Ponte Vecchio, Florence

Gay Florence – Florence Travel Guide

Curation by Yasmina Rodríguez, words by Laura Tucker

Rich in culture, rife with charm and oh so very alluring; Florence is synonymous with everything we love about Italy. Cradle of the Renaissance, birthplace of the Negroni and one of Europe’s great art cities, Florence has long held allure with design-oriented gays – from Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci to Machiavelli and – we wouldn’t be surprised, based on his depiction of little David – Michelangelo. Florence is an urban dream best savoured slowly, teeming as it is with the world’s best museums, iconic medieval architecture and sigh-worthy shopping. As for the food, traditional mom-and-pop trattorias stand side by side with Michelin-starred affairs, serving up international cuisine as regularly as perfections on pasta, pizza and peasant stew. Florence nightlife is also joyfully mixed, although the Gay Street next door to the Coliseum hosts a fab few gay bars. Despite Italy remaining slow on the gay rights front, its big cities are generally considered gay friendly, with the Florence Queer Festival in November acting as testament to this. Confused about what to see in Florence? Let our definitive Florence gay scene guide lead the way.

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The best hotels in Florence

Our Florence gay travel guide starts with a roundup of the best places to stay in Florence. Elegant, effortless and stunningly beautiful, these hotels are some of the best for drifting into sweet, Tuscan dreams. Situated in one of Florence’s most covetable neighbourhoods, Portrait Firenze offers exquisite elegance and unparalleled views of both the Arno River and iconic Ponte Vecchio. While all guests to the Portrait Firenze will find a modern chic aesthetic tempered with a dose of Italian warmth thanks to its carefully curated collection of mid-century furnishings, our favourite rooms are in the Lungarno Collection. Nearby, just steps from Stazione Santa Maria Novella is the J.K. Place Firenze, boasting a location that is nothing short of idyllic. This modern 5-star hotel is both luxurious and convenient, complete with a lounge area serving afternoon aperitivos and leisurely dinners.

While the enticements of Firenze can last well into the night, at some point the time will come to say buona notte. For an alternative accommodation option away from the tourists, try Oltrarno Splendid, a boutique bed and breakfast housed in an 18th century palazzo right at the edge of the River Arno, an area known for its artisan locals and creative atmosphere. Offering individually designed rooms of ornate frescoes and intentionally faded wallpaper, Oltrarno Splendid will make you feel like Italian royalty. For ultimate extra-ness, check into the King Room for views of Brunelleschi’s cathedral cupola from the bubbly comfort of your bathtub. Another Oltarno-based boutique babe, just a short walk from Ponte Vecchio bridge, is Soprarno Suites, boasting restoration period stylings fused with hipster quirks. Filled with vintage finds, roll-top baths and original artwork, the Soprarno suites are deliciously retro, with the Deluxe suites just that bit more divine.

Last up is The Borgo Pinti Collection Suites, a selection of private, luxury apartments perfect for an extended stay. Conveniently located on a main (although still quiet) road, the Borgo Pinti suites offer guests close proximity to many of the best Florence points of interest, as well as access to its spa centre.

Oltrarno Splendid | Photo: Dario Garofalo

Oltrarno Splendid | Photo: Dario Garofalo

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Recommended hotels in Gay Florence – Florence
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