With its medieval stone tower just across a narrow riverside street from the Ponte Vecchio, the Hotel Continentale might be a classic Florentine pensione, decked out with rich velvets, dark wood, and Renaissance paintings. But replace that daydream with one of stylish Vespas, designer duds, and white-and-leather midcentury decor, and you’re closer to the reality of this refreshingly clean-lined retreat from the Ferragamo family’s Lungarno hotel collection.
Inspired by a later Italian renaissance—that of the fashion and cinema worlds of the 1950s and ’60s—the sleek and understated hotel is a hideaway in the heart of Florence’s historic tourist center. The city’s bustle seems to fade away as soon as you step under the giant metal clock and into the breezy white lobby. There’s nothing showy here—no bustling sidewalk restaurant, no ostentatious entrance, no snooty staff—just luxurious rooms, a decadent spa, and the coolest bar in town.