Somewhere between a luxury yacht and a royal residence, the Hotel Lungarno seems like the sort of place where Audrey Hepburn’s Princess Ann, of Roman Holiday, would have felt right at home. A 16th-century private residence on the southern banks of the Arno, next to the iconic Ponte Vecchio, the hotel was the first entry into the Ferragamo family’s Lungarno hotel collection, lovingly restored by renowned Florentine architect/designer Michele Bönan. With rich navy carpets, stained-wood furnishings, crisp white linens, and as many large, river-facing windows as he could get away with, Bönan channeled Italy’s glamorous fashion and film industries from the 1950s, so that walking through the front doors and into the sultry bar or onto your room’s private terrace feels like stepping back in time. It comes as no surprise, either, that the house restaurant is considered among the best in the city. Even if the food and the supper club–inspired atmosphere weren’t top-notch (and they are), the sunset views of the city lights reflected in the river would be worth it.
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On the southern banks of the Arno, next to the Ponte Vecchio and looking north at Florence’s picturesque skyline, the Hotel Lungarno couldn’t be better placed for both views and location. The Oltrarno neighborhood is somewhat quieter and less tourist-packed than its counterparts on the other side of the Ponte Vecchio, but the Lungarno is still within a stone’s throw of all the major sights, such as the renowned Duomo (the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore), the Galleria degli Uffizi, the Palazzo Vecchio, and the cafés of the Piazza della Repubblica. In the Oltrarno, the Palazzo Pitti, Boboli Gardens, and Villa Bardini—with its own magnificent gardens—are all practically around the corner, and the neighborhood is filled with popular local eateries and traditional craftsmen’s shops and workshops.
Need to Know
Rooms: 59 rooms, 14 suites. From $375. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options:It’s hard to beat the views at the hotel’s Borgo San Jacopo Ristorante, an elegant dining room whose low lighting and soft furnishings evoke a subtle 1950s supper club feel, while its terrace looks straight down to the Arno and across the river at the Florentine skyline. The cuisine is seasonal gourmet Tuscan, paired with an extensive and impressive Italian wine list. Reservations are highly recommended. Outfitted with a fireplace, antique wood furnishings, and original works by Picasso and Cocteau, the hotel’s Picteau Lounge feels straight out of the midcentury luxury yacht era. Spa and gym details: The hotel has neither a spa nor a gym, but its sister hotel, the Continentale, across the river, is home to the White Iris Beauty Spa, and in-room treatments can be arranged upon request.
Who's it best for: Classic-luxury lovers in search of a room with a view. Our favorite rooms:It’d be a shame to waste an Arno-side location, so opt for any of those overlooking the river, especially those with private balconies. Rooms in the medieval Marsili tower have original brickwork and architectural details, too. Authentic art:No, that’s not just a print of a Picasso on the wall; all rooms and common areas at the Hotel Lungarno are decorated with original paintings, drawings, and other works by Picasso, Cocteau, Bueno, Rosai, and others.