Pensione Maria Luisa de' Medici


Baroque art, designer furnishings, and cheap rooms at the Pensione Maria Luisa de' Medici, an inexpensive hotel in Florence, Italy

The hall at Pensione Maria Luisa de' Medici, Florence
A room at the Hotel Maria Luisa de Medici, Florence
My favorite inexpensive hotel in Florence is a third-floor walk-up in a 1645 palazzo smack in the center of town.

This is not a luxury hotel in any sense of the word—not by a long shot. However, it gets my personal highest, three-star rating for having ten times the character of chic hotels that charge five times as much—and for being in the precise geographic center of the city, on what was once the decamanus maximus (main street) of the Roman settlement Fiorentina.

The hotel's dim halls are crowded with genuine baroque art—a marble child in a chair, a chipped sculpture from the della Robbia studio, tattered oil paintings by Van Dyck and Sustermans—and the cavernous rooms are stuffed with a mix of antiques and 1950s designer furnishings.

This is the place I usually stay when I come to town. It's where I've put up everyone from my own parents to my Boy Scout troop (note: make sure you know what you are getting into when you agree to take a group of teenage boys on a month-long trip to Europe).

Bonus: You get breakfast in bed, served by Evelyn Morris, the Welshwoman who has managed the joint for years.

Drawback: There's a variable curfew (usually between midnight and 1am). Also, it's a third-story walk-up with no elevator.

Share a bathroom, save some dough.

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Tips & links


Via del Corso 1 - Between Via del Proconsolo and Via de' Calzaiuoli
tel. +39-055-280-048
No website

Bus: TK
Hop-on/hop-off: TK (A, B, C)

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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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Pensione Maria Luisa de' Medici

★★★Via del Corso 1 - Between Via del Proconsolo and Via de' Calzaiuoli
tel. +39-055-280-048
No website

Bus: TK
Hop-on/hop-off: TK (A, B, C)

» book

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  • Emergency service/tow: tel. 803-116
  • Highway agency: (traffic info, serivce areas, toll calculator, weather)
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  • 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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