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Florence – The Best Travel Destination in 2019

Florence – The Best Travel Destination in 2019

BY Trish Clark . 20 May

It's hard not to fall in love with a city as glorious as Florence. Sauntering out of the Santa Maria Novella train station for the first time, the tourist could well be forgiven for thinking he has stepped into a vast outdoor museum of Renaissance art and architecture.

Of all the iconic medieval buildings in Florence, it is the majestic Duomo, the 15th century cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore which attracts the most visitors. This architectural masterpiece was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) and has been credited as an inspiration for the dome of St. Peter’s in Rome, St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and the Capitol Dome in Washington, D.C.

Accommodation in the historical area of the city is not a problem as there are almost as many famous hotels as there are piazzas and statues. The Hotel Degli Orafi on the banks of the Arno was made famous by honeymooners Lucy Honeychurch and George Emerson in the movie, Room with a View.



The Hotel Porta Rossa, the oldest hotel in Florence having been first established in the 14th century, was often home to English poet, Lord Byron, and these days is a favourite with actors and film directors. Pensione Sorelle Bandidi was used in the movie Tea with Mussolini. No longer a pensione, and after a full renovation the Bandidi, will soon reopen as the more upmarket (and expensive) Palazzo Guadagni.

However, it is by no means necessary to book into a luxury hotel to get the most out of a visit to Florence. Staying in a well located convent or monastery guesthouse leaves more cash to spend on the important things like food, concert tickets, gallery entry, and tours.

Guests of the Oblate Sisters attached to the Sanctuary Firenze will have only a short stroll to the majestic Duomo and to many of the city’s other major tourist sites. The convent is situated in a former 15th century palazzo, once owned by the noble Medeci family. Singles, couples, families, and groups are welcome to stay here.

Recently, the convent ‘hotel’ has undergone a substantial facelift and the facilities for guests have been upgraded. Rooms with ensuite bathroom are available and cheaper rooms are offered on a share bathroom basis. The spotlessly clean guest rooms are large and well-furnished. And windows are double glazed with reinforced glasses, though noise is not a problem as the street has recently undergone traffic restrictions.

Guests will be pleasantly surprised by the large, tranquil garden to the rear of the building, a peaceful place to relax at the end of a tiring day. Breakfast is available daily and facilities include elevator, internet kiosk, and air conditioning in all rooms. Shops and restaurants are close by. As in all convent and monastery guesthouses, religion isn’t spruiked here. However, guests are welcome to join the sisters in daily Mass if they wish to.

Book your accomodation in Sanctuary Firenze now!

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