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“Amazing Hotel!”
Review of Hotel Florence

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Hotel Florence
Ranked #7 of 16 Hotels in Bellagio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 July 2009

Enchanting. Romantic. Beautiful + Gracious. Friendly. Welcoming= The Hotel Florence and it's owners and staff.

My husband stayed in room 43 at the Hotel Florence and it was everything that other Trip Advisor members said and more. The room reminded me like it was right out of "Under the Tuscan Sun" movie and the view from both balconies was breathtaking.

Upon arrival from the Ferry, which is 2 minutes walk to the hotel, our luggage was whisked to our room before we even reached the front desk. The hotel location is absolutely perfect and offers everything you could possibly wish for. They have an indoor bar/lounge which looks out onto the lake, a sidewalk cafe in front of the hotel and a waterside dining area. There are shops galore along with numerouse restaurants and cafes all along the walkway in varied prices ranges so you will definitely find something to fit your tastes and budget. In addition to the terrace in front of the hotel, they also have a beautiful garden in the back which is a perfect place to sit and relax and stay out of the sun. There is plenty to choose from in the included breakfast buffett and the fresh croissants, cheeses and fruit were among my favorites.

My favorite shop was Saraceno next door to the Hotel Florence. Michol, the owner, was so helpful and he offers gorgeous clothes, shoes, handbags and other items made by local artists and craft persons along with beautiful imported items from Paris and other areas.

Tips/Hints:
* Bring a converter with you. The hotel used to offer them, but as some guests forgot to leave them behind, they are unable to do that now. We forgot ours, but were able to buy one for 4 euros at the sporting goods store just around the corner.
* The food at the hotel is excellent, but try the Veruccio Borgo restaurant at the top of the hill for excellent Pizza, Minestrone soup and people watching.
* Try every flavor of Gelato while you are there! There is a restaurant near the car ferry, right on the water, that has gelato for 1 euro per scoop. Best price!
* Shop for silk scarves..they are gorgeous and well priced.
* Book lunch or dinner at the Locanda dell'Isola Comacina restaurant. They have a website, so you can make reservations two weeks prior to your arrival. It was, without a doubt, our favorite part of our trip to the Como area.
*Spend a day checking out Menaggio, Varenna and Lenno with a Ferry day pass. It's about about 11 euros per person and you can take the ferry to each city and shop, eat and sightsee. Varenna is perhaps one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. While in Varenna, go to the Monastery for a gorgeous walk thru botanical gardens. Please note though that the Monastery itself is only open on weekends and during the week your entrance fee will only allow you into the gardens.
*Plan your shopping accordingly, in Menaggio the shops all close during the lunch hours for two hours.
*While in Bellagio, walk to the Villa Melzi to learn more about the history of the region. The gardens are beautiful and you will see former livery stables, the family chapel and artificats from when Napolean lived there. Please note that the actual villa is not open for viewing.
*Bring comfortable walking shoes as eveything is cobblestone and you will be going up and down stairs for everything. Explore each and every stairway as each offers wonderful shops and restaurants with gorgeous handcrafted items ranging from Christmas ornaments to paintings.
*There are a couple of banks, but they open late and close around 3pm. Use your debit/credit card for purchases or exchange cash as the fees on traveler's checks are a bit hefty, but that is common everywhere.
*If you are a tourist, ask each store for a VAT receipt. This is a pain at the airport, but you can get quite a bit of money back. Allow an extra hour at the airport to deal with VAT refunds and have patience because they do make you jump thru hoops. If you want to mail it in, do not forget to go to the VAT office and have them stamped because you won't get a refund without those.
*The locals are absolutely lovely and a smile will get you far!
*Bellagio is quite windy, so for the ladies, be aware if packing sundresses. Maxi dresses seemed to be quite popular.
* There is a small gift stand near the car ferry on the way to Villa Melzi that offers tshirts, postcards and souvenirs for more than 1/2 off of what the boutiques were selling them for.
* There is a tourist office at the ferry terminal and they offer several brochures that will self quide you on walking tours..from just around the main area to the hills and towns East of Bellagio. My husband and I did this and we had a wonderful time exploring churches, seeing villas and towns and meeting people.
*The hotel is a hot spot, but you need to bring your own computer if you need it (why you would I don't know!!), but if you do not have one, there is an internet cafe just around the corner where you can buy time.
*Go to the cafe at the top of the stairs, just outside the hotel, for the most wonderful cappucino and people watching in Bellagio.
* Plan on being in one of the most romantic and beautiful areas in Italy!

We will definitely come back again!!

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank klynnega
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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439 - 445 of 616 reviews

Reviewed 22 June 2009

I would agree with a previous reviewer that the best thing about the Hotel Florence is its views, and if you don't get one from your room then you would be missing out on one of the main reasons for staying there. However, knowing the layout of the hotel, I can't imagine there are many rooms with no view at all. We had to book a room "without lake view" when we made our reservation 3 months in advance as all the lake view rooms were taken (we were going in early June which is out of season, so take that as a warning to book as early as possible as this is a popular place). However when we arrived, we found that our room was at the side of the building and from our balcony, we had a beautiful view of the lake (see photo), albeit not as panoramic as the rooms at the front.

