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Sunday, March 21, 2010

I Love Touring Florence Italy - Santa Croce District Hotels

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Exterior of the Basilica of Santa Croce (Flore...Image via Wikipedia

The Santa Croce neighborhood is located southeast of Florence's historic center. It dates from the Middle Ages and centers on the Gothic Santa Croce Basilica that houses the remains of many of the greats such as Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, and Niccolo Machiavelli. Just so you don't get disappointed the monument to Dante does not contain his remains which repose in Ravenna. Here are some neighbourhood hotels. For your convenience we have listed them in approximate order of cost, starting with the least expensive. We have personally verified that all hotels listed have an English-language website where you can obtain more information.
The Albergo Losanna is a bed and breakfast with prices to match. There are only 8 rooms of which 3 have a private bath but the price is right and the location is central. I'm told the street is noisy. Did I mention that there is no TV? The hotel address is Via V. Alfieri 9, Santa Croce.

The Hotel Morandi alla Crocetta is a former convent dating back to the early Sixteenth Century. It has a long history that can be found on the hotel website. This a three star hotel next to the Archaeological Museum and a few steps from the Academy of Fine Arts. There are only ten rooms and unlike many other hotels, breakfast is not included. The hotel address is Via Laura 50, Santissima Annunziata.

The J&J Hotel is also a converted Sixteenth Century Convent. Many rooms are on two levels but be warned, even their website talks about a steep flight of stairs to reach the hotel area. You'll find a breakfast room and a bar. The hotel includes 21 rooms and 6 suites. The hotel is quite close to the Sinagoga, the Florence Synagogue that dates back to 1874 and Ruth's an inexpensive kosher-vegetarian restaurant that is closed for Friday dinner and Saturday lunch. The hotel address is Via di Mezzo 20, Santa Croce.

Who wouldn't want to stay in a place called the Monna Lisa Hotel, who occupies a Fifteenth Century palace? This is a four-star hotel equipped with a garden, a gym, a solarium, and more. Just think, the bar was a confessional way back when. Each of the 45 rooms is individually decorated. The hotel address is Borgo Pinti 27, Santa Croce.

If money is no object you may want to stay in the Four Seasons Hotel, the top of the line for Florence. Their garden is eleven acres of sheer beauty; it's the largest private garden in the city. The hotel includes lounges and several restaurants. The Four Seasons claims to be Florence's only hotel with an on-site spa using products from Officina Profumo - Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, one of the world's oldest pharmacies applying the traditional recipes of monks that date back to the Thirteenth Century. There are 117 rooms, many of which contain original frescoes. This hotel's address is Borgo Pinti 99e, Santa Croce.

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet but he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches various computer classes in an Ontario French-language community college. Check out his wine website with a weekly column reviewing $10 wines and new sections writing about (theory) and tasting (practice) organic and kosher wines.

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