Hotel Brunelleschi – Boutique hotel in a stunning Byzantine tower and church.
History buffs will love Hotel Brunelleschi’s buildings – the medieval church and sixth-century Byzantine tower are extraordinary even for Florence. Refurbished in 2012, the hotel’s décor is elegantly modern, with glass and chrome offsetting the historic features. The service is wonderfully helpful and the suites even get their own butler. The rooms offer parquet floors, plush and dramatic headboards, fine linen sheets, and nice extras like coffee-table books and video games. Some benefit from glorious views of the nearby Duomo. The suites are quite extravagant with an array of VIP perks, chandeliers, and whirlpool baths. The bar and two restaurants, including the exclusive Santa Elisabetta (recognized in the Michelin guide), are located in the atmospheric Byzantine tower. The hotel has a small fitness center and even a museum about the historic site in the basement.
Hotel Brunelleschi – Location
- Address: Piazza Santa Elisabetta, 3 Firenze 50122.
- Area: Fantastic central location, by the Duomo. The maze of historic streets are full of restaurants, bars, and artisan shops, with high fashion on Via de’ Tornabuoni just a 5-minute walk (0.3 mile) away. The big sights are all strollable: the Duomo is a 3-minute walk (0.1 mile), while Piazza della Signoria and the Ponte Vecchio lie 3 minutes (0.2 mile) and 7 minutes (0.3 mile) away respectively. The main train and bus station, Stazione Santa Maria Novella, is a 12-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- How to Get There: From Florence Airport, Peretola, you can take the T2 tram; it’s a 20-minute trip to the terminus at Unità at only €1.50, then a 10-minute walk (0.5 mile) to the hotel. From Pisa International Airport, trains and buses both run to Stazione Santa Maria Novella, a 12-minute walk (0.6 mile) from the hotel. The station itself is a common arrival point from within Italy. To minimize walking from Santa Maria Novella/Unità, you could walk to nearby Stazione Orti Oricellari and take the C2 bus to Roma Duomo (0.1 mile), or take a taxi.
- Private Transfer: We use and recommend Welcome Pickups car service. Booking through a private car service will cost only a bit more than a taxi – about €50 from Florence Airport and about €180 from Pisa International Airport – but can be worth it to avoid the long taxi queue and for the convenience of paying ahead.
- Handy to: Duomo, Galleria degli Uffizi, Galleria dell’Accademia.
Hotel Brunelleschi – The Basics
- Ages: Guests tend to be international, 40s and up, including families, looking for a special or romantic stay. Children are welcome.
- View: Gorgeous views of the Duomo or picturesque surrounding streets from some rooms.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: The Pool Suite has 2 private jacuzzis, including one on the terrace. All suites come with jacuzzis.
- Laundry: Laundry, dry cleaning, and ironing services are available (extra charge).
- Parking: Valet parking to a local private garage. Note that driving in Florence is not fun, especially in the narrow central streets, and walking will get you most places faster.
- Extras: 24-hour front desk and 2 Clés d’Or concierges. Turn-down service is available. Striking, elegant lobby and salotti (reception lounges). Well-stocked gluten-free minibar, coffee and tea-making facilities, coffee-table books, and video games are available in the rooms as well as complimentary Maison Dr Vranjes toiletries, slippers, and hairdryers in the bathrooms. Archaeological museum with tours on offer in the basement. Suite & More VIP Program for all suites, including private check-in with Prosecco, flowers, sweet treats, and fruits in the suite, a la carte breakfast in Santa Elisabetta restaurant, and your own dedicated concierge.
- When to Book: Book 3-4 months in advance for the summer high season.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +39 0552 7370
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: brunelleschihotelflorence.com
Hotel Brunelleschi – Amenities
- Pool: No pool.
- Spa: No spa.
- Fitness Center: Small, decent fitness center. Open 8am to 9pm.
- For Disabled Guests: There is step-free access from the street, corridors are step-free, and there are 5 elevators serving all the rooms. There are also 5 specially adapted rooms with extra space and walk-in showers. Note, however, there are stairs inside some rooms and there is no step-free access to Restaurant Santa Elisabetta.
- For Families: Cribs are available for free. Extra beds may be added in Deluxe rooms and above at €49 per night for a child aged 3-12 and €72 per night for 13 and over.
