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Italy can work for a wide range of budgets. For solo travelers tired of paying “2-for-the-price of-1”, European lodging provides relief. Many, if not most, offer a reduced rate for “one adult one room” versus “Two adults one room”. Unlike the standard “rack rate” elsewhere, single travelers can receive discounts of 40%. Even the 5-star Stockholm Grand Hotel has solo-priced deals.
While Italy, as a whole, is one of the most sought after places for tourists, Florence or Firenze is its gem at the heart of the Renaissance. As the capital city of fabled Tuscany, it has been a long time favorite of foreign tourists for the perfect summer vacation. This is aided by the fact that Florence is close to Rome and Venice making it easy to have a combined trip using public transportation. In addition, to Florence is also near to major Renaissance sights. Best known are the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a World Heritage Site, the medieval towers of San Gimignano and the storied Cathedral of Siena. These are a quick day trip by train or bus either alone or with an escorted day tour. There are many options to visit vineyards, and sample local wines. For other small nearby towns, start with Fiesole, the likely original basis for the later settlement of Florence. While the latter is the cradle of the Renaissance, Fiesole is the place to see Roman and even Etruscan ruins and monuments. While it is hard to imagine, one of the Roman theaters is still in use! It is also known for its fine examples of Romanesque architecture, such as the Cathedral of San Romolo, later expanded in the 13th-14th century.
My personal memory of Florence comes from one of my top early trips abroad. After I finished school, I took an art history trip to Italy with the Smithsonian Institution based here in my home town in Washington, DC. We began our trip in Rome before moving on to Florence. (I then made a solo trip to Venice.) One of the first things that struck me about Florence was the painted facades of major buildings. A second change was that Florence is a much smaller town than Rome and not being a national capital city that the mammoth public buildings were not in evidence. A third feature was that
For those that love history, and especially architecture and art history, is a top vacation and a solo travel destination. Popular sights include:
However, one of the greatest charms in Florence can be found strolling the narrow, ancient streets making your way to the Ponte Vecchio and the Arno River.
Fashionistas will be thrilled by the options to shop. Beyond Milan’s Fashion Week, Italy has been known for its high style at a wide range of budgets. Gold jewelry and leather goods are at the top of everyone’s list. Our three tips: Number one: Be sure that jewelry is as promised. Is there a stamp as to the percentage of gold? Are you shopping at a well recommended boutique? Does the vendor give a certificate of authenticity? Number two: I that “designer bag” real as promised or a knock-off? Number three: For larger ticket items, use a credit card not cash. This will give you the chance when you get home to check out your “finds” with a local shop that you trust.
Less costly popular purchases include olive oil, ceramics and of course, local wines. (On the latter, do be aware that the US and other countries’ Customs rules may limit the importation of alcohol by tourists.)
While some hotels and bed and breakfasts have smaller “single rooms”, others provide discounts for standard or double rooms occupied by only one adult. For London, Paris, Italy and Greece, we have just added 20 new listings to our 191 “Top Value” lodgings on our free solo search tool website at the SoloTravelPricingTracker.net. Check often as we have frequent updates.
Bed and breakfasts are ideal for solo travelers. In addition to great prices, their small size can make individual travelers feel more at home than in a massive high rise.
Located 1,650 feet from San Marco Church in Florence, Lavagnini My Place B&B provides accommodations with a bar, a shared lounge and a shared kitchen for your convenience. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property.
Every unit features a private bathroom and bidet, air conditioning, a flat-screen TV and a fridge.
The bed and breakfast offers a à la carte or Italian breakfast.
Popular points of interest near Lavagnini My Place B&B include Accademia Gallery, Fortezza da Basso – Convention Center and Mercato Centrale. The nearest airport is Florence Airport, 3.1 mi from the accommodations.
Stay in the heart of Florence:
Casa Santa Maria Novella enjoys a location in Florence, just a 3-minute walk from Santa Maria Novella and 1,200 feet from Strozzi Palace. The property is a 7-minute walk from the Mercato Centrale.
Popular points of interest include:
Although Florence is a top solo vacation, plan your trip to go to a local festival. See all the details here for the annual fall festival at Montalcino.
For tips on packing, budgeting and tracking travel expenses, check out our free Solo Sherpa available at the App Store and the Google Play Store.