My wife and I just finished a two week stay at Residenza Betta in Florence. We had a wonderful experience at this small bed and breakfast and I can recommend it heartily.
The Residenza Betta is on the second floor (American terminology. First floor in Italian usage.) of an attractive traditional building in a nice area just North of the historic section of downtown Florence. Walking to the Duomo takes about twenty minutes, less if you’re a fast walker. We found the location to be an advantage because it’s much quieter and far less crowded than downtown.
I did not see other rooms, but our room, a double, was attractive and clean with good beds. Our room (and I think every room) had its own bath, which had almost-new, good-quality fixtures. We had our own, individually-controlled air conditioner which worked very well during the several hot days we experienced.
Our room was at the back of the building and had a small balcony that we shared with two other rooms. The balcony had tables and chairs and was a wonderful place to sit in the morning or evening.
Unlike many bed and breakfasts where we have stayed, our room was cleaned each day and our beds were made for us. Linens were changed about every three days.
We used the wi-fi connection extensively and found it to be quite good. European web sites came up immediately and U.S.-hosted sites were only slightly slower, with some latency due to the long trip the signals took under the Atlantic. There was an LCD television in our room with many Italian stations, one French station and BBC World News in English.
A buffet-style continental breakfast was served each morning and the breakfast room stayed open, with food and drink available, throughout the day. Food items included croissants, sweet cake, small crisp toasted pieces of bread, jam and butter. Two varieties of juice, coffee and tea were served. The breakfast room was always quite clean and well-kept.
The wonderful staff were one of the best parts of our visit to Florence. The Residenza Betta is owned and operated by Elizabetta and her two sons and had been open about four months when we stayed there. They were outstanding, very friendly and helpful. Elizabetta is a long-time resident and can provide detailed information about all of the tourist sites and the surrounding smaller cities and towns.
My wife is a writer and after Cosimo, one of the two sons, saw how much we were using our computer, he brought a desk into our room so that we could type more comfortably. Whenever my wife slept in and Elizabetta saw me eating breakfast by myself, she would prepare a plate of food for me to take back to our room for my wife.
Security in the building is quite good. There is a lock on the street-level door and a second lock at the entrance to the Residenza Betta itself. Each individual room also has a lock on its door.
This is a middle-class to upscale neighborhood and the streets felt very safe at night.
There is a bus stop for the city bus about ten steps from the front door. From there, you can travel almost anywhere in Florence, either directly or via a connection at the nearby main bus station. Elizabetta can provide detailed instructions on which bus to use to reach any of the tourist destinations and she also has bus maps of the city. Buy your city bus ticket from any local shop that sells them (there are many-look for the bus company logo) before you get on the bus. The bus drivers can sell you tickets, but the one we tried to buy from didn‘t seem happy to sell us one. The tickets are also cheaper in the shops than they are on the bus. The main bus station is within easy walking distance and is next to the train station where you can catch a train bound for almost anywhere and access regional and national bus lines.
The bed and breakfast pays a fee for access to priority service from one of the major taxi companies. It never took more than 2-3 minutes for a cab to arrive at the front door after a call was made. After Elizabetta taught me how to properly pronounce Via Poliziano, none of the cab drivers had any problems finding our building. The cabs are much cleaner than typical New York or Chicago cabs and so are the drivers. Typical cab fares to major tourist attractions were 7-10 Euros. Drivers don’t expect tips, but are delighted when they receive them.
There are several small restaurants, pastry shops, etc., within a few blocks, most good, some so-so. Elizabetta and her sons can provide excellent restaurant suggestions. An almost always open take-out pizza and pastry shop is a half-block away. A small grocery store is about 2.5 blocks away and a laundromat is about a 7-8 minute walk down Via Nazionale (buy detergent first at the grocery store). A pharmacy is about a block away.
We loved our visit at the Residenza Betta and will absolutely stay there the next time we travel to Florence.
Unique Quality: Wonderful Staff
Directions: North of historic district
Viale Michelangelo 1, Florence
Via dei Tornabuoni 1, Florence
Piazza Santa Maria Novella 7, Florence
Piazza Ognissanti 1, Florence
Latest Florence hotel reviews