- Other Facilities: Pets are welcome (no extra charge).
Hotel Brunelleschi – Food and Drink
- Restaurants: Osteria della Pagliazza serves reinvented Tuscan cuisine on the ground floor of the 6th-century Torre della Pagliazza and in the pretty square outside. There is a 4-course tasting menu daily. Open daily 12:30-2:30pm and 7:30-10:30pm. $$-$$$. • Santa Elisabetta offers highly exclusive and romantic Italian gourmet dining up in the tower, with only 7 tables. Recognized by the Michelin guide. Tasting menus start at €79 for 5 courses. Open 7:30-10:30pm Tuesday-Saturday. Do book ahead, especially for Friday and Saturday. $$$$.
- Lounge/Bar: The Tower Bar is glamorous and serves a great spritz. Aperitivo hour is 5-7pm every day for €10 per person.
- Breakfast: Fantastic continental breakfast is served 7-10:30am in the lovely Salone Liberty and Sala del Pozzo. It can be included in the room rate, otherwise, it is €20 per person. Expect a lavish spread of cheeses, organic jams, home-baked cakes, fresh juices, and hot food including sausages, eggs, and roast potatoes.
- Room Service: 24-hour room service is available.
Hotel Brunelleschi – Rooms
- Room Types: Classic Double/Twin • Superior Double • Deluxe Double/Twin • Deluxe Panorama • Family • Junior Suite • Suite • Pool Suite • Pagliazza Tower Suite • Penthouse Apartment • List of all Rooms
- Smoking Rooms: Hotel Brunelleschi is 100% smoke-free.
- Best Room: Rooms are highly individual. The Deluxe Panorama is a wonderfully romantic room for a couple, with a cocoon-feel bedroom profiting from 4-way views. The Pagliazza Tower Suite is extraordinary, taking up 66m² across 2 floors of the Byzantine tower, with panoramic views, specially designed furniture, and a jacuzzi in the living room. It is possible to book both the Bargello and Duomo Suites as a 115m² Penthouse Apartment.
- For Families: Extra beds can be accommodated in Deluxe Doubles and larger rooms. It is possible to reserve interconnecting rooms. Deluxe Doubles sleep 3 people, Junior Suites also 3, Suites sleep up to 4, and Family rooms are composed of 2 Deluxe Doubles and so sleep up to 6.
Hotel Brunelleschi – Local Transport
- Walking: Walking in Florence is a pleasure as well as the most efficient way to get to most places. The big attractions are all within easy reach: the Duomo is a 3-minute walk (0.1 mile), the Piazza della Signoria is 3 minutes (0.2 mile), and the Ponte Vecchio is 7 minutes (0.3 mile). The main train and bus station, Stazione Santa Maria Novella, is 12 minutes (0.6 mile) away.
- Tram and Bus: Both operate from a hub at Stazione Santa Maria Novella. Local buses, run by ATAF and Linea, serve the city from here e.g. the C2 runs to Roma Duomo, 2 minutes (0.1 mile) from the hotel, and then east across the city center to Piazza Beccaria. Two tram lines also operate, connecting the suburbs to the city center; the T2 is particularly useful, as it runs from nearby Unità directly to Florence Airport, Peretola. Intercity and international train and bus services also run from here, including to Pisa International Airport.
- Taxis: A taxi from Florence Airport to the hotel will take around 20-30 minutes and cost €22, with a €1 charge per bag. One from Stazione Santa Maria Novella will cost around €10-12. While Uber is not available, other taxi apps exist, the biggest being Free Now. Note: Walking will get you to most places within the city more easily.
Hotel Brunelleschi – What’s Nearby?
Recommended Nearby Tours
- Curious Appetite – Italian-American food writer Coral Sisk and her knowledgeable team run a variety of private and small-group tours around the city, focusing on gourmet experiences from markets to aperitivi and gelato to progressive Tuscan food. Tours start at around 2.5-3 hours and $105 per person. Starting point depends on the tour.
- Florencetown Boat Tour – See the city from a whole new angle, cruising down the river in a barchetto (a traditional Florentine gondola). Tours depart at 5pm and 6pm and last around 1 hour, long enough to enjoy a chilled glass of wine. The departure point is the Florencetown Tours & News Stand on Piazza della Repubblica (0.1 mile).
