National Geographic Traveller (UK)

Best for hipsters



Enter the Oltrarno Splendid and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled onto a Wes Anderson film set, with its peeling paintwork and retro, pastel-hued furniture. But head into the bedrooms and you’ll realise you’re somewhere else entirely. Local designer and co-owner Betty Soldi (who’s also behind nearby AdAstra and SoprArno Suites) has taken a 19th-century palazzo, left the paintwork, cracked flooring and frescoes as they were and added swish bathrooms, battered maps and old movie posters. The effect is a glorious mishmash of eras and styles. Nab the king deluxe room, a former artist’s studio, and revel in glimpses of the Palazzo Pitti, the Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio. You’ll also be right by Piazza Santo Spirito, one of the centres of Florence’s nightlife. ROOMS: From €119 (£101), B&B. oltrarnosp­

Best for bargain-hunters


Almost everything you see here — from the bedframes and cupboards to the tables and lights — is an upcycled heirloom belonging to the owners, twin sisters Carolina and Giulia Troni. This third-floor apartment overlookin­g the Arno was their childhood home, so you’ll find nonna’s heavy wardrobe transforme­d into a chic wallpaper-clad seat and their parents’ room morphed into a Balithemed retreat. Everything was restyled by local artisans, including headboards shaped to look like Florence’s famous churches and a chandelier made from old gas pipes. Only two rooms have en suite bathrooms; the others are private, but located elsewhere on the property.

ROOMS: From €80 (£68), B&B.

Best for old romantics


Back in the day, the Medici family used to head for their country estates to avoid the summer heat. Palazzo della Gherardesc­a, now home to the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, was one such property — and although the city’s expansion means this is no longer a rural escape, it remains as bucolic as ever, with 11 acres of garden, an outdoor pool and alcoves for al fresco dining. There’s also a Michelin-starred restaurant, Il Palagio. The palazzo is a living museum, with original 15th-century frescoes and bas-reliefs on display, and the 116 individual­ly decorated rooms feature marble furnishing­s, huge beds and Bulgari toiletries.

ROOMS: From €786 (£671). fourseason­

Best for rooms with a view


From the rooftop of the Continenta­le, Florence unfurls around you: take in the Duomo, Giotto’s Campanile and the hulking Palazzo Pitti, all enfolded by cypress-studded hills. It’s perhaps the most spectacula­r spot for a drink in the city, not least because you’re teetering over the Ponte Vecchio — the hotel sits right on the bridge’s edge, over the Arno. Downstairs are gorgeous rooms with a subtle 1950s feel, featuring gauzy drapes hanging across oversized windows and chairs made to look like vintage trunks. Ask for a river-facing room for views of the Ponte Vecchio.

ROOMS: From €250 (£213). lungarnoco­

Best for exclusive access


The lush grounds of Palazzo Torrigiani are among the largest privately owned city-centre gardens in Europe. And while they’re closed to the public, guests of AdAstra Florence can enjoy free private tours — a perk of staying in the owner’s home. Occupying the top two floors of this 16th-century palazzo, rented from the Torrigiani family who live below, the hotel’s rooms combine edgy pop art with original floors, stuccoed ceilings and freestandi­ng tubs. The first-floor wraparound terrace overlookin­g the garden is the star draw. ROOMS: From €129 (£110), B&B. adastraflo­

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