Palazzo Antellesi

A rental apartment in the Palazzo Antellesi, Florence
The living room of the "Donatello" rental apartment in the Palazzo Antellesi, Florence

Twelve outstanding, weekly rentals that sleep anywhere from 2-8 people, located in the heart of Santa Croce

Here's your chance to set up housekeeping in a chunk of the Renaissance. Many people passing through Piazza Santa Croce notice Giovanni di Ser Giovanni's 1620 graffiti frescoes on the overhanging facade of no. 21, but few realize they can actually stay there.

The 16th-century palazzo is owned by the gracious Contessa Piccolomini (her family's ancestors produced two popes: Pius II and Pius III), who rents out truly spacious apartments to anyone who has ever dreamed of lying in bed next to a roaring fire under a 17th-century frescoed ceiling (the Granduca, sleeping two or three) or sipping tea in a living room surrounded by trompe-l'oeil Roman ruins with a 16th-century wood ceiling above (the Donatello, sleeping six to eight).

Even in the more standard rooms the furnishings are tasteful, with wicker, wood, or wrought-iron bed frames; potted plants; and the occasional 18th-century inlaid wood dresser to go with the plush couches and chairs.

The fourth-floor rooms (the Miravista and Mimi) are booked seasons in advance by those who love the private penthouse terraces overlooking the lively piazza.

The kitchens are sizable and fully equipped. Author R. W. B. Lewis wrote extensively about the Antellesi in the final chapter of his excellent The City of Florence.

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Piazza Santa Croce 21–22
tel. 212-932-3480 in the U.S. and =39-055-244-456 in Italy

Bus: 23, C1, C3
Hop-on/hop-off: Santa Croce (A), Corso Tintori (C); Teatro Verdi (A)

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Florence hotel & lodging links
Useful Italian for lodging
English (Inglese) Italian (Italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
yes si see
no no no
Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...a hotel un albergo oon al-BEAR-go
...a B&B un bed-and-breakfast oon bet hand BREK-fust
...a rental room un'affittacamera oon ah-feet-ah-CAH-mair-ra apartment for rent un appartamento oon ah-part-tah-MENT-toh
...a farm stay un agriturismo oon ah-gree-tour-EES-moh
...a hostel un ostello oon oh-STEHL-loh
How much is...? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
a single room una singola OO-nah SEEN-go-la
double room for single use [will often be offered if singles are unavailable] doppia uso singola DOPE-pee-ya OO-so SEEN-go-la
a double room with two beds una doppia con due letti OO-nah DOPE-pee-ya cone DOO-way LET-tee
a double room with one big bed una matrimoniale OO-nah mat-tree-moan-nee-YAAL-lay
triple room una tripla OO-nah TREE-plah
with private bathroom con bagno cone BAHN-yoh
without private bathroom senza bagno [they might say con bagno in comune—"with a communal bath"] SEN-zah BAHN-yoh
for one night per una notte pair OO-nah NOH-tay
for two nights per due notti pair DOO-way NOH-tee
for three nights per tre notti pair tray NOH-tee
Is breakfast included? É incluso la prima colazione? ay in-CLOO-soh lah PREE-mah coal-laht-zee-YOAN-nay
Is there WiFi? C'é WiFi? chay WHY-fy?
May I see the room? Posso vedere la camera? POH-soh veh-DAIR-eh lah CAH-mair-rah
That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
Is there a cheaper one? C'é una più economica? chay OO-nah pew eh-ko-NO-mee-kah
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Piazza Santa Croce 21–22
tel. 212-932-3480 in the U.S. and 055-244-456 in Italy

Bus: 23, C1, C3
Hop-on/hop-off: Santa Croce (A), Corso Tintori (C); Teatro Verdi (A)

» book

Other useful links
  • Car resources
  • Emergency service/tow: tel. 803-116
  • Highway agency: (traffic info, serivce areas, toll calculator, weather)
  • Italian automotive club (~AAA):
  • ZTLs: (lightly outdated, but handy, links to cities' traffic-free zones)
  • Transport Florence—Livorno cruise terminal
  • (private car: 90 min, €40–€260)
  • (train: 68–100 min, €9.10) + Livorno port-station transfer (€1 bus; €20–€30 taxi)


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