Best Nearby Restaurants
- Irene – Retro chic bistro with a terrace on Piazza della Repubblica, owned by Hotel Savoy. Celebrity Chef Fulvio Pierangelini serves up creative delights like octopus, beetroot and radicchio salad, sweet pumpkin ravioli, and ice cream. (0.1 mile).
- Ora d’Aria – Michelin-starred Tuscan chef Marco Stabile balances tradition and innovation in his gourmet menu at ‘Hour of Air’, and very refreshing it is, too. The lunch menu is a selection of ‘Tuscan tapas’ or small plate servings of dishes like pigeon cooked three ways with foie gras. Reserve in advance. (0.3 mile).
- La Ménagère – Super cool space in San Lorenzo housing a restaurant, café, downstairs jazz venue, and even a flower and homeware shop. Great choice for breakfast through to cocktails and dinner. (0.3 mile).
- Trattoria Mario – A local legend by Mercato Centrale, well worth the walk. It’s a packed, family-owned spot that’s been feeding hungry locals Tuscan specialties since 1953. The bistecca alla fiorentina is one of the best in town. Open for lunch only. (0.4 mile).
- Enoteca Pinchiorri – Tuscany’s only Michelin 3-star restaurant inside a grand palazzo hotel. Chef Annie Féolde uses French techniques to create sophisticated Tuscan-based cuisine – think pigeon in a cocoa bean crust and risotto with sea scallops and roasted veal marrow. Tasting menus start at 7 dishes for €275. Book well in advance. (0.4 mile).
- Berberè – Hip, raw brick pizza place that simply sells organic sourdough pizza and craft beer to a cool, young crowd of fans. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile) to the Santa Croce branch.
- Caffè Cibrèo – Florentine superstar chef Fabio Picchi runs this block in Santo Croce, with no less than 5 restaurants, including the dinner theater experience that is Teatro del Sale and Tuscan fusion dim sum at Ciblèo. Check out Caffè Cibrèo for a lovely Tuscan breakfast, a light lunch, and 3 set menus at dinner (€40–60). The emphasis is on seasonal ingredients and great service. (0.6 mile).
- Il Santo Bevitore – Enjoy classy modern Tuscan food by candlelight in this stylish, vaulted venue. Highlights include handmade pasta with spicy nduja sausage and a delicious wine list. Do book ahead, or arrive early, as it is a favorite with locals. (0.6 mile).
- La Cova – Munch authentic Spanish tapas and pintxos and sip yummy Cava at the bar of this cool Santo Spirito location. The menu changes regularly, so there are usually new delights to discover. (0.7 mile).
- Essenziale – Hip warehouse restaurant where young chef Simone Cipriani reinvents Tuscan cuisine with an international edge. Intriguing dishes such as olive oil ice cream with meringue are brought to you and explained by the chefs. The tasting menus are 6 courses for €65 and 8 courses for €80. Reserve in advance. (0.8 mile).
- #RAW – Bringing raw vegan food and minimalist style to meat-loving Florence, #RAW is a real departure from the norm. Nourishing salads, gently warmed burgers, and tacos are on offer, to be washed down with cold-pressed juices or smoothies. (0.8 mile).
- La Leggenda dei Frati – The chicest dinner-with-a-view in Florence, located on a hill in Giardino Bardini. The cuisine is Michelin-starred gastronomic Italian and worth it if your budget can handle it – tasting menus range from €115 to €140. Reserve in advance. (0.7 mile).
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- La Terrazza – Super swanky rooftop bar perched on the Hotel Continentale. Definitely pricey – think €20 per cocktail – but the panoramic views over the Ponte Vecchio are divine. (0.3 mile).
- Amblé – Hip hangout with colorful furniture (that you can buy) and its own radio station. Great for a cocktail at aperitivo hours, when it gets busy, and tramezzini (Italian sandwiches) any time. (0.4 mile).
- Manifattura – Central cocktail bar with vintage style and music. Come celebrate all drinks Italian with noted mixologist Fabiano Buffolini – try one of many negronis – along with tasty small plates of Tuscan food. (0.4 mile).
- Angie’s Pub – Friendly, good value central bar. People come for the relaxed vibe and decent beer selection, and on weekends, for the DJs who perform till late. (0.4 mile).
