Oltrarno, Florence, Italy Book from Book from £124 per night

Eclectic rooms in a 16th-century palazzo, overlooking a secret garden in the arty Oltrarno district
Just 10 minutes from the tourist madness of the Ponte Vecchio, you can slip behind high walls into a calming green space of ancient trees and romantic follies. Giardino Torrigiani, which AdAstra overlooks, is the largest privately owned city garden in Europe. This unique guesthouse occupies a floor of the Marchese Torrigiani’s 16th-century family home, but while the 14 rooms have kept their aristocratic history - frescoed ceilings, carved double doors - they’ve been styled in a witty, contemporary manner, with retro and recycled furnishings and bold colours.

The treats of this place - design aside - are an enormous terrace overlooking the garden, and the wonderfully relaxed vibe. Plus you’re in the Oltrarno, a real locals’ neighbourhood, with genuine artisan shops and some of Florence's best eateries. If you're here for a few days, spend at least one just lazing on the terrace with your book and that tranquil view.


  • Gorgeous, romantic bedrooms with super-kingsize beds and in-room tubs; 2 are secreted away in the Giardino Torrigiani
  • The beautiful terrace with plenty of room for everyone; several rooms have direct access
  • Friendly and welcoming staff love to share their local knowledge of where to dine and shop
  • Peaceful garden views; great for unwinding after the clamour of the city
  • Incredible attention to detail throughout - and very well priced for such high standards


  • Although the Giardino Torrigiani is tantalisingly close, it's not open to guests unless you take a pricey guided tour
  • No meals served except breakfast, though there's an honesty bar and great eateries nearby
  • No twin rooms
  • Staff aren't around 24/7 (emergencies excepted) and the entry-code system can be tedious
  • A 20-minute walk from the city’s great sights

Best time to go

Florence will always be busy with tourists, but it's quieter in late autumn and early spring. High summer is hot and humid - with mosquitoes - and best avoided. The guesthouse is open all year - note, prices will soar during Christmas, fashion weeks and Pitti Fairs.

Our top tips

On the first Sunday of each month there’s free access to many of the city’s museums and galleries, including the Uffizi.

Piazza Passera, in the Oltrarno, is a small but lively square where locals of all ages meet up. It has a couple of excellent restaurants, a little gelateria and a boho café, Caffè degli Artigiani, with pretty alfresco tables squashed in the side street.

Great for...

City Style
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 14
  • Breakfast only (restaurants nearby)
  • Allowed but not ideal
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Honesty bar


All rooms are generously proportioned with comfortably worn parquet or tiled floors, shuttered windows and high frescoed or double-height ceilings. Artwork is contemporary and colourful, while furnishings lean towards vintage or recycled - perhaps a Biedermeier armchair, G-plan dressing table or lamp base fashioned out of an old fire extinguisher.

If you're happy with a street view rather than access to the terrace, the Superior and Deluxe Doubles are good value. The 2 Premium Garden Doubles are super-private, set in an old gardener's cottage in the Giardino Torrigiani (you're permitted access to get there!). King Garden View rooms are peaceful and have leafy views; King Balcony rooms have direct access to the communal terrace, with seating just for them.

Each room is subtly themed and unique. One takes its peppermint-green colour scheme from a framed vintage Pucci scarf; another is all about stars with a collection of snowdomes and a framed Ziggy Stardust album cover. Bathrooms are bold - perhaps hot-pink walls or hydrangea wallpaper - with large showers, plus clawfoot or deep baths in the bedrooms.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • DVD player
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi


It’s breakfast only at this guesthouse, but an above-average spread by Italian standards. As well as fresh fruit salad, cereals and yoghurt, there’s a decent selection of charcuterie and cheeses, along with pastries from a local bakery. We loved the apricot-jam croissants, and the blackcurrant tart was wickedly good. Try the homemade quince preserve, too.

