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Casa Howard, Florence 

See the Florence Guide ›
18 Via della Scala
Italy 50123
Tel: 39 06 6992 4555
view web site ›'s insider take:

Casa Howard more or less invented the luxury Italian guesthouse in its two original Roman locations. This discreet home-away-from-home exports that winning formula to Florence, offering high standards of comfort and service at great rates. The look is colorful and vaguely eccentric; furniture is an eclectic mix of antiques and custom-made pieces combined with fine fabrics and strong tints. No two of its 13 bedrooms are alike: The spacious and dramatic Drawing Room has black walls and white cornices, while the Hidden Room is a sexy little den with deep red walls hung with erotic Japanese prints (plus a sunken bath). The Fireplace Room has two working fireplaces, an oversize black-velvet sofa, and honey-colored silk curtains. There is no communal space to speak of (unless you count the Turkish bath), so breakfast is served on a tray in one's room. The location is central, just steps from the Santa Maria Novella church.

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Definetely outstanding

Three ingredients successfully created this wonderful lodging: an historical palazzo in the right location, the unique ideas of the anglo-italian owner who, with the... more