Where to stay in Florence is a common question for who is traveling here, therefore here you go our guide.
The neighborhoods of the Oltrarno area of Florence, across the Arno from the main historical center of Florence, is one of the most local areas of the city to stay in, while at the same time conveniently located within 10-15 minute walking distance of all the main sites of Florence. In the Oltrarno, you will find the charming neighborhoods of San Niccolò, Santo Spirito, and San Frediano, all with nice local dining and shopping options. The area between Santo Spirito and San Frediano is still home to the artisans workshops typical of the area for centuries, where you will find woodworkers, jewelers, and gilders practicing their masterful trades. The Oltrarno area has many of the most local dining options of Florence, as well as the most lively nightlife in the area around Piazza Santo Spirito. And don’t forget to visit Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens!
The neighborhood of Santa Croce, at the eastern section of Florence’s historical center, is known in particular for its leather shops and factories, as well as streets filled with small local boutiques and other artisans such as cobblers and weavers/fabric designers. The Church of Santa Croce is a significant site within the history of Florence, with legends of history entombed within its walls, such as Macchiavelli and Dante. Santa Croce is also home to the Bargello Museum, a unique site to experience the medieval history of Florence in this early-13th-century palazzo that was once the headquarters and home of the Captain of the People and later the Podesta’ during the the rise of the merchant class city-state in Florence. It later became a prison. Today the museum contains important masterpieces of art from the history of Florence.
Duomo and Piazza della Signoria
The epicenter of the city of Florence is in the area around the Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio. This neighborhood of the city will be the most crowded and bustling with action in terms of where to stay. The streets emanating from these main sites, extending from Piazza della Repubblica, are lined with the most sumptuous designer shops and sophisticated cafes. For a less touristy neighborhood near these sites, consider a stay in the area around Piazza San Marco.The convent of San Marco is a must-see when in Florence to view the famous frescoes by Far Angelico, including his famous “Annunciation.” IN the area of San Marco you will find more local shopping and dining options and slightly less crowds.
Santa Maria Novella and Borgo San Lorenzo
This is the neighborhood closest to the Santa Maria Novella Train Station. This is a crowded yet central area, connecting the train station to the open air markets of Borgo San Lorenzo, where you will find the Mercato Centrale. Among the merchant stalls of Borgo San Lorenzo are rows and rows of leather goods, clothing, jewelry, and souvenirs. This is a fairly touristy area, but is central and lively with many historical sites to see, among them the famous Last Supper fresco by Renaissance master Domenico Ghirlandaio and the Medici Chapels at the church of Borgo San Lorenzo. Although this area is not known for particularly local places to eat, two of our local favorites can be found here: the newly renovated Mercato Centrale, for its regional food stalls, and Trattoria Zaza at Piazza del Mercato Centrale 26r for Florentine favorites.