The elegant breakfast-cum-sitting-room has a high, frescoed ceiling with a blingy chandelier, a parquet floor, and a mix of small, marble-topped tables and retro furnishings. Doors open to the terrace for alfresco breakfasts on warm days.

The pastries remain available all day, as are teas, coffees and fresh fruits - all free to help yourself to. There's an honesty bar for wine, spirits, soft drinks and beers.

For lunch and dinner, the Oltrarno has some of the city’s best neighbourhood eateries. We enjoyed earthy home cooking in Osteria Tripperia il Magazzino (tripe meatballs, rabbit alla cacciatora and a rich ragu made entirely from chicken livers). Staff also recommend Al Tranvai (rustic but innovative fare such as ricotta dumplings with blue cheese and asparagus, and an incredible chestnut pudding with persimmon).

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby


  • Browse the Oltrarno’s artisan shops; along and around Via San Spirito you’ll find unique jewellers, shoemakers, print-makers and handmade paper workshops
  • Walk to Florence’s big-hitters, the Duomo, Uffizi, Accademia and Bargello, all 15 to 20 minutes’ away across the Arno river. Book ahead in high season
  • For the finest views, brave the steep climb to San Miniato al Monte, the second-oldest church in the city. Romanesque in style, it has a stunning marbled façade and atmospheric crypt
  • As well as designing the Duomo's famous dome, Brunelleschi also created the stunning Santo Spirito church, which became his swan song. Its sequence of 38 side chapels is perfect in its elegant simplicity
  • Buy a picnic and swap the well-known Boboli Gardens for Giardino Bardini, a peaceful space mixing English romantic and Italian Baroque, with cracking city views

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Wine tasting


Families are welcome but it's not ideal for kids. The ambiance is romantic and peaceful, and the only meal served is breakfast.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

A baby cot or extra bed can be put in all rooms except the Superior Double.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 6 independent reviews from i-escape guests


What a delightful oasis in the midst of the frenzy of Florence. We loved the fact that it was a bit off the beaten track and were just sorry that the winter weather prevented us from enjoying the terrace and view. The place had a relaxed and easygoing vibe and the team couldn't have been more helpful and eager to please. We'd never have discovered some great eateries without their tips and were delighted to savour the city's hidden dining spots without hordes of fellow tourists. Gorgeous room and the honesty bar and all day snacks were a real bonus - bliss to be able to put our feet up in a relaxed fashion with a drink after a busy day pounding the pavements. A real find.


Great location with stunning views during breakfast. The rooms are quirky but lack that little bit of a quality finish. Breakfast is pleasant but given the level of food in Italy this was nothing to shout about. Staff were wonderful.


Excellent location - just 15 mins walk from the city centre. Chic and stylish, very clean room with excellent bathroom. Staff very friendly and helpful. We would stay there again.


This was the most beautiful hotel we have ever stayed in. The room was stunning and had a huge bath and oval shaped bathroom. The breakfast was lovely and had a lovely range of drinks and the fresh fruit salad was delicious. The terrace was stunning and we loved sitting out in the sun after a long day walking around Florence. Very easy to find and the lovely lady on the reception booked us in a restaurant and gave us recommendations on what to see and do. If we go back to Florence we will definitely be going back to AdAstra.


Huge rooms in this 8-room hotel with super-helpful staff. Not to mention the obvious views of the incredible garden. Great continental breakfast with snacks left out all day for you to help yourself in the welcoming reception room (and of course tea/coffee facilities). Location is maybe 15 min walk to the Ponte Vecchio and just 5 mins to the Boboli Gardens.
Literally cannot fault the place.


We stayed for 4 nights in room 4 which has direct access to the terrace and overlooked the Torrigiani Garden. Bed was huge, bathtab in room exceptional, separate bathroom with shower all immaculate. Breakfast was fine with a good selection of food and drink. Staff were very helpful throughout our stay. Highly recommended


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Rates for AdAstra