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Best neighborhood for short time in Florence

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Best neighborhood for short time in Florence

Hi!

My hubby and I are looking to spend our 10 yr anniversary in Italy (a total of 9-11 days) with stops in Florence, Rome and Venice.

We wanted to spend 4-5 days in Florence with a possible day trip to Cinque Terre. Is this doable?

Which neighborhoods are best for us to rent a room or apt? We would like something that is safe, authentic and walkable.

Thanks

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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1. Re: Best neighborhood for short time in Florence

The historic centre of Florence is all very safe and walkable, if you want somewhere a bit less touristy then have a look at the Oltrarno, south of the river.

Florence
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2. Re: Best neighborhood for short time in Florence

peggypatch,

I know lots of people on this board do it, but I really think it is not useful to refer to the Oltrarno genetically - as though it were all this rustic, old, working-class neighborhood that somehow has escaped the attentions of tourists. In fact, based on my deliberately limited experience, the Via Guicciardini may well be the most touristified street anywhere in Florence, and much of the area north of the Pitti has been largely taken over for use by tourists. You really have to get west of the Ponte alla Trinita, and even the Ponte alla Carraia, or east of the Ponte alla Grazie before you really get into the Oltrano com'era.

And, in fact, there are large areas north of the river that are still, largely working class, rustic areas that have largely escaped the attention of tourists. Just to give one example: Much of the area west of the Via Tornabuoni and south of the railroad station.

Florence Italy
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3. Re: Best neighborhood for short time in Florence

We like the neighborhood in and around Piazza d'Azeglio. We here at Artviva know it very, very well.

It's still in the center (but only just), and it teems with Florentines who actually live there. It's within walking distance of fabu restaurants, as well as great bars for apertivi (and near the splendid Mercato Sant'Ambrogio).

The park is also lovely --- one of the few truly green spots in the centro storico, and it's always filled with locals, screaming children (there's a small playground), and yapping dogs.

Totally safe, authentic, and highly walkable.

We hope this helps.

(Screaming children screaming with joy, that is.)

Edited: 24 May 2013, 15:55
Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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4. Re: Best neighborhood for short time in Florence

Uncletomaso, I offered my opinion of a quieter area based on my own experience. I have stayed in the centre many times and on the Oltrarno a couple of times, I found them to be very different experiences and the Oltrarno to be quieter. I don't believe I said anything to suggest that the Oltrarno has completely escaped tourism, is rustic or working-class, I just that 'it is a bit less touristy'. I'm not sure how this is contentious or 'not useful'. It is my genuine experience.

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5. Re: Best neighborhood for short time in Florence

Piazza Azeglio is lovely, AND it's adjacent to my favorite neighborhood - Sant'Ambrogio (where you'll find the wonderful Mercato di Sant'Ambrogio that ArtViva mentioned). This neighborhood isn't brimming with hotels but there are lots of cozy b&b's and apartments to rent. Between Sant'Ambrogio and Piazza Azeglio, it's about as local and authentic as you can find "inside the walls" on that side of the river. Or... you could take PeggyPatch's good advice and head for the Oltrarno, which indeed means "other side of the Arno" regardless of the genetic make-up of the people who live and stay there. The Oltrarno neighborhoods of San Frediano and San Niccolò are certainly charming and real, and a tad less lively than Sant'Ambrogio.

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6. Re: Best neighborhood for short time in Florence

peggypatch

I really think it makes sense to be more specific. Some places in the Oltrarno are quieter than some places north of the river. Some most definitely are not. The Via Guiccardini is consistently just about the noisiest street in town.

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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7. Re: Best neighborhood for short time in Florence

I would imagine there are quiet and noisy streets in most neighbourhoods Uncletomaso. I agree that particular street is busy and I have, in the past, advised people on this forum not to stay on it. The question was a general one about neighbourhoods and I answered it in a similarly general way, based on my own experience. I am pleased that others, including yourself, have suggested other areas. The OP has received a number of useful suggestions of areas to look into further and will perhaps come back to us again with more specific questions.

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8. Re: Best neighborhood for short time in Florence

If you will be in Florence on June 22, we are signed up for Cinque Terre day trip with Avventure Bellisime--

There may be room for two more people. Just contact them.

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Best neighborhood for short time in Florence

As Peggypatch suggests, stay in the Otrano, we were there last week and loved it. Near enough to the historic center of Florence, yet a quite less traveled area. We were close to some of the best restaurants we ate at during our Italian trip, some lovely shops and galleries. Loved it and will stay there again.

10. Re: Best neighborhood for short time in Florence

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