Weekend Trip to Florence
In between my packing up my Berlin apartment and planning The Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market Champagne Brunch on January 21, 2018, I’m making a list of all the weekend trips I want to take once I’m settled in Venice. Although Venice has my heart, I’ll confess to a love affair with all of Italy. Today, I’m reminiscing on some sidetrips to Firenze while on Antiques Diva® Italy tours…
I personally tend to stay more frequently south of Florence than within the city itself because I like the Tuscan countryside – two of my favorites that are expensive but worth the $$$ are to, Oxygen-Sans, Ubuntu, Cantarell, ‘Helvetica Neue’, sans-serif;”>Borgo San Pietro and Il Borro.
If you’re only in Florence two days you want to stay in the city and make the most of being there, so you can walk everywhere and be in the heart of it all! Now you know I love a good hotel – a fancy 5 start hotel has me at hello! HOWEVER, I will tell you that if you’re only sleeping in the room and looking to save money so you can spend it on antiques – The Ritz Florence has huge clean rooms BUT don’t mistake this with the real Ritz, there is no association – it’s a bargain hotel with that I’ve stayed at for 65€ a night, good location, good views, sparse rooms. NOTHING remotely fancy – basic basic basic – but a good bargain.
If you’re looking for something a bit nicer, but still budget, Casa Howard at around 150€ a night is 4 stars and has a good number of Italian antiques.
If money is no object I love the Four Seasons – guests live better than the Medici’s! (and they should given the $$$).
You know my obsession with shoes; the Ferragamo family also runs a series of hotels, Gallery Hotel Art and Hotel Lungarno – this is one of my favorites in the city because it’s a stone’s throw from the antiques district and has fabulous shopping nearby. It’s Florence – fabulous shopping is everywhere.ANYONE who knows me well knows that I HATE to SPEND MONEY. I like to live like a Diva – but I don’t like to pay for it. THE BEST BEST BEST way to get a bargain on a hotel in Florence is an app called HotelTonight. You download the app on your phone and book your hotel up to 24 hours in advance. You have to be willing to fly by the seat of your pants, but you can get amazing bargains. I stayed 3 nights at the Four Seasons Florence for 170€ a night – in a 1200€ a night suite. I couldn’t have afforded the suite’s price, but I could afford the last minute HotelTonight rate. I booked it 6 hours before I checked in. I’ve done HotelTonight around the world and have stayed in some of the nicest hotels in the world at some of the most bargain prices in the world because I’m totally okay with not knowing where I’m going to sleep ‘tonight’. It takes a risk-taker to travel this way, but the experiences you’re afforded make it worth it to get the best hotel for the least amount of money. You can book multiple nights: the CLOSER to check-in that you book your room on HotelTonight, the better the rate becomes. (You can also lose rooms this way because they sell out, so it’s a gamble.)
My Must-Dos When You’re in Florence
Antiques Diva offers an antiques and design 1-day tour in Florence that covers a huge area if you’re interested, but you can meander Oltraarno on your own and get some great window shopping in. Learn more about Antique and Mid-Century Sourcing in Florence
Pre-Pay Museum Visits
If you want to go to any museums pay the fee to book in advance. The queues in Italy are outstandingly long – it’s worth the surcharge to prepay to stand in the short line. Remember ALL the small shops close at lunchtime – so plan accordingly and eat a fabulous lunch.
Naturally you’ll want to stroll along Via Tornibuona, where the well-known fashion designers such as Prada, Loro Piano, Pucci, and Cavalli have their shops. And if you’re a bargain hunter like I am, plan a trip to the Designer Outlet Mall in Val di Chiana. Learn more about Fashion Shopping in Florence