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San Lorenzo: Hotel Il Bargellino

Via Guelfa 87

Reviewed by: jocelyn z from USA, review #3276

When: October 2012

A true jewel of Florence

Since my first stay at Il Bargellino back in 2004, my ideal "home away from home" was discovered. I stayed here a few more times. This small, charming and perfectly located hotel is superb. For many years I resisted writing reviews about it just to keep it a secret from the usual splash of tourists in Florence. For selfish reasons, of course!

But after a recent visit this year, I discovered (once again) that the owners of Il Bargellino are still as true and charming as ever. That the place itself will always be perfect: the lovely rooms, the upstairs terrace where all guests sit and chat after long days visiting the sights, the camaraderie. The ever smiling Carmel and Pino, always ready to help, with every detail of your stay.

Once you step out the door: Florence is at your feet !! And when you return, it always feels like coming back home. I can't imagine Florence without it !!

Reviewed by: Tom from UT, review #3077

When: 2011

Friendly, clean, walkable central location, great patio for relaxing after sightseeing, before dinner, very good value.

The price of our room was E80 per night. For a clean friendly hotel in Florence, I consider it a very good value.

The hotel is a few blocks walk from the Santa Maria Novella train station, and maybe 6 blocks from the Duomo, so getting around without a car is not a problem.

The open patio is a wonderful place to meet other guests and share the days experiences over cheese and a glass of wine after sightseeing and before dinner. You can also practice your Italian with the hotel parrot.

Reviewed by: Queen of Squeeze from GA, review #3068

When: May 2011

Quiet, Quaint, Comfortable and Convenient

We just completed our second stay at this lovely hotel run by American Carmel and her Italian husband Pino. (First visit was in 2006.)

It is an easy walk from the main train station, and just far enough off the beaten path to be quiet. It is convenient to all the main areas of Florence.

The main attraction here for us is the rooftop patio, a great spot for coffee in the morning and even better in the evenings. We so enjoyed our chats with the other interesting guests, trading recommendations on sights and restaurants over glasses of wine. The perfect way to end each wonderful day in Florence.

Some guest rooms open onto the patio, and all are well-appointed and reasonably priced.

Reviewed by: Citizen_Jack from VA, review #3024

When: January 2011

Very pleasant small hotel near the train station. Cordial staff (owners), quiet rooms, espresso machine in room. We loved it.

My wife, son and I spent four nights in Il Bargellino. Our preference is for quiet, clean, small hotels out of the main parts of cities, and this fit the bill.

The owners are Carmel (American) and her Italian husband, Pino, and they create a welcoming atmosphere in this 10-room hotel about 10 minutes from the train station. It is also a short walk to the central market. We walked to everything from Il Bargellino, but a cab stop is not far away.

The rooms are comfortable and each has an espresso machine to get you going in the AM. No breakfast in the hotel but there are several cafes a couple of blocks away. Some of the rooms open onto a pleasant patio where you can take a coffee or a glass of wine.

This is not your full service business oriented hotel, but then who wants that while on vacation? We will stay there again, I hope, because it added to a restful getaway for all of us.

Reviewed by: TomatoJim from CA, review #2954

When: September 2010

The Hotel Il Bargellino is a great value for budget travelers. Located just outside the Florence tourist chaos zone.

Il Bargellino is a clean and basic hotel for the budget traveler located about 2 blocks north of the train station and about 2 blocks west of the indoor Central Market.

It is out of the main tourist traffic areas but within walking distance of the center. This is a good location if you want to escape the tourist hustle and bustle and still be staying overnight in the old city.

If you want the amenities of a 3-4-star hotel, this place is not for you. Besides offering a good value product, I see the Il Bargellino Hotel's major competitive advantages as:

(1) Great personalized customer service (museum reservations, taxis, directions, restaurants) and interaction,

(2) Access to the relaxing garden terrace (a paradise in the big city), and

(3) Excellent English speaking capability for monolingual Americans like me.

We would stay here again and would recommend this hotel to friends.

Reviewed by: Aquan from Canada, review #2733

When: June 2009

Inexpensive, quiet street, central location, near restaurants, excellent market, many art treasures,warm, friendly, charming, and kind hoteliers, Carmel and Pino!

My wife and I had a warm and friendly experience with two unassuming and kind hoteliers, Carmel and Pino, at this hotel It is inexpensive, centrally located, near restaurants, stores, famous market, and the numerous art treasures for which Florence is justifiably famous. Carmel and Pino made us feel at home, so much so that they spring to mind when I think of Florence and Italians.

They were genuinely friendly and kind people. We were having lunch one day on the terrace when Pino spontaneously brought us wine for our meal.

The double room was spacious, with a very comfortable bed, and attractively furnished. The room had adequate security.There was a large winding marble stairway with tasteful pictures. It reminded me of the entry to an imperial palace of Rome. The nearby market was excellent. You could have genuine, tasty, and inexpensive Italian meals. And, of course, the famous art galleries of Florence (and the wonderful Michaelangelo's statue of David, among other famous sculptures) was always near at hand.

My present very positive attitude to Italy and the Italian language owes much to staying at Hotel Il Bargellino and meeting two genuine Italians.

Kenneth, Ontario, Canada, 2009

Reviewed by: GG from NJ, review #2555

When: October 2008

We hated to leave this home away from home.

Il Bargelllino was perfect. We spent time on the grand terrace, a real luxury. The hotel is like being in the home of Carmel and Pino. And the bathroom in our room must have been the largest in all of Italy!

Reviewed by: Average Traveller US from CA, review #2516

When: December 2008 - January 2009

Two advantages to staying here: you experience something other than a typical hotel without compromising your comforts, and you save some money.

