The best apartments in Florence

How to find, and reserve, the best rental flats in Florence in every price range and neighborhood

More on how apartment rental works in Italy:
Apartments for rent—often referred to by the British terms "flats to let"—are easiest to arrange through a rental consortium like those listed below.

However, you'll sometimes find better deals by contacting people privately in Florence via local papers and the Florence tourist office, which has a list of apartments you can contact directly (though it consists of just-the-bare-facts info: name, address, tel/website, number of rooms, and sometimes prices) as well as names of local rental agencies.

Do a lot of shopping around, ask many questions, look at pictures if you can get 'em. Work with agencies that specialize in that region or city and only ones that will help you find the place you want, not the one they want to sell you. Here are some leads.

Favorite Florence rental apartments & flats

 

Florence apartment rental agencies and booking sites

Booking.com (www.booking.com)- A generalist booking engine is a great choice for nightly or short-term apartments. Its selection of apartments is massive—some 817 flats in Florence—and but well worth looking into.

Venere.com (www.venere.com) - Another key generalist booking engine. This major Italian booking service represents all sorts of accommodations, including 97 "Vacation rentals" (a.k.a. apartments) in Florence. Some are self-catering, but more are residence hotels (like an all-suite hotel), somewhere between an apartment and a hotel: you (usually) get a front desk and maid service (though perhaps not nightly).

HomeAway (www.homeaway.comPartner) - Probably the biggest (at least when it comes to Italy), with more than 8,500 rentals in Italy alone, of which around 250 are in Florence.

VRBO (www.vrbo.comParnter) - The names stands for "Vacation Rentals By Owners," which is (mostly) exactly what this is: it cuts out the middle man or a rental agency (and the attendant fees) by allowing those with rental homes—nearly 200 in Florence—to advertise them directly to potential vacation renters. I say "mostly" because, as you might imagine, plenty of agencies post their offering here as well, but that's OK. So long as you find the right match for you, does the provenance of the perfect vacation home really matter? I've used this service to find everything from a flat in London to a South Carolina beach house.

Airbnb.com (www.airbnb.com) - Network of both official and unofficial apartments and B&Bs, including more than 550 apartments in Florence. Its rates are among the lowest, most charging anywhere from $25 to $800 per night. A handful do range higher, but the important thing is that roughly 80% of the apartments cost $200 or less per night—way less than most hotels. Still, as it is Airbnb (and hence unregulated, and uninspected) it is a bit of a buyer-beware arrangement.

Rentalo (www.rentalo.com) - More than 120,000 properties around the world, including 165 in and around Florence—how about a frescoed two-bedroom apartment in the city center for €775 a week or €130 a night? (Note that they also list some B&Bs and a whole lot of regular hotels; be sure to click on "Apartment/Condo" in the left-hand column under "Vacation Rental Types" to limit the list to rental apartments.)

Barclay International (www.barclayweb.com) - One of the world's premier rental agencies since 1963. (And yes, "premier" does mean "a bit pricey"). Excellent properties and service, though, throughout the major cities of Western Europe.

Interhome (www.interhome.us) - Thousands upon thousands of apartments and villas across Europe (and, er, Florida).

Villas International (www.villasintl.com) - Long-established agency, with properties in perhaps more countries than any other.

Craigslist.org (www.craigslist.org) - The biggest virtual classifieds section lists short-term rentals all over the world. Be sure to rifle through the craigslists of most major U.S. cities—doesn't matter if you live there or not—because lots of folks post rental ads for their Rome apartment on the Craigslists for New York, Chicago, San Fran, etc.

Tips & links

Booking a flat in Florence
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
...an 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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