I took advantage of a lazy Sunday recently to watch a movie I’d never seen before – the Merchant-Ivory adaptation of E.M. Forster’s classic novel, “A Room With a View.” Those familiar with the story will know that it takes place partly in Florence, and the name of the book (and the movie) refers to the room in the Florence hotel which two characters are promised – a room with a view over the Arno River.
After seeing the film, I thought I’d have a look to see if there were any hotels in Florence with a view of the river that don’t charge a small fortune for the privilege of such a view. And I must say, I’m quite surprised to say that there are some places where the prices actually seem reasonable. Of course, most of the Florence hotels with a view of the Arno are more expensive, but it’s the kind of luxury you might be willing to splurge on if you’re in the midst of your Italy honeymoon or some other romantic getaway.
All of the hotels listed below have some kind of view overlooking the river in Florence – some of them boast views from lots of rooms, some of them only have river views from some of the rooms or from a rooftop terrace. So if you’re booking one of these places specifically because of the view, make absolutely sure you’re communicating that to the people at the hotel so you’re sure to get your own “room with a view.” Something tells me a breakfast conversation when you arrive won’t prompt another guest to offer a room-swap with you so you can have a view, despite what happened in the movie.
There’s a map below that has all the hotels listed in this post marked on it, so you can see where they are not only in relation to the river but also to other attractions in Florence as well. You can read more about each one – and book it, too – by clicking on the icon on the map, or by scrolling down to see the brief descriptions and a link to more information underneath the map.
And yes, the actual Florence hotel where “A Room With a View” was filmed is on this list, too!
Hotels in Florence With a View of the River Arno
Florence Hotels With an Arno River View
Hotel degli Orafi
If you’re channeling your inner Helena Bonham Carter or looking for your very own George Emerson soulmate, then where better to do that than the actual hotel where “A Room With a View” was filmed in Florence? That hotel, minus the Cockney signora, is the Hotel degli Orafi.
It’s a beautiful 4-star hotel today, and the breafkast room and rooftop terrace offer views of the Arno River. You can book the room made famous by the film (it’s room number 414 on the 4th floor), but – just like in the movie – not all the rooms have river views. So even if you don’t need the movie room, make sure you’re getting a room with a view when you’re booking.
The Hotel Bretagna is one of the more reasonably-priced hotels on this list. It’s a 2-star hotel occupies a former palace building on the banks of the Arno River, and is within walking distance of all the main attractions in the city. And yet the rooms are definitely within reach for most travelers.
This is one of the hotels where not every room overlooks the river, but some do. It’s the superior level rooms that typically have a river view – and many of them have a view of the famous Ponte Vecchio as well. Not only that, those superior rooms also boast a jacuzzi tub in the en suite bathroom. Sounds perfect for a honeymoon to me!
With a name like Hotel River, you’d expect some views of the river – and there are. But not as many as you’d expect. This 3-star hotel has a terrace with a view of the Arno, but only four of the hotel’s 38 rooms have river views. In other words, if you want one of them, be sure to ask for it.
The four rooms that have a view of the Arno also have private balconies from which you can enjoy your view, so if you score one of those view rooms you’re really getting a great excuse to spend more time in your hotel. Hotel River is close to the Santa Croce church, Ponte Vecchio, and the Uffizi Gallery – among other sights.
The Hotel Lungarno is one of a small chain of beautiful boutique hotels in Florence, a couple of which have views of the river – including the Hotel Lungarno. Not all of the rooms have a view overlooking the Arno, but many do – and at varying price levels, too. Rooms also feature free WiFi, which is a nice perk.
Another interesting thing about the Hotel Lungarno is that much of the artwork on display is original – the hotel shows off its nice collection of 450 original pieces of art by 20th century painters, which only adds to its appeal as an “art hotel.” The hotel is a short walk from the Ponte Vecchio in the Oltrarno side of the river.
The Continentale is another hotel in the same chain as the Hotel Lungarno (above), and it also features beautiful design in a boutique setting. This hotel is meant to evoke 1950s style, and – oh yeah – it also overlooks the Arno River. There’s a “panoramic terrace” with commanding views of the river and the city, and many rooms (at several price levels) also have river views.
If you’re looking for proximity to the Ponte Vecchio, the Continentale Hotel gives that to you. It’s at one end of the bridge – the end that’s right next to the Uffizi Gallery, too. Guests at the Continetnale (which, incidentally, has the full name of “Continentale Contemporary Pleasing Hotel”) enjoy free high-speed internet in every room.
Grand Hotel Mediterraneo
The 4-star Grand Hotel Mediterraneo is close to the Santa Croce church and piazza, and walking distance from just about everything you’ll have on your to-do list in Florence. There are three – count ’em, three – in-house restaurants for you to choose from, and an on-site bar and lounge, too. Oh, and if you can’t manage to get out and do any shopping in the Florence leather markets, there are two shops right in the hotel where you can buy leather, too.
But we’re here to talk about the view, right? Right. The Grand Hotel Mediterraneo has lots of amazing perks (and you’ll pay for them, too), but not all of its rooms overlook the Arno. The hotel is good about telling you exactly which rooms have views, however – it’s the “Superior” level rooms.
Another 4-star hotel with some views overlooking the river is the Hotel Balestri. It’s on the same side of the river as the Duomo and the Uffizi Gallery, and sits a few steps away from the Ponte Vecchio. The interior is beautifully decorated, and really captures the “boutique hotel” feel.
There are three types of rooms at the Hotel Balestri, and it’s only the “classic” rooms that don’t necessarily have a river view. All of the 51 rooms have a view of some kind, although some may be of the city rather than the Arno. Many of the rooms that have a view of the river also have a private balcony from which to enjoy it.
Plaza Hotel Lucchesi
The Plaza Hotel Lucchesi, on the so-called “right bank” of the river (which just means it’s on the same side of the Arno as the Uffizi and the Duomo) is located right on the river itself – so it boasts great views over the Arno, the Ponte Vecchio, and the hills on the opposite side of the city.
While not all of the rooms at the Plaza Hotel Lucchesi have a river view, many do – and in a couple of different price levels. There are 87 rooms in the hotel, and it’s rooms in the “deluxe” and “superior” varieties which sometimes offer a river view. Some offer views of other parts of the city, so if it’s the river you want you’ll need to make sure to ask for that.
The Hotel Berchielli is a 4-star hotel on the banks of the Arno River; there are 76 rooms and a so-called “American Bar” in the hotel. It’s a short walk from the front door to many of the city’s main attractions, including the Ponte Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery, and the Duomo, and the hotel says that 1/3 of the rooms in the hotel overlook not only the river but the Ponte Vecchio itself.
In addition to the river views of many of the rooms, the rooms on the upper floors that open onto a terrace also have beautiful views of the city and countryside. But because views aren’t available from every single room, it’s important that you ask about a room with a view when you book.
The Hotel Hermitage sits at one end of the Ponte Vecchio on the same side of the river as the Uffizi Gallery, and one of the highlights of your stay will undoubtedly be sitting on the rooftop terrace for breakfast in the morning and looking right down on the famous bridge.
While this hotel has a great location and offers some of the best views of the river from its terrace and its sitting room, this isn’t a hotel that offers rooms with a river view. You might be content to enjoy the views at breakfast and from the sitting room, but don’t be expecting a hotel room with an Arno view when you arrive.
Photo by: Frans Vandewalle