After having stayed in Florence for a couple of days with friends, I joined my partner in the 25hours Hotel Piazza San Paolino for the remainder of the trip. The hotel is perfectly located on Piazza San Paolino, surrounded by all major sightseeing spots – cute shops and charming trattorias – in the heart of Florence yet secluded without the overwhelming crowds of tourists. It is a perfect home-away-from-home just less than 5 minutes walk from Arno River.
The 25hours brand aims to embed their hotels into a local context. The Florence Hotel was unveiled – quite recently in 2021 – coinciding with the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri. Thus, the hotel’s design is inspired by Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’. Visitors are taken for a journey through wonders of Dante’s Inferno and Paradiso. This incredible place is filled with vintage furniture, furnishings, artisan artefacts and plenty of greenery.
The designer and architect, Paola Navone playfully connected various textures and colours forming a unique experience – a trip around Florence’s past and present. She created a space that will inspire every visitor, which we believe is a must for any good hotel.
This specious hotel is located in the building of a former Monte dei Pegni, pawnshop run by priests, and an annex connected through corridors and courtyards. Paola worked her imagination to engage all senses. For example, rooms are named after various characters of Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’. Their stories are told separately at the entrance of each room. Visitors can spend a night in heaven or in hell. We stayed in paradise, which featured whites and light blues and the most heavenly, sunny balcony filled with herbs and seasonal flowers.
We really appreciated the hotel guide, which we found on the console in our room. It compiled personal recommendations with useful Florentine addresses and tips.
We had already considered visiting a nearby town of Fiesole and after reading that it was among the suggestions of the hotel’s General Manager, we decided to give it a go. We boarded the local bus No7 and after a short and bumpy ride with breathtaking views we reached a sleepy, hilltop town of Fiesole in the hills above the city. After 2-3 hours of wondering around and absorbing magical views, cute houses and cypress trees we were back in Florence. Fiesole is a perfect get-away for anyone who wants to get a glimpse of Tuscan landscape without venturing too far away from Florence.
The following day, we visited Boboli Gardens, which was also recommended by the Hotel. They are located just behind the Pitti Palace across the river. The Medici family created the layout of the gardens and thus, created the Italian garden style that later served as an inspiration across Europe. The dynasties of Habsburg-Lorraine and Savoy developed the layout further and extended the boundaries of the gardens. If you love lush green spaces and good views Boboli Gardens are a must!
What we loved about our stay:
- atmosphere – easy going elegance and all-round creative energy;
- relaxing at one of the amazing communal spaces from the restaurant under the dome, urban garden courtyard, lounge, bar, library, cinema, etc. & the mix of locals and guests who mingle around;
- the buffet-style breakfast and the lunch with the Italian specialties;
- location! Next to all main hotspots and 5 mins walk from the railway station;
- very welcoming staff.
Back in Brussels, we already miss our Florentine experience and cannot wait to catch a plane towards Tuscany again. For more photos, visit the 25hours Hotel stories highlights on our @europolitans Instagram profile. Special note to our readers: If you’re planning a stay in one of the cities with a 25hours hotel, make sure to use the promo code 25h_almosthome which gives you 15% discount on the best flexible rate if you book via hotel website.