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Travel Blogs from Florence
I thought I had seen it all in Florence, Italy – but a
simple change of attitude and a look at the famed city through a (more) Italian
lens changes an experience dramatically.
I was excited, yes, to head into Florence on a Sunday
morning – I love the city. I love the varying architecture, the familiarity of
the cracked, wooden shutters on each window, the smells, not too much like
food, not too much like pollution, ...
... 300 metres from our destination. More luggage-struggling up steep steps. Again, there were some sweaty bodies and withering looks and nuclear meltdowns! (Robert, surprisingly, was cool, calm and collected and bustled me off to the room before too much damage was done). Again, I recovered my composure (great stuff, Panadol) and before long we were on a bus to town to wander amongst the huge sculptures in Piazza della Signoria and see the Ufizzi Gallery (this building was the offices of ...
... city pioneered the radical idea of self-rule. The Palazzo Vecchio Tower would have been open, but today was closed due to the rain. Oh, well, on to the next site....
Florence's most famous Ponte Vecchio, was the end of our walk. This medieval First built in 993, it is lined with shops selling gold and silver, just as it has been since it was re-built ...
... offer them to you. An then ask for money. They picked on us particularly because we looks like 2 couples. They also had these cool led light things that they flung in the air and they floated down like something off avatar. We stopped and watched another street performer who made massive bubbles with a huge ring. It is awkward because if you stay to long it become rude to not pay them but if you have everyone just a few coins I'd be broke! Late we snuck back into the hostel ready for bed ...
... I was running out of money.
The next morning, I arrived at the Accademia. There was no line. I was so thrilled that I could appreciate art in peace without being smothered by smelly tourists. I went in and looked at some more paintings of Jesus, but I didn't really stick around for long. I was kind of sick of seeing paintings of Jesus. They weren't my favorite cause they were all the same impression of him looking all sickly and thin, with a bored expression.
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Lungarno Florence
Our visit was enchanting from the time we exited the cab. The staff was friendly, courteous and anticipated our needs. Our room was inviting, immaculate and nicely detailed . Although it was on the small side there was still ample room and very comfortable. The marble bathroom was very spacious and sparkling clean. The restaurant lived up to reviews of Bon Appetit Magazine that featured Florence, Venice, and Rome. This hotel is listed in the Top 500 Small Luxurary Hotels of the World and rightfully so. We can't wait to return to Florence and Hotel Lungarno.
Beautiful hotel lobby and location but be aware that the standard rooms, though beautifully furnished, have no view and are truly miniscule even by Italian city standards--including the bathrooms. We booked through the internet and the room was about $450 per night, but we looked right into another building (no river view at all), and barely had room to walk around the bed. Also the service, while very friendly, wasn't what you might expect in such a hotel-- the hotel was unable to deliver coffee or anything else to the room before 7 AM. Our shower leaked onto the floor (it was so small) and the front desk clerk was also housekeeping and didn't answer the phone until we tried 3 times. So, I would only stay there again if I decided to spend enough to have a room overlooking the river-- ideally with a balcony. I would not recommend the standard or lower end rooms here at these rates.
Hotel Lungarno is lovely
If you are looking for a smaller, luxury hotel, Hotel Lungarno is perfect. It is located directly on the Arno river (the south side - quieter) near the Ponte Vecchi bridge. The service is top notch. Florence is a very small, compact city (which I couldn't appreciate reading quidebooks) and this location is really perfect. The hotel breakfast buffet is very good; the restaurant is actually very good but also quite expensive.
Luxury worth the cost!
We stayed at the Lungarno for three nights in the fall of 2003, and it is one of the loveliest hotels one can imagine. It is set right on the Arno, and our room had a full balcony looking out on a magical and romantic vista. It was not cheap, but it seemed worth every penny. The rooms are luxurious and the hotel is spotlessly clean. The breakfasts were unbelievable, and the service was outstanding. The entire staff was knowledgeable and helpful, making excellent suggestions for dining, shoppping, touring, etc. And here is a story typical of the Lungarno service: When we left Florence, we took the train to Venice, from where we were flying home in another two days. On the train, I realized I had left my digital camera in the cab on the way to the train station. I called the hotel from the train, and the staff there tracked down the cab, found my camera, and sent it home to me in the U.S. And they acted as if it were no problem whatsoever, and I should certainly not worry about it. The location of this hotel could not be more perfect -- a short block from the Ponte Vecchio and easy walking distance to all the major sights of Florence. If you are planning a trip to Italy and want to splurge on one nice hotel, I would suggest that the Lungarno be the one.
Favorite hotel in Florence!
I travel to Florence twice a year on business. This is my favorite hotel! It is part of a group of international small luxury hotels, with a polite staff and clean, updated rooms. It is charming and luxurious. It is perfectly situated along the Arno, just 10 minutes from the Duomo and other popular sites, yet in a more quiet and safe part of town. The new restaurant is superb and breakfast is a treat to have at the windows overlooking the river.
Perfect in every way!
We only had one night to be in Florence, and I am certainly glad we picked this hotel! From the kind reception that gave us our room at 11:45 am, to the beautiful breakfast our private terrace overlooking the Arno, not one detail was overlooked. After having stayed in 3 other upscale hotels in the area on prior trips, this is the only place I will ever stay in Florence!
Perfect place to stay in Florence!
Just came back from Italy and the Lungarno was our favorite. You are literally steps away from the Ponte Vecchio, and it's much nicer to be on the other side of the Arno. The Lungarno is high luxury but yet has a smallish feel to it. It's almost like being in a luxury ship, given the interior and the fact that you look out and see water. We paid 170 Euros for a double room not facing the Arno. That's much less than usual, given it was late August. Unlike other reviewers here, I'd recommend you not pay the 100 to 150 Euros extra to face the Arno. Why? You won't be spending so much time in your room anyway, and you can always come downstairs to the relaxed common areas, or have a drink outside. The rooms are very posh and luxurious, with many cool details.
Only quibble was that we asked the concierge to make reservations for us at the Uffizi and the Accademia so we wouldn't have to wait online. They graciously did so, but neglected to mention that we were paying an extra 9 Euros per ticket service charge.
But other than that, it was truly a wonderful stay and made Florence even more pleasant and alluring that before. Highly recommended!
I am known by many as a hotel Phobe but this was one of the most wonderful hotels. From the hospitality of the staff to the hotel's designer decor, the Lungarno is perfect. Great location!! You will not be disappointed. Get a room facing the arno.
A fabulous hotel in every regard. Beautifully appointed rooms, friendly & helpful staff, location along the south shore of the Arno - just west of the Ponte Vecchio, excellent breakfast buffet. The concierge recommended what turned out to be a great restaurant on Borgo Jacopo.
Can't think of one thing they could have done better.
Room with a view
My husband and I stayed here on our honeymoon a few years ago. It is across the Arno from the main part of Florence, but close to everything. It is less than a block from the Ponte Vecchio, and has GORGEOUS views of the Duomo lit up at night, and it is quiet. (Ask for a room facing the Arno). The room was spacious, with a king-size bed and a sofa. Beautiful marble bathroom. Concierge was very accomodating.
The only complaint is the small elevator and narrow staircase. I'd definitely go back!