Live like a Local
When you travel do you prefer to stay in a hotel or would you rather have a whole apartment at your disposal? If you really want to experience living like a local in Florence, then I would have to suggest that you rent an apartment instead of a hotel and if you would like a special discount on your next holiday rental, then keep reading and see my note at the end of this post.
I am asked so often for recommendations on where to stay in Florence and most of my friends and family that have visited have had a more comfortable (and often more economical) experience when they have stayed in an apartment. Of course if you are only staying for a day or two, then a hotel may be a better option but for those that are planning on staying for a week or longer, often an apartment or house can give you a more authentic experience of the city and culture that you are visiting.
An apartment can also be a much better idea for a family or group of friends. It’s much easier traveling with children if you have the comforts of home with you. For those of you who don’t want to eat out for breakfast, lunch or dinner every day, there is nothing more convenient than having your own kitchen to prepare meals or the odd snack whenever you feel like it.
I personally really like my food as is quite obvious when you read this blog and so, for me, one of the big advantages of staying in an apartment is that you have the option of being able to eat what you want, when you want, in the comfort of your own kitchen which is especially comforting if you also like to cook. The markets here are wonderful and it is so exciting to buy the local specialties and then create your own gourmet feast yourself. Breakfast would have to be one of my favorite meals so for those of us that like to eat a bit more than just a brioche as is the custom here, it is so nice to be able to eat your favorite cereal with your preferred milk if, like me you are a soy drinker which is not an option here with your coffee.
Another huge advantage of staying in an apartment if you are staying for an extended time is having laundry facilities available without having to hand-wash everything and not know if it’s going to dry in time. Or trying to find a laundromat which is never easy or fun in a foreign city!
So how do you know which company to go with when searching the internet for your perfect home away from home? It is hard to put your faith in a company if you don’t really know who you are dealing with. Are they going to be able to meet you at the apartment no matter what time you arrive, even 2am? Are they going to be on call 24/7 in case something goes wrong or breaks down? Are they going to offer you wi-fi at no extra cost for the whole duration of your stay?
I personally know one company here who promises all of the above and judging by the positive comments I have heard back about them, I can only recommend Apartments Florence.
The team at Apartments Florence are a group of young dynamic guys plus Sax the dog, who have been providing exceptional accommodation and service since 2007. The are always available to not only find you some great accommodation but also to assist with any other travel queries you may have. They stand by their three basic principles, Top Quality, Exceptional Locations and Exclusive, Personal service in order to provide you with the very best.
To give you an idea of the location and standard of apartments these guys have in their portfolio, I’ve put together a few examples to show you the variety of apartments available.
Apart from being walking distance to everything in the historical center, this one bedroom apartment on Via Maggio is in one of my favorite areas of Florence. The Oltrarno is a very cool place to be, where you can really experience true Florence surrounded by artisan workshops, great restaurants and bars, and with the Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti on your doorstep!
I don’t know if it’s my love of anything to do with horses, but the Torrigiani stables apartment is absolutely gorgeous! Situated in the most beautiful garden surroundings so you feel like you are in the country when you are in fact very close to the Boboli gardens and the center of Florence. There are two bedrooms so a perfect place for family.
This next apartment is for those who can afford to splurge a little – perfect for a couple without children, this very stylish apartment, immaculately decorated, has the most perfect views of the Ponte Vecchio and you can admire the Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio from the terrace. Imagine enjoying breakfast here or an aperitivo as the sun sets behind the old bridge. This is a very romantic and special location!
If you are traveling on more of a budget, then take a look at this lovely apartment near Piazza Santa Croce. Recently renovated and, in true Tuscan style it features beautiful ceilings with wooden beams. Lots of natural light and decorated very tastefully.
There are many more apartments on offer, catering to all budgets so don’t let the luxury apartments deter you from contacting the guys at Apartments Florence to see if they have just the right place for you.
NOTE : Lorenzo at Apartments Florence has also been very generous and is offering €50 discount to anyone who mentions My Tuscan Journal when renting one of their apartments!