SoprArno Suites – Boutique B&B with bags of personality and retro style.
Independent travelers looking for atmospheric, affordable rooms love this charming guesthouse. Owners Betty Soldi and Matteo Perduca and architect Francesco Maestrelli have transformed a sixteenth-century mansion and filled it with cool retro design pieces and quirky art. The result is a winning blend of palazzo bones and creative flair; frescoed ceilings soar above hardwood or terracotta floors, Devon & Devon rolltop baths sit in the bedroom next to reclaimed mid-century furniture, and walls are decorated with calligraphy by Betty. The thirteen rooms are all spacious with individual themes: the Traveller’s room features maps and objects from across the world and the Printer’s room has an extraordinary headboard with movable type. Communal areas invite guests to browse books on photography, play a record, and make friends. Breakfast is delightful in the SottArno café. Don’t expect round-the-clock service but the staff is warm and passionate about giving you a taste of authentic Florence.
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SoprArno Suites – Location
- Address: Via Maggio 35.
- Area: Excellent location on a busy street in cool, bohemian Santo Spirito. South of the river, so just off the tourist trail, but surrounded by antique shops, artisans’ workshops, and great restaurants and bars. Close to Palazzo Pitti (150m) and the Ponte Vecchio (0.3 mile). The tourist center is an easy stroll, with Piazza della Signoria and the Duomo both reachable within 15 minutes. The main train and bus station, Stazione Santa Maria Novella, is a 17-minute walk (1 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 15-minute walk (0.7 mile) to the hotel. From Pisa International Airport, trains and buses both run to Stazione Santa Maria Novella, a 17-minute walk (1 mile) from the hotel. The station itself is a common arrival point from within Italy. To minimize walking from Santa Maria Novella/Unità, take the C4 bus from nearby Stazione Scalette to Santo Spirito and then walk 2 minutes (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 €170 from Pisa International Airport – but can be worth it to avoid the long taxi queue and for the convenience of paying ahead.
- Handy to: Santo Spirito, Palazzo Pitti, Ponte Vecchio.
SoprArno Suites – The Basics
- Ages: Guests tend to be independent travelers in their early 30s and up, including couples and honeymooners. Children are welcome.
- View: Can be limited, though some rooms look out on the inner courtyard and others high up have views over the roofs of the neighborhood.
- Kitchen: Kitchen for guest use.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools or jacuzzis.
- Parking: Not on-site but the hotel has a deal with a local garage. Note: Driving in Florence is not fun and walking will get you to most places faster.
- Extras: Concierge and reception open 8am–4pm (there’s a self-check-in procedure for outside these hours). Relaxing lounge spaces on each floor, a library, and kitchen facilities on the first floor with an honesty bar and complimentary pastries and coffee available all day. Nespresso machines, fridges, minibars, notebooks, and tote bags in the rooms and complimentary C.O. Bigelow toiletries, robes, and slippers in the bathrooms. TVs come with Apple TV; DVD players and Google Chromecast are available on request. Welcome gifts for special occasions, e.g. a bottle of Prosecco in the room.
- 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: +39 055 046 8718
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: soprarnosuites.com
SoprArno Suites – Amenities
- Pool: No pool.
- Spa: No spa.
- Fitness Center: No fitness center.
- For Disabled Guests: There is an elevator to all floors and rooms are spacious. Note, however, that the building is an old palazzo with frequent steps even within rooms. Call to discuss your needs in advance.
- For Families: Cribs are available for free and extra beds for under-12s can be had for €30 a night. Children aged 13+ are considered adults. Deluxe Doubles with sofa beds can sleep 4 people.
- Activities: The passionate owners and staff will be glad to advise on and help with organizing activities for you in the neighborhood and the city.
- Other Facilities: Small pets welcome.
SoprArno Suites – Food and Drink
- Restaurant: The cute and retro SottArno cafe opens to the public following breakfast hours. It serves light meals like panini and salads, tea, and cakes, and drinks and sharing plates for aperitivo hour. Open 11am-7pm Mon-Fri, 11am-4pm Sat. $-$$.
- Lounge/Bar: Drinks are available in SottArno till 7pm. There is also a small honesty bar on the first floor with beer, water, and soft drinks on offer.
- Breakfast: A continental breakfast spread is always included and is served 8-10am in the ground floor SottArno café. Expect fresh bread, pastries, fruit juices, charcuterie, and local cheeses. Also includes gluten-free options.