The furnishings were a modern take on antique - classic furniture reupholstered in bright colours, plus we had a beautiful old mirrored wardrobe. The bed was comfortable, the room was a reasonable size with a high ceiling that made it feel bigger and the bathroom was so spotless that it looked like it had just been installed. The public spaces were beautifully furnished, very spacious and relaxed. There were lovely views from the hallways as we walked between our room and the stairway.

Breakfast was good but probably standard for the area (cold buffet with a good selection, plus hot bacon and scrambled eggs which were nice and creamy!).

In my opinion, the unsung hero of the hotel is its restaurant, both in terms of its unbeatable location, the quality of its food and the friendly service. We ate at about half a dozen places during our stay, including two restaurants which rate highly on the TA list for Bellagio, and the Hotel Florence restaurant stood head and shoulders above the rest for the quality of its food. Prices are fairly high but so are most of the places along the waterfront. If you want to enjoy its location without paying for the food though, I would recommend an early evening glass of prosecco (4 Euro a glass) at a waterside table - you can drink there without eating until 7pm when the tables have to be vacated for diners. Drinks are served with generous snacks - bruschetta, olives and crisps - and the early evening sunlight on the lake is magical.

The only reason not to stay at the Hotel Florence would be if you were on a really tight budget, or if you especially wanted a hotel with a pool, which we really envied at the Villa Serbelloni next door on those hot days!

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank GDL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2009

The Hotel Florence is in a great old building - or pair of buildings - on the lakefront. Rather than being faded grandeur, they've kept all the best old features and added some nice touches with the decor. We really liked the marble slabs for the floors and stairs, and all the old woodwork.

The bar downstairs was pleasant if not all that cheap at current £/€ exchange rates. However the drinks came with a surprising quantity of food (bruschetta, olives, crisps etc) so not bad value overall. The restaurant has a beautiful lakeside terrace, although we did not get the chance to eat there.

Breakfast was quite good, if not quite the spread you get at the big American chains, and served in a lovely vaulted room.

The room itself was a good size with a nice bathroom - newly refurbished and immaculate, with good quality toiletries.

At the back of the hotel you are however exposed to the enthusiastic bell ringing at the village church behind from a fairly early hour and at regular intervals thereafter.

No parking at the hotel but we found it easy enough to park on the street to the side. Driving to Bellagion was another matter... not really recommended if you can take a bus or a boat instead. The road up from Como is horrendous and can only really be taken at 25-30 mph.

Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
Thank Ringraider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2009

We recently spent 4 nights here.Splendid location,with some beautiful gardens to visit using the regular boat service.
All the staff were really helpful, and friendly.Breakfast was excellent.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Brian G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2009

A fabulous hotel in the most beautiful place I have ever visited. Lake Como, the surrounding towns and Bellagio itself were as expected and absolutely beautiful. No surprises there! Although public transport was a bit of a puzzle, we found that travelling from Malpensa Airport by train, stopping at Saronno, then on to Como Nord Lago and then by boat to Bellagio was not too bad but timings are staggered and involves a lot of investigating and planning before hand. Mind you the extra work makes the place that much more special. We heard that travelling by car to the area can be just as difficult (the treacherous roads don't help) so be prepared! When we got to the Hotel Florence we were impressed from the word go. Lovely room, no bath (this didn't bother us), wonderful view, great service, top notch breakfast, and brilliant location. Could not fault this hotel. The staff were particularly helpful in travel information as well as letting us use the computer to print off boarding passes, it seemed like they could not do enough to please everyone staying. I loved this place. Will definitely go again, need time to save though, the Euro makes our pound feel very weak in Bellagio!

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with friends
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2  Thank nvh100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2009

Pros: Beautiful room with balcony overlooking the lake, antique furniture, wonderful breakfast, lovely restaurant

Cons: Check-in staff was unfriendly, bathroom smelled of sewage (poor plumbing) so we kept the bathroom door closed, no parking (but public parking nearby)

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank SFtoSD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2009

This was our favorite hotel and location out of our recent time in Italy. Hotel Florence is right on Lake Como, our room faced the lake and had a LARGE balcony where we enjoyed sitting and observing the beauty. We found the room to be a perfect size, actually rather large for Europe, and the free wi-fi internet access a definite PLUS!

The gave us a discount for paying cash, so make sure if you are interested in doing that you make an inquiry to see if that option is available. The location is perfect as it is directly across from the ferry which can take you to various other locations on the lake.

We found the staff very helpful and fluent in English, the breakfast room and food provided were good...overall this was a very pleasant experience and we would DEFINITELY stay here again!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Location
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2  Thank SCVDeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Florence

Address: Piazza Giuseppe Mazzini 46, 22021 Bellagio, Italy
Region: Italy > Lombardy > Lake Como > Bellagio
Hotel Style:
#8 Family Hotel in Bellagio
#8 Romantic Hotel in Bellagio
Price Range: £138 - £143 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 30
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Also Known As:
Florence Hotel Bellagio
Hotel Florence Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy

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