Most hotels I checked before I knew about Il Bargellino were in the over-200 euro range. (These were the typical hotels I would go for.) In the end, I was glad we stayed here because we saved quite a bit of money (€80 a night).

The owners were also generous with allowing us to make/receive phone calls. I enjoyed a few days of no TV in the room - I discovered in another Italy city a few days later that not a lot of the basic cable channels were that interesting so I wasn't missing anything, anyway.

Being able to communicate with the owners more than one is accustomed to in larger hotels was new. Drinking prosecco and eating panettone with them on New Year's Eve was even more of a plus. They created a sense of hospitality that was above and beyond just providing lodging.

Reviewed by: BigRoad from NC, review #2504

When: June 2008

We couldn't imagine staying anywhere else in Florence!

Terrace, photo by

My husband and I visited Italy for the first time, and honestly, we can’t think of a better place to have begun our adventure.

Il Bargellino was a terrific home base to have in Florence. It was within walking distance of all the major sites and only a few blocks from the train station, yet it was on a quiet unassuming block.

The room was lovely, clean, cozy and authentic. We loved the fact that it opened onto the terrace, where we spent every morning having breakfast, afternoon siesta, and every night with a bottle of wine and a rehashing of our day. Two of our favorite memories from our entire time in Italy happened on that terrace. While we were there in the summer, it was seasonably hot and we asked Pino, one of the owners how to ask for cold coffee in a café. Not only did he tell us how, but he offered to make us caffe freddo that evening. It was delicious and the ice was much appreciated!

Another day we finally discovered the Mercato Centrale and brought back to the terrace an amazing picnic of local meats, cheeses, fruits and veggies. It was the best meal during our trip and we felt lucky to have the terrace to take our time and enjoy it.

While we were sorry not to get to meet Carmel, Pino’s wife and co-owner of the hotel, we can say that she was a huge help in planning our trip. She reserved our tickets to the museums so that we could avoid the long lines and before arriving gave us great tips about what to pack and what to see.

Everyone at Il Bargellino was friendly, helpful and a true joy to be around. We wouldn’t think of staying anywhere else!

Reviewed by: lisa from US, review #2264

When: May 2008

Wonderful small family owned hotel, clean and attractive rooms, quiet, owners extremely helpful and friendly, our favorite hotel in Italy.

Il Bargellino is clean and attractive and the owers are very helpful. Carmel made museum reservations for me before we even left the US, and gave us advice to help get around the city. There is an outdoor patio where guests gather at the end of the day and trade stories. It feels like visiting friends at their home. Very reasonable as well, though I don't recall the exact room rate. Great value.

Reviewed by: MiPiaceItaly from FL, review #2247

When: May 2008

Loved Il Bargellino!

My husband and I just returned from two weeks in Italy. We stayed in Florence for five nights and loved Hotel Il Bargellino.

The room was much larger than those we had at either the two-star hotel in Rome or the three-star in Venice. The hosts, Carmel and Pino, were very friendly. Our room was on the terrace-side of the hotel, so it was very quiet. The location is great - you can walk to most/all of the major sites.

While there is no breakfast provided, there is a bright, clean, friendly bar down the street where you can get breakfast (and drinks, snacks, and light meals throughout the rest of the day).

The bed was very comfortable. Everything was clean. And the roof terrace was a great place to unwind. We loved the neighborhood cat, who wandered across the roof-tops, onto the terrace, and into any rooms left open. Also on the terrace was Carmel and Pino's parrot, who sat on a perch throughout the day.

Reviewed by: pikespeak62 from CO, review #2102

When: October 2007

We loved this hotel.

What a find! Great price (85 euros for a double room with private bath) Very quiet...at least on the terrace side. Carmel and Pino very friendly and helpful. Close to everything. Clean and roomy. Loved the resident cat!

Reviewed by: Lynne G from IN, review #1886

When: May 2007

If I ever make it back to Florence I would definitely stay here again.

For the price of less than 85 euros I was very pleased with our stay at Il Bargellino. The price wasn't even the best part - the owners, Carmel and Pino were what made the stay there so grand. They are extremely hospitable and friendly.

The rooms were comfortable and clean. I liked the decor of paintings and art both in the rooms and down the hall. And as an extra bonus there was a lovely second floor terrace that was available for guests to enjoy.

Reviewed by: wrldtrvl23 from TX, review #1871

When: April 2007

Great place to stay! Clean rooms and bathrooms. Very nice staff. Beautiful terrace - take them up on their invitations to join them!

Hotel Il Bargelino was the perfect place for me to stay while in Florence! It certainly made my experience and I can't imagine staying anywhere else.

The owners, Carmel and Pino, are very welcoming and are willing to do anything to make their guests comfortable. Do remember their kindness in making museum reservations and the invitations to join them on the terrace!

The terrace is a great place to get to know them, meet other guests, talk about different traveling finds, and simply to take part in this beautiful part of Italian culture.

I recommend it to all - the kind management, quaint and comfortable rooms, the clean bathrooms, beautiful art and sculpture hallways, and inviting terrace - give it a try! 1 star hotel.

Reviewed by: Rosemary V from MA, review #1867

When: April 2007

A true feel of Italy with comfort and simplicity. Centrally located and very reasonably priced.

We've stayed here twice and anytime we come to Florence this will most definitely be our spot. It's in the perfect location, a walk to everything!

The hotel is like a home. The "residents/tourists/visitors" are like family - with the magnificent terrace the gathering spot. Carmel and Pino are the best hosts. The rooms are spacious, clean; the hotel quiet and assuming. It just feels like Italy. It's less expensive in the winter; in April we paid E85.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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