- Room Service: Not available.
SoprArno Suites – Rooms
- Room Types: Superior Double • Deluxe Double • Deluxe Double with Balcony • List of all Rooms
- Smoking Rooms: SoprArno Suites is 100% smoke-free.
- Best Room: Rooms are highly individual and the Deluxe Doubles are all special. The top-floor Deluxe Double with Balcony has a separate living space and a private balcony with a view over the roofs to Palazzo Pitti. A blue-toned Deluxe Double with a spectacular frescoed ceiling is romantic with a slight edge from the motorbike painting and other pieces.
- For Families: Extra beds can be accommodated in the Deluxe Double rooms. These are equipped with sofa beds and so can sleep 4-5 people (note, however, there is often no separate living area). The 2 top-floor rooms are interconnecting.
SoprArno Suites – 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 Ponte Vecchio is a 6-minute walk (0.3 mile), the Piazza della Signoria is 10 minutes (0.5 mile), and the Duomo is 15 minutes (0.7 mile). The main train and bus station, Stazione Santa Maria Novella, is 17 minutes (1 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 C4 runs to Santo Spirito, close to the hotel (0.1 mile), and then east to the San Niccolò neighborhood. 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 €6-9. 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.
SoprArno Suites – 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 (0.6 mile).
Best Nearby Restaurants
- 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. (100m).
- #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. (0.2 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. (0.3 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. (0.5 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. (0.6 mile).
- 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. (0.6 mile).
- Brac – Arty, hidden restaurant/bookshop near the Uffizi. Browse the shelves, enjoy a glass of wine, and feast on the organic vegetarian food. There’s a great value piatto unico – 3 dishes on 1 plate – for €15 at lunch. (0.6 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. (0.6 mile).
- Berberè – Hip, raw brick pizza place that simply sells organic sourdough pizza and craft beer to a cool, young crowd of fans. 11-minute walk (0.6 mile) to the San Frediano branch and 15-minute walk (0.7 mile) to the Santa Croce branch.
- 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. (1 mile).
- Bottega del Buon Caffè – Michelin-starred, designer chic restaurant which makes the trip to San Niccolò well worth it. The menu is farm-to-table, with spices to make the local ingredients shine – vegetables come from just outside Florence and meat from nearby farms. Check out the 4-course lunchtime tasting menu for €80. (1 mile).
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- 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. (0.1 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. (0.3 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. (0.3 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).
- Love Craft – Dedicated whisky bar in cool San Frediano, with a serious collection from €5 a glass. (0.4 mile).
- 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. (0.4 mile).
- MAD – Souls and Spirits – Tiny but very warm place, with the kindest bartenders serving inventive, and most importantly, madly delicious craft cocktails. (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. (0.5 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. (0.7 mile).
- PanicAle – Hipster bar by Mercato Centrale, where the kind staff delights fans of craft beer and inventive cocktails. (1 mile).
Best Nearby Cafes
- 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). 4-minute walk (0.2 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. (0.4 mile).
- 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. (0.5 mile).
Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops
- 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. (0.2 mile).
- Bjork – Nordic-style white, airy concept store selling everything from stylish clothes to art, photographs, and books in Oltrarno. (0.2 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. (0.3 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. (0.3 mile).
- Boutique Nadine – Stylish vintage clothes and lovely accessories, mainly for women, near the Ponte Vecchio, with a loyal local following. (0.4 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. (0.4 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. (0.5 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).
- 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. (0.6 mile).
- 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. (0.6 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. (150m).
- 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).
- Museo Salvatore Ferragamo – Exciting museum in the basement of Ferragamo’s palazzo, which mounts exhibitions on art and fashion in a social context, though there is also space devoted to the life and shoes of Salvatore Ferragamo. Wonderful staff are happy to guide you around the collection. (0.4 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. (0.5 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. (0.5 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. (0.7 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. (0.7 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; booking online or at the ticket office is necessary. A ticket will also get you into 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. (0.7 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. (0.7 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. (0.8 mile).
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Sapori & Dintorni – Well-stocked branch of popular supermarket. Good selection of groceries and essentials, including deli and regional specialties. Open till 9pm daily. (0.3 mile).
- 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. (0.8 mile).
SoprArno Suites – The Hotel
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