If you’re looking for short or long-term accommodation in Florence, then it’s best to stay within the town walls. Florence is incredibly compact, and all its major attractions and public transport hubs are within walking distance of one another.
Staying in the Oltrarno area is a smart way to familiarise yourself with everyday Florentine life. Situated on the south side of the city, it’s only a 15-minute walk from the centre. Alternatively, you can stay in a hillside retreat in Fiesole or Settignano with spectacular views of the Arno valley.
Here are some of the best forums to secure short or long-term accommodation in Florence.
Foreigners in Florence
The Facebook group caters to the international community in Florence and is ideal if you’re looking for accommodation on a cash-let basis. Private rooms, large apartments and Tuscan villas frequently appear in their feed.
If you want a good accommodation deal, then Foreigners in Florence is an excellent way of avoiding the holiday letting companies. Members also post links to language-exchange groups, sports clubs, Renaissance art tours, and wine tasting parties.
To sign up, you need to switch your location to Florence and answer a few questions on why you want to apply. Make sure that part of your Facebook profile is public so they can see it.
The international website is an excellent way of connecting with freelance professionals, travellers and locals in Florence. You can sign up free, and once you do, you will have access to community forums where members advertise rooms and flats on a one-to-one basis.
AirBnb and competitors
Are you looking for options other than Airbnb? The holiday letting platform remains the market leader, but it has become increasingly expensive in recent years. If you want to book long-term Airbnb accommodation in Florence, then you can get up to 40% off selective properties. Its customer reviews also make it a trusted accommodation source for travellers.
Fortunately, there are now high-quality alternatives to Airbnb with equally great properties and peer reviews.
UniPlaces – The Lisbon-based startup is an online marketplace for renting rooms and apartments in 165 countries. It’s open to professionals and travellers for a minimum of 27 nights per booking.
Wimdu – The European rental company has an attractive range of rooms and apartments available in a nearly identical set up to Airbnb. You can also secure significant discounts for long-term stays with individual landlords.
HomeAway – This vacation rental website caters towards holiday lets, but it has a diverse range of properties in Florence for travellers looking for a long-term place to stay.
9flats – Another short-term renting website that embraces the sharing economy. Everything from a caravan to a Tuscan villa is available to let with their prices ranging from budget to luxury.
Header image by muffinn (Flickr/Creative Commons)