Christmas in Florence

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This is the first Christmas picture I ‘ve made this year in our Florence. So exciting when first Xmas lights make our city magic and warmer, chocolate is everywhere in the air, shops have that sweet winter touch… Oh if only it could snow! Well … who knows?

By the way, we ‘re making our Christmas decorations at our home Relais Grand Tour B&B and really hope you will join us in Florence !

Rick Steves and the Grand Tour Relais & Suites

 

Rick Steves Florence and Tuscany 2016

This April, we had the pleasure to meet one of the Rick Steves inspectors here at our home the B&B Relais Grand Tour & Grand Tour Suites in Firenze.

I have to say that  I have never seen such seriousness and competence, such enthusiasm and attention to evaluating things. The young man who came to do the inspection of our B&B and chat about our work and our guests, was very kind and very happy to see that the Relais Grand Tour is well maintained, with care and love from our family.
I was very pleased to see that the effort that we put every day in every single detail of our work, shines through clearly.

For me it is a pride to collaborate with Rick Steves and his collaborators, and I hope that we will always have the honor to be present in their gorgeous travel guides.

Thank you! Thank you Rick Steves!

 

A renovated room: the Golden accomodation

Golden dbl room

At the Relais Grand Tour there is a new room, totally renovated, 2 up 4 guests! During the second half of march, finally we finished the renovation of the rooms on the 2nd floor. While before we had 2 double rooms with 2 bathrooms (quite small standard shower), today we have the Golden Double room perfect for couple, and the Golden Family Suite up to 4 guests made of the Golden dbl room and the adjoining dbl room.

Golden Dbl Room: large double occupancy accomodation, bright and sunny, air conditioning/heating, wi-fi, minifridge, in-room breakfast facilities. Large bathroom with a huge shower box in mosaics and 2 sinks. The beautiful mirror in gold that you see in the bathroom, is an ancient family one.

Golden Suite: 2 large dbl occupancy rooms, separated by a door, and the large bathroom with a huge shower box mentioned above. In each one of the 2 rooms: air conditioning/heating, wi-fi, breakfast facilities, mini-fridge. Perfecrt for 2+1 guests, families of 4, a group of friends. It is possible to ask for twins in one of the 2 rooms.

You can see all our room on the Official Website Relais Grand Tour & Grand Tour Suites and check all the Special Offers and best rates! Come to Florence and join us!

Here is the GOLDEN DBL ROOM gallery and the GOLDEN SUITE 

Mercato Centrale in Florence: your food experience

This awsome place in the truly Florence city center is located just 2 minues walking from our Bed & Breakfast Relais Grand Tour, and it is open from the early morning until mid-night. The big building in grey and red facade is an old-European style Food Market, recently renovated on its 2nd floor (lift).
Downstairs is the historical market with some small food stands dating back to the early 20th century including the very famous Trattoria da Nerbone with its panini and lasagna.
The 1st floor opens daily very early round 7.00am, since most of the restaurants in Florence buy their ingredients here at the Mercato Centrale which offers more than 150 vendors for vegetables, meat, cheese, prosciutti, fish, fruit, spices, olive oil, wine, bread, etc… There are some nice small stops where you can eat panini or a home-made “lasagna” until 2.00pm. Very simple meals, light prices.
Upstairs, on the 2nd floor, there is the new food court which is a great spot for a high-quality meal in a very trendy athmosphere with music, art events, readings, food tastings… There is also a good cooking school and you can spend some time watching chefs’ secrets from the windows. The 2nd floor is open mid-morning until mid-night, all days all year (incl. Festivities).
When on the 2nd floor just find a table, grab food from one (or more!) of the vendors and enjoy. There is a great varieties of fresh food stands which can please any palate, and most of the restaurants upstairs get all their produce from local farmers. They have servers that can take your drink orders and take your plates away. Prices are very popular and food is well done, that’s why locals come here not only during the week-end.
“FRESH” is the key-word of this amazing place! Fresh fish, fresh meat (no OGM here! And most of the ingredients are “organic”) fresh hand-made pasta, fresh organic veggie burgers, fresh bread and pastries… There is a great Truffle shop where you can ask for your pasta and choose which truffle exposed behind the the window you want in it…
The place is often busy: families, friends, couples, businnesmen, tourists or locals, everyone here is just looking for a break with some good food and a glass of wine or just want a quick italian expresso before back to work.. A vibrant place in Florence city center, fun and perfect for foodies. An locals (usually so critics) are very proud to be here.
The Mercato Centrale is also a Florence Food Shopping temple: buy your stuffs, take your wines, and just ask them to deliver all the items wherever you want (ask at the information desk).
Staff is very friendly and everyone speak English.

Best time to go to Florence: weather


firenze-lungarni

Any time is good to come to Firenze at the Relais Grand Tour B&B and visit this incredibly cradle of the Renaissance in Italy, but some seasons are better than others.
Due to the climate change, actually our Springs and Autums are much longer than in the past and less rainy. This makes travels more pleasant for tourists and give you more time to schedule your vacation, if you want to skip Summer and Winter, which are much shorter than a few years ago.

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Relais Grand Tour is now on The Rough Guide ! A present to the users…

This is a great good new: the Rough Guide staff contacted us to put the Relais Grand Tour & Grand Tour Suites on the Rough Guide for Italy 2016! We are so proud!
Actually we are already on the Rough Guide Pocket Size and this 2015 Mr Jonathan a member of the Rough staff listed our bed and breakfast in the Florence center on the Rough Guide for Tuscany and Umbria. This is super terrific!
What can we say? A great thank you to the Rough staff and to all the users which have sent comments about our place so that we were took in consideration by the editors.
Grazie mille!
We are happy to offer to the Rough Guide users a 10% discount on all our tariffs and make this special combinable with other offers they can find on our official website Relais Grand Tour Offers

Just come here with the book where you saw our place and the special will be confirmed!

Getting to the Relais Grand Tour from the train station Firenze SM Novella

Florence

If you are coming to Florence by train, this is very easy and less stressfull than to use a car. You can book the tickets directly on the official website www.trenitalia.com english version available, or you can easily get the tickets at a local travel agency or at the train station ticket office.
If you will come to Florence from Rome, Milan, Naples, Cinqueterre, etc. this will be a very good transportation because it is fast and safe. From Rome it takes no longer than 1h 40 minutes, Milano is at about 2 hours (by car this is about 4 hours).
When you will stop at the Firenze SM Novella just go in the direction of the Pharmacy you will see on your left (leaving the train platform). There you choose if take a taxi or just walk.

Taxi: go to the Pharmacy and turn at its corner; at the end of the sidewalk on your right you see the taxi line. A ride to the Relais Grand Tour is about 10,00/12.00 euros and it takes just a few minutes (also see this post Taxi in Florence how does it work? )

Walking directions: go to the Pharmacy and cross the streets at the traffic light, then take right and go straight to the Largo Alinari (first corner on your left) which will put you into the Via Nazionale. When you will be into Via Nazionale just count the corners you will meet on your right. At the 4th, turn here, this is Via Guelfa. Walk straight into Via Guelfa to the 2nd cross-road: on your left there is Via Santa Reparata and we are at the n.21. Be careful: here in Florence we have black and red numbers. Red are for shops, restaurants etc. and black numbers they are for private homes, small hotels, etc. We are on the n.21 in black, on the opposite side of a small music shop you will meet coming in our direction.