We stayed in the Francesco de’ Medici apartment, located on the ground floor, for 3 nights in September 2018.
The room itself.
The open concept, the high vaulted Florentine ceilings, the easy access (stairs to higher floors were numerous and steep), the A/C, and the washing machine (stayed part way through a 3 week trip and it was exceptionally hot, so nice to be able to wash and refresh the clothes! Note that there is no dryer so be sure to pack clothes that dry relatively quickly when hung).
The Oltrarno area! We easily walked everywhere (Accademia, Uffizi, Mercato Centrale, San Miniato Abbey for Gregorian Chants, and the Duomo Museum – a must!). During our previous stay in Florence we were directly across from the Duomo/Cathedral. We would recommend Oltrarno as the better location – by far. It’s a wee bit removed from the throngs of tourists and therefore feels a bit more local.
Just a 30 minute walk from the train station.
A few tips:
Skip the extra charge Federico offers to have breakfast at a reduced price (via coupons) at a location near to/across from the Pitti Palace and instead go to the Caffe degli Artigiani which is just a few feet away from the apartment, has a much more local vibe, and has much much better prices.
If you are asking Federico for dining recommendations, be sure to indicate the kind of places you typically like or are looking for. We didn’t, and the recommended restaurant (Cammillo Trattoria), though it might have appealed to some travellers, was a total flop as far as we were concerned.
Bring coffee to make in the room (only tea is provided).
Bring flip-flops to wear in the apartment; the floors were in desperate need of a cleaning (bare feet needed a good scrub before getting into bed). I so wished I had packed a pair.
The in-room safe is tiny, only fits a passport or two.
It’s not a hotel, so don’t expect the room to be made up daily without an additional fee. We were quoted 40E for daily housekeeping or 60E for daily housekeeping (with towels and bed sheets).
You can also request airport or train station transfers and can expect to pay 70E (from the airport) or 50E (from the train station); we arrived by train and had no problem walking (approximately half an hour; we did travel quite light).
Despite it being on a quiet street, we were woken on our first morning (around 5 am) to the sound of a large truck picking up scraps and garbage in the lane (think broken furniture etc) – this was right outside our bedroom window. We thought we would ‘wait it out’ but it went on for more than an hour and a half. Of course it’s no fault of Federico’s/Belfiore (and he informed us it was illegal to do so), we just thought it worth mentioning so you are aware that these kinds of things are possibilities – as, perhaps, they are everywhere.
Little opportunities for improvement:
A welcome note was left for us (nice touch!), but an incorrect name was noted (oops; my maiden name was used, which formed part of my email address but was never used in booking or on any signature).
WIFI was terrible to non-existent (recent reviewers are noting improvements)
Yes it’s a 14th century building, and yes that’s what people who book are looking for … yet the bathrooms could use a little love.
A standard-sized in-room safe would be most welcomed.
Although we knew there was no 24 hour concierge or service (it is an apartment, after-all), Federico seemed missing in action. So many reviewers commented on what a fantastic and helpful host he is, and for us that really mattered in our booking. We love connecting with people, it’s what makes life rich and makes a stay special, and so we were really looking forward to meeting Federico. Yet he was not easily available in person. We did go meet with him at his sister property (Palazzo San Niccolo) which was recently opened (perhaps explaining his preoccupation or lack of presence at Belfiore) and had a very pleasant chat. He was also responsive to email, which was nice.
On the morning of our departure, we were packed up, but stepped out for coffee and breakfast before collecting our luggage. When we got back to the apartment the cleaning staff was already inside to turn the room over. This felt a little odd, a little rushed, and left us unable to use the loo as a result before taking off.
A return stay? Recommended?
Jeri & Tim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Response from PalazzoBelfiore, Direttore at Residence Palazzo Belfiore
Responded 1 Mar 2019
Dear Jeri & Tim, I am Federico. I was a very pleaure to meet you and host you at your home in Florence. First of all, thank you very much for all the suggestions and wonderful review, we are always very proud to receive compliments by our guests off course, we can do everytime better, and this is our goal, continue to grow to host better as possible our guests in Florence in our apartments. As you wrote, we have opened another Residence, and now wehave in total three :) As you can undestand it is not possible to be present at Palazzo Belfiore as once, but anyway during your stay Lisa was at your disposal along the day with suggestions and others information. I am sorry if the suggestion of the restaurant it didn't satify you, but it is really difficult follow aspettative of our guests. As I made with you, usually I suggest three different restaurants with three differenent style and price. The same thing I can say about the breakfast. In our little guide we suggest also Caffè degli Artigiani as the original local cafè, but we are also glad to suggest JT Caffè with our voucher with discount: service and quality very high, and then our guest can choose as you have done. We are looking forward to host you very soon follow your suggestions. Best regards Federico
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC