Hotel Bavaria

A room at the Hotel Bavaria, Florence
A room at the Hotel Bavaria, Florence

An amazingly cheap, achingly basic hotel with a great location—and even some frescoes—in Florence

Despite the amazing frescoes in some rooms, painted ceramic tiles in others, and soaring ceilings throughout this 16th century palazzo designed by Ammannati, the last thing you would call the Hotel Bavaria is "fancy."

Yes, the decor is occasionally amazing, but it remains a basic backpacker hotel with virtually no amenties (the guest rooms don't even have private bathrooms, though some do have showers; all toilets are shared). It does, however, have three big selling points:

1) The rates are incredibly low. Online, double rooms without private bath start around €47; those with a shower €55.

2) The location is sublime, on a relatively quiet side street but mere blocks away from the Duomo, the Bargello, and the Uffizi (not to mention Dante's house and Santa Croce).

3) It has those precious bits of historic decor hanging about, starting with the building's facade, still covered in the faded remains of griselle frescoes designed, supposedly, by Vasari. (The palazzo was built in the 15th century by the noted architect Ammanti.) Some of the rooms even have elabroate facades on the walls, or painted wood ceiling beams. Other rooms, well, they have four walls and a bed in them.

But again, I beg you to read this: this hotel is utterly basic. Yes, I have fond memories of staying here, but only because I was paying so laughably little for a room in a frescoed palazzo. The room itself was tiny, with no windows at all, and the only light eas privided by a single, bare, laughably weak bulb dangling fro the ceiling.

A tip: Rooms on the primo piano (second floor to Americans)—which was the old piano nobile of the palazzo—are infintely superior (and brighter) to those on the third floor (though some on the third floor do get a nice view of the Duomo dome).

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Tips & links


Borgo degli Albizi 26
(Duomo / Ufizzi)
tel. +39-055-40-313

Bus: C2; 14, 23, C1
Hop-on/hop-off: Teatro Verdi (A)

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Florence hotel & lodging links
Useful Italian for lodging
English (Inglese) Italian (Italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
yes si see
no no no
Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...a hotel un albergo oon al-BEAR-go
...a B&B un bed-and-breakfast oon bet hand BREK-fust
...a rental room un'affittacamera oon ah-feet-ah-CAH-mair-ra apartment for rent un appartamento oon ah-part-tah-MENT-toh
...a farm stay un agriturismo oon ah-gree-tour-EES-moh
...a hostel un ostello oon oh-STEHL-loh
How much is...? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
a single room una singola OO-nah SEEN-go-la
double room for single use [will often be offered if singles are unavailable] doppia uso singola DOPE-pee-ya OO-so SEEN-go-la
a double room with two beds una doppia con due letti OO-nah DOPE-pee-ya cone DOO-way LET-tee
a double room with one big bed una matrimoniale OO-nah mat-tree-moan-nee-YAAL-lay
triple room una tripla OO-nah TREE-plah
with private bathroom con bagno cone BAHN-yoh
without private bathroom senza bagno [they might say con bagno in comune—"with a communal bath"] SEN-zah BAHN-yoh
for one night per una notte pair OO-nah NOH-tay
for two nights per due notti pair DOO-way NOH-tee
for three nights per tre notti pair tray NOH-tee
Is breakfast included? É incluso la prima colazione? ay in-CLOO-soh lah PREE-mah coal-laht-zee-YOAN-nay
Is there WiFi? C'é WiFi? chay WHY-fy?
May I see the room? Posso vedere la camera? POH-soh veh-DAIR-eh lah CAH-mair-rah
That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
Is there a cheaper one? C'é una più economica? chay OO-nah pew eh-ko-NO-mee-kah
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Hotel Soggiorno Bavaria

Borgo degli Albizi 26
(Duomo / Ufizzi)
tel. +39-055-40-313

Bus: C2; 14, 23, C1
Hop-on/hop-off: Teatro Verdi (A)

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Other useful links
  • Car resources
  • Emergency service/tow: tel. 803-116
  • Highway agency: (traffic info, serivce areas, toll calculator, weather)
  • Italian automotive club (~AAA):
  • ZTLs: (lightly outdated, but handy, links to cities' traffic-free zones)
  • Transport Florence—Livorno cruise terminal
  • (private car: 90 min, €40–€260)
  • (train: 68–100 min, €9.10) + Livorno port-station transfer (€1 bus; €20–€30 taxi)


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