- Le Volpi e l’Uva – Brilliant, unassuming wine bar/bottle shop by the Ponte Vecchio. Head here for aperitivo to try exciting wines sourced from small Italian producers, paired with delightful crostone (toasted sandwiches) and cheese or meat platters. The knowledgeable staff also runs wine tastings. (0.5 mile).
- PanicAle – Hipster bar by Mercato Centrale, where the kind staff delights fans of craft beer and inventive cocktails. (0.5 mile).
- Enoteca Pitti Gola e Cantina – Sample handpicked Tuscan and other Italian wines from small producers with a view of the spectacular Palazzo Pitti. Enoteca also offers a seasonal food menu and wine tasting flights. The team recently opened the lovely restaurant Osteria dell’Enoteca not far away. (0.6 mile).
- Il Santino – Small but mighty wine bar owned by neighboring Il Santo Bevitore. Great place for a glass of wine or artisanal beer with friends. The menu also suggests food pairings to go with your wine, focusing on cheeses and cured meats; there are also more substantial small dishes. Note: It gets very busy during aperitivo hours. (0.6 mile).
- Love Craft – Dedicated whisky bar in cool San Frediano, with a serious collection from €5 a glass. (0.6 mile).
- MAD – Souls and Spirits – Tiny but very warm place, with the kindest bartenders serving inventive, and most importantly, madly delicious craft cocktails. (0.7 mile).
Best Nearby Cafes
- Caffè Rivoire – Historic, elegant café with a lovely terrace right on Piazza della Signoria (though it’s pricier than the bar inside). Famous for delicious chocolates and negronis. (0.2 mile).
- Ditta Artigianale – Florence’s no.1 specialty coffee bar and roaster. Attracts crowds of hipsters with its delicious coffee, decent food, and laid-back air. They also boast a killer gin selection (over 150 types). 8-minute walk (0.4 mile) to the central branch on Via dei Neri and 10-minute walk (0.5 mile) to the Oltrarno branch.
- La Cité – Cool and eclectic café/bookshop/jazz lounge. Great for a coffee in the day, a cocktail at night, and deep conversations any time. (0.6 mile).
Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops
- Benheart – Gorgeous handmade leather shoes, jackets, and accessories for men and women from local star Ben, who founded the company after a heart transplant. 1-minute walk (100m) to the flagship store on Via dei Calzaiuoli.
- Luisaviaroma – Swish, eye-catching boutique carrying men’s and women’s designer ware, along with more niche brands. There’s a cool first-floor café if you need a break from all the shopping. (0.1 mile).
- Flow Store – Luxury and vintage clothes for men and women in a deeply cool exposed-brick setting. Flow also sells books and music and hosts events. (0.2 mile).
- Via de’ Tornabuoni – Florence’s most glittering parade of boutiques starts at the Ferragamo flagship store and museum by the river. Get your fix of luxury brands, especially Italian ones, here. (0.3 mile).
- Via della Spada – High-end and fashion forward boutiques are the name of the game here. Check out quirky accessories and homewares at Mio Concept, vintage designer pieces at Marie Antoinette, and the chicest of hats at Grevi. (0.3 mile).
- Borgo San Jacopo – Oltrarno, the south bank of the river, is known for its artisans and antique shops. Start exploring on Borgo San Jacopo, with leather-look washable paper bags at Uashmama, Tuscan wines and other foodie gifts at Obsequium, and vintage clothes and jewelry at 9 ROSSO Firenze. (0.4 mile).
- Via dei Fossi – Another great location for arty boutiques and antique shops. Find vintage glamor at Epoca, beautiful dresses and bags at Atelier C, and impeccable made-to-measure suits at Sartoria Vanni. (0.5 mile).
- Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella – The grandest pharmacy you’re ever likely to see, the Officina was founded in 1612 by the local Dominican monks. It still sells traditional herbal remedies as well as luxury skincare and perfumes, all in a beautiful 19th-century interior. Great for gifts. (0.5 mile).
- Bjork – Nordic-style white, airy concept store selling everything from stylish clothes to art, photographs, and books in Oltrarno. (0.6 mile).
- Leonardo – Family-run artisan biscuit shop in Santa Croce, specializing in amazing Florentine cantucci since 1960. It’s unlike any biscotti you have ever tried. (0.6 mile).
