It occupies the top floors of massive 16th-century Palazzo Guadagni, which stands above Piazza Santo Spirito, one of Florence’s most beautiful squares and a lively spot both day and night with its morning market and many bars and restaurants. Santo Spirito is the heart of the Oltrarno - Florence’s bohemian Left Bank - famous for its artisan workshops and genuine neighbourhood feel. I’ve known this place since the early 1980s; until a couple of years ago it was one of those characterful but draughty places with soggy, slightly damp beds and lumbering, tatty furniture. It’s great to see it transformed like this.
All different in shape and size, some with old terracotta tiled floors, others with smart new parquet. Walls are painted in warm pastels, furnishings are simple with period pieces and elegant traditional fabrics at the windows and on the beds. Bathrooms are done out in pristine white tiles. Some of the larger rooms on the lower floor have massive stone fireplaces and frescoes while many of the rooms on the upper floor have beamed attic ceilings and fabulous views over the city. The overall feeling is spartan yet tasteful.
The bar and breakfast room on the lower floor is situated adjacent to the loggia, so you can take your breakfast outside or enjoy an evening drink in warm weather. There are various sitting areas inside, but guests spend as much time as possible on the loggia, which is well supplied with comfortable sofas and chairs. There can be no better spot in Florence for a quiet read and a sun-downer.
Eating and drinking
The buffet breakfast is standard Italian fare.
Ferdinando Budini Gattai and his family are gracious and knowledgeable hosts and happy to share tips about their home city with guests.
Who stays there
Many fans of the old Sorelle Bandini are delighted that this place has re-opened and are even more delighted with the improvements that have been made. Guests are mainly tourists, predominantly American and English, and all ages.
- High-Speed Internet
- Pets Allowed
- Room Service
- Culture vultures
- Mature travellers
- Great views / scenery
- No fuss
Pros & Cons
- Piazza Santo Spirito location
- Free internet access
- The loggia
- Noise from the piazza on summer nights