Friday, December 2, 2016

Florence Bars and Cafes with a View

Unless you are coming to Florence strictly for school or work, a big bonus of experiencing life in the city is the scenery that will capture your attention at every turn. At times, some of the most popular places to take photographs are worth photographing themselves. It is not only the view of the sleek ribbon of the Arno winding its way beneath the Ponte Vecchio — it is the Ponte Vecchio itself as seen from the banks of the river.

The award-winning film “A Room with a View” was set in Florence, and its title referred to the importance of enjoying a view from one’s hotel or short term rentals in Florence. There are also countless cafes and restaurants that offer the opportunity to sit for an hour or two to watch the way the famous Florentine light paints the city in changing colors as time passes. Read on for some suggestions about how to enjoy your own room with a view.

Many of Florence’s fanciest hotels have restaurants and rooftop bars where it is possible to enjoy a drink without being an overnight guest of the hotel. The drinks might cost you a bit more, but you are paying for amazing views you would not find at street-level. The trendy La Terrazza sits atop the Continentale Hotel, and serves creative cocktails overlooking Florence’s iconic buildings. For views of the Arno and a striking view of the Duomo, the Plaza Hotel Lucchesi is a good choice for either morning coffee or a warming nightcap.

If your budget is more modest than Michelin, you can still enjoy spectacular views from one of the city’s bars or caffes (in Italy, bar does not refer to a place specializing in alcoholic drinks). Caffe la Terrazza, on the top floor of the 5-story department store La Rinascente, provides a panoramic view that can be enjoyed with a simple sandwich or salad. The atmosphere is decidedly casual, but the view over the Piazza della Repubblica is worth much more than the cost of coffee or lunch.

Caffe del Verone is another good spot to enjoy coffee with friends at a pace more leisurely than the sometimes rushed Italian counter service encountered elsewhere. Especially if you are visiting the newly renovated Museo degli Innocenti (MUDI) downstairs, the views of the Duomo and green landscapes from this terrace cafe are wonderful.

When looking for homes for sale in Florence, the view from your kitchen or living room window will probably factor into your opinions about the properties. In case that flat with an unobstructed view of Brunelleschi’s brick dome is not on the market or out of your price range, there is always the opportunity to enjoy the same sights from the city’s bars and cafes with a view.

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