- S. Forno – Truly artisanal bakery from the good people of Il Santo Bevitore. Their flour tends to be locally sourced and slowly fermented, and the resulting products – breads, schiacciata (the local flatbread), cakes, and even bagels – are to die for. (0.7 mile).
- Sbrino Gelatificio Contadino – A fairly new gelateria whose passionate owners make mouthwatering gelato on-site daily. They source their ingredients in Italy – the organic milk comes from a Tuscan farm – and they have a winning way with flavor, from ricotta and fig ice cream to dark chocolate sorbet. (0.7 mile).
- Duomo – Simply iconic, the Renaissance cathedral is topped by Brunelleschi’s groundbreaking dome. Climb to the top and you can see the double shell construction for yourself; advance booking online or at the ticket office is necessary. A ticket will also get you in to the campanile (bell tower), the baptistery, and the fantastic Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo. Here, on the site where Brunelleschi and Michelangelo once worked, you can see Ghiberti’s original Doors of Paradise, Donatello’s haggard Mary Magdalene, and learn about how the Duomo was built. (0.1 mile).
- Museo Nazionale del Bargello – Former prison, now home to the best collection of Renaissance sculptures in the city. Wander the quirky building and encounter works by Donatello (including a David that was the first nude statue since antiquity), Cellini, and Michelangelo. (0.2 mile).
- Palazzo Vecchio – 14th-century fortress, built for and still home to the city government. The museum’s standouts include the Quartiere di Leo X (the apartments of the Medici pope), Donatello’s ‘Judith and Holofernes’, and the Salone dei Cinquecento created for the ruling council of 500 and painted by Vasari. There is a fantastic panorama if you climb the spiky Torre d’Arnolfo. (0.3 mile).
- Cappelle Medicee – Admire the chutzpah and expensive taste of Florence’s dominant Medici family at their burial place. 49 members of the dynasty lie here, surrounded by multicolored marble and semi-precious stones, and some beautiful sculptures courtesy of Michelangelo. (0.3 mile).
- Ponte Vecchio – An icon, the only bridge to survive the German occupation of the city. A pretty cluster of jewelry shops still occupies it and above them rise the arches of the Corridoio Vasariano. This private passage was built for the Medici and links the Uffizi and the Palazzo Pitti. (0.3 mile).
- Galleria degli Uffizi – The top treasure-house of Italian Renaissance art in the world. The dizzying collection, arranged chronologically in a palazzo by the river, runs from the ancient Greeks to the 18th century. The highlights are the Renaissance masters – Giotto, Leonardo, and Michelangelo, and a whole room dedicated to Botticelli. Unmissable. (0.4 mile).
- Basilica di Santa Croce – Striking 14th-century Gothic cathedral. Built by di Cambio, with frescoes by Giotto, but the real highlight is the glittering array of Renaissance figures who rest here, from Michelangelo to Galileo and Macchiavelli. (0.4 mile).
- Galleria dell’Accademia – Always busy art museum, famously home to Michelangelo’s David. The masterpiece has a room to itself but he’s not the only Michelangelo here, and there are also works by other Renaissance greats, from Ghirlandaio to Botticelli. (0.4 mile).
- Basilica di Santa Maria Novella – This 13th to 15th-century basilica and monastery, built by Dominican monks, is an artistic treasure trove and so very Florentine. Note the Holy Trinity by Masaccio, the Nativity by Botticelli, the Tornabuoni Chapel decorated by Ghirlandaio, and more. (0.5 mile).
- Palazzo Pitti – Only in Florence would a banker build a palace fit for a king. Duly taken over by the rulers of Tuscany, from the Medici to the House of Savoy, you can now visit their royal apartments, treasury, and art collection, which features more Raphaels than anywhere in the world. There’s even a fashion museum and a gallery of Italian modern art. (0.6 mile).
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Mercato Centrale – Florence’s oldest and biggest food market is not to be missed. It’s packed to the brim with produce on the ground floor and artisans running food stalls on the first, with everything from luxury burgers by La Toraia to chocolates and ice cream by Cristian Beduschi. There’s even a cookery school up there if you want to dive further into Tuscan gastronomy. (0.4 mile).
- Conad Supermercato – Well-stocked branch of popular supermarket. Good selection of groceries and essentials. Open till 8pm daily. (0.4 mile).
Hotel Brunelleschi – The Hotel
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