My wife and two children and I stayed at the Hotel Orcagna this summer for about two weeks. We found that the rooms we had on the top floor were comfortable, spacious, and cool. The view from the balcony was perfect with a clear and unobstructed of the Brunelleschi's dome. The hotel is not in the center of the city, so for those who have trouble walking it may not be the best choice, but there are three bus lines nearby (#14 at one stop and #C2 and #C3 at another) so it was very easy for a family with two children to get to see the many important sites in Florence. The walk to Santa Croce is about ten minutes.
There are a number of excellent restaurants nearby including in particular the family-run
Osteria Cocotrippone on the Via Vincenzo Gioberti. While the restaurant specializes in traditional Italian meat dishes all of their pastas are excellent. I think we tried most of them.
Otherwise the neighborhood of the hotel is very quiet and safe. If you're staying for a while it is helpful that there are various kinds of stores nearby for clothing, toiletries, and such. Since this is a real neighborhood the prices are good as compared with the more touristy areas.
I run every day, so it was very nice that the Arno is nearby with long paths for running and walking.
The staff at the Orcagna is very friendly and helpful. They see city bus tickets if you need them although those are also available at local tabacchi. It was quite easy to find the bus stops on the return even at night. One reviewer I read before I made the reservation said that this was difficult and perhaps on the #14 it is harder in the dark but on the C2 and C3 it is easy as the stop is the last stop (capolinea) of the line. The only difficulty with the buses is making sure with the #14 that you get on the right one (there are several variants of the #14, #14, #14A, #14B, #14AB) to go back to the area of the Via Orcagna. The solution to this is to get a bus map. The buses themselves are fast and efficient as it is about an eight to ten minute ride to the Duomo.
Breakfast was excellent with cappuccino or cafe latte for the adults and freshly made chocolate milk for the children. The hotel offers yogurt, fruit, cheese and meat, cereal, orange juice, excellent cornetti (croissants) and jams of all sorts. The breakfast room is large enough and quite comfortable.
WiFi is available in each room. My only complaint is that at night it was very slow (3000 ms roundtrip for ping to www.google.com vs a more normal 55 ms in the morning). But then, when we needed it to check airplane reservations or use Skype in the morning it was quite good.
Overall the location of the hotel is excellent particularly for the summer as the area is cooler than many others. There is a useful elevator, though it does not (yet?) go to the top floor.
Excellent hotel, very good value, wonderful restaurants and gelateria (GELATERIA ERMINI B. & FIGLI on via Vincenzo Gioberti) in the neighborhood.
As for Florence itself there are so many things to see it is impossible to name them in any useful way, but I should mention the exhibit entitled the "Springtime of the Renaissance" at the Palazzo Strozzi (ending 18 August unfortunately, see http://www.palazzostrozzi.org/Path.jsp?idPath=22&idProgetto=2&idLinguaSito=2) This has many of the most famous works of the Florentine Renaissance well displayed but with few visitors.
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- Also Known As:
- Orcagna Hotel Florence