Here’s another in my Italy Q&A series. Leon asks:
I’d like to spend a month or two in Florence. Can you suggest a flat rental or pensione? Inexpensive please.
Leon, I’d like to spend a month or two in Florence, too – so you’ve got a great idea there!
Rents in the historic center of Florence are expensive, but if you want to be in the middle of it all (and you do) then you’re going to want to concentrate on the historic center. There are actually several Florence hostels within a short walk of both the train station and the city’s major sights, all of which have kitchen facilities – so if you’re really on a budget you could always take a bed in a dorm room and have the ability to cook for yourself every so often.
If you’re requiring a bit more privacy, there are dozens of pensione- or locanda-type accommodation options in the historic center, too. Many of them have no more advertising than their name on a doorbell outside the building, but here are a few of the places I visited on my most recent trip through Florence which might be worth looking into (I’ll have reviews of them eventually, I just haven’t written them yet!):
Soggiorno Maria Luisa
Emerald House (main hostel is Emerald Fields, but Emerald House has private rooms)
Ostello Archi Rossi
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Also here’s a list of hostels in Florence, which you can peruse for the words “residenza,” “apartment,” “locanda” and “pensione.”
For more options, I’d suggest you check out a couple of these apartment-rental services. Their rates aren’t going to be as cheap as if you found an apartment yourself, but the listings are easy to search and there are photos of each place so you can get a feel for it before you arrive.
There are more Florence vacation rentals on BootsnAll as well, which range from ultra-luxury villas through cozy apartments in the city.
Florence also has a page on Craigslist, which is worth checking out – you may find someone renting out just one bedroom or something, which would give you access to a kitchen (etc.) but without having to pay the price for a whole apartment. The Craigslist offerings tend to be tougher to pounce on quickly when you’re not in Italy already, but you never know!
Have a great trip – and be sure to check out my Florence tips before you go! I’ll be adding to it shortly, after spending another few days in that fantastic city.