Hang your hat in the birthplace of the Renaissance, where history's influence can be found in the most unexpected places. Whether you're eating breakfast or sipping a spritz while overlooking the Duomo or relaxing in a garden where a young Michelangelo once practiced his carving, these hotels will put you in touch with the city's past in style.

Casa Howard Guest House

Enjoy the view and the pool (photo courtesy of Hotel Glance)

For an ultra-personal experience in Via della Scala, near Santa Maria Novella and Florence’s historic Renaissance center, stay at Casa Howard Guest House. The customization starts even before your stay, when you’ll tell the proprietor some information about you and he’ll choose which of the 12 rooms best suits you.

This lovingly renovated old hotel shines with antique floors and luxury decor alongside modern touches like heated bathroom floors. You’ll notice the attention to detail right down to the seasonal variation of the bathroom soaps. Stop in the Turkish bath to relax after a day of sightseeing, carefully planned with the help of the concierge, or book a cooking class to bring the Italian spirit home with you.

Via della Scala 18

Grand Hotel Cavour Florence

Terrace living at Gallery Hotel Art (photo courtesy of Gallery Hotel Art)

Also in central Florence, the Grand Hotel Cavour is housed in a 13th-century mansion, with marble floors and impressive fixtures and frescoes to match. The soothing tones of the rooms are complemented with Florentine accents.

From breakfast under the stained glass windows and carvings of the breakfast room to Tuscan dinners at the restaurant, your culinary experiences will be as enjoyable as the visual ones. Look out over the famous Duomo from the Divina Terrazza rooftop and bar, or head to the basement for a speakeasy-style experience at the Secret Bar under ancient brick.

Via del Proconsolo 3

Golden Tower Hotel & Spa

The world-class spa at the Golden Tower Hotel

One of the most luxurious options on this list, the Golden Tower is a dream of Florence exemplified. Not only is this 19th-century building located in good company next to the famous Strozzi Palace, but that namesake noble Florentine family—the Strozzi were once rivals of the Medici—once called the Golden Tower home (their former quarters in the tower is now a suite).

The Golden Tower features 30 superior rooms and 11 suites each individually decorated yet offering a uniform and impeccable standard of comfort. Even the basic rooms feature minibars and Carrara marble bathrooms. Guests can enjoy the hotel's Golden Beauty & Spa, a world-class wellness center featuring whirlpool spas, saunas, Turkish baths, and massage centers.

11r, Piazza degli Strozzi

Gallery Hotel Art 

Photo courtesy of Gallery Hotel Art 

Gallery Hotel Art is part of the Lugarno Collection of the Ferragamo family of boutique Italian hotels (they have five just in Florence). The name of this solid lodging option isn't just for show, either—the lobby doubles as an art space, featuring rotating art exhibits throughout the year. The 74 rooms here are chic and tastefully decorated in unique styles, with Italian and Japanese motifs, and feature hardwood floors and mod-cons like Bose Bluetooth speakers and flat-screen TVs (but the cashmere blankets on the beds are the real selling points).

The hotel's Fusion Bar & Restaurant keeps the east-meets-west theme going with a winning mix of Japanese, Mediterranean, and Peruvian cuisines. The hotel has an indoor pool and spa as well as massage services and a jacuzzi. Also, Gallery Hotel Art's location in the city center is perfect, and the rooms have city views.

Vicolo dell'Oro, 5

Hotel Davanzati

Suite at the Hotel Davanzati (photo courtesy of Hotel Davanzati)

The Davanzati gets top marks for its great central location (just 50 yards from Signoria Square and 200 yards from the Duomo), intimate space, and personalized service. How could it not deliver stellar service? After all, this hotel has been family owned and operated since grandpa Marcelo bought the building in the late '60s. A renovation in 2002 transformed all 19 rooms into models of Tuscan comfort with all modern conveniences, including mini-fridges and flat-screen TVs.

The Davanzati is a more humble three-star option than other hotels on this list, but it's the place to come if you want to be treated like part of the family as opposed to just another tourist. 

Via Porta Rossa, 5

Ottantotto Firenze

A standard room at Villa Cora (photo courtesy of Villa Cora)

If you prefer a more rustic stay a bit outside of the main tourist areas, head to the Ottantotto Firenze. This historic property sits in the Oltrarno district and started life as the home of a Renaissance baker, later becoming a noble residence and philanthropic institution before arriving at today’s boutique lodging and garden.

Each of the seven rooms, distributed across four floors, has its own character. But the hotel’s unified atmosphere is that of a timeless, cozy space where contemporary accents and antique furniture can live side by side. Enjoy breakfast in the living room or garden, where you may meet the resident magpie, or sip wine and spirits from the honesty bar in the living room.

Via dei Serragli 88

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