for business travelers, the real draws include free Wi-Fi, on-site childcare (if you happen to be traveling with tots), dry cleaning, a business center and meeting rooms. Depending on how formal your work outings are, you can even meet with clients at Irene, an onsite Tuscan-style bistro from legendary chef Fulvio Pierrangelini (of two-Michelin-starred Gambero Rosso restaurant).
Best Center City: Hotel Spadai
Extravagant amenities and boutique personalization (that you may not find at a larger property) collide at Florence's Hotel Spadai. Each of the hotel's 55 rooms and suites enjoy luxurious touches like marble baths, complimentary minibars, fine Italian linens, bidets and towel warmers. Along with all the creature comforts travelers love, it also offers a prime center city location: just one block from both the Duomo and Medici Chapel. Enjoy the romantic hot tub and spend time in your gorgeous room, but don’t forget to check out the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazza Signoria, just mere steps away from the hotel’s front door. In terms of standard hotel services, a spa, bar/lounge, room service and high-speed internet are all also available.