Pets sure do make life a whole lot more fun, but there’s one thing you can usually count on them complicating (or at least making much more expensive). We’re of course talking about vacation and travel plans: boarding pets is never cheap, but striking a bargain with a non-professional pet sitter is risky. What’s a jet-setting (or backpacking) animal parent to do? If Florence is on the itinerary, perhaps taking the pet along is the best solution: traveling pet owners coming to the Tuscan capital have a plethora of animal-friendly accommodation options at their disposal, from luxury hotels to lower-budget lodging. (Not to mention the fact that dogs, when out and about around town, are frequently welcomed into public spaces and even showered with treats and cuddles—a far cry from the often strict confinement of critters to parks, sidewalks and private homes seen in many other cities and cultures).
A pup and a Porcellino! Ph. via @winedoorsflorence
Got loved ones with four-legged friends who’ll be making their way to visit soon? Make sure they know that a hefty amount of Florentine hotels are 100 percent pet-friendly. (Note that specific pet policies can vary from hotel to hotel—for example, some require that pets go out with their owners as they explore Florence; others may have size restrictions on animals. Verify the specifics with hotel management before booking).
Fido will have a field day in the shadow of the Pitti Palace if you choose La Scaletta (on via Guicciardini), part of the Best Western Signature Collection group (noted benefit for humans: the restaurant terrace has a stunning and yet unusual view of Florence, with the charming Rococo “Kaffehaus” of the Boboli Gardens as one of the main stars of the panorama). When it’s time for a long walk or a proper outdoor romp, the hotel is conveniently located between the Rose Garden and the Porta Romana dog park (approximately 15 minutes’ walking distance from each).
Prefer to stay a stone’s throw from the striking Duomo? Four-star option Hotel Brunelleschi (in piazza Santa Elisabetta) is less than a two-minute walk from piazza Duomo and welcomes four-legged friends of all kinds in rooms and public spaces (except the restaurants). With the pet kit they have available for purchase (for animals up to 10kg), even your pet will get a bit of vacation pampering. Dog sitting services are available upon request.
Besides being famous for its rooftop pool and panoramic views, the elegant and hip Hotel Plaza Lucchesi (lungarno della Zecca Vecchia) passes the pet-friendly test for the Santa Croce side of the city. If your doggie gives off more of a Dominican vibe, the Santa Maria Novella neighborhood is home to Hotel L’Orologio, a luxury space in plain view of Alberti’s infinitely Instagramable Santa Maria Novella façade and where pets of all types will feel right at home.
Less than five minutes from the station you’ll find the Grand Hotel Baglioni (piazza dell’Unità Italiana) that has over 100 years of practice in keeping their guests happy, with a care that even extends to pets. The classy modern rooms with a hint of Renaissance aesthetic are the perfect place for your pooch to get comfy. Make sure to call before beginning your travels, as they have restrictions on pet size.
Bottom line: plenty of hotels smack in the center of Florence welcome pets—don’t feel forced to confine an accommodation search to far-flung farmstays and B&Bs in Tuscan hill country. Pups and cats can find space in the heart of downtown, too.