BELLAGIO, ITALY: Hotel Florence

I'm not sure how I found the Hotel Florence, but I'm certainly glad I did! My wife and I spent three nights at this hotel on Lake Como during our two-week trip to Europe this spring and were absolutely enchanted.

Exterior of Hotel Florence

The hotel has been in the same family for well over 100 years and their pride is obvious. Directly across the street from the waters of Lake Como, the Hotel Florence is marvelously well-maintained and, unlike many hotels in Europe, offers rooms that are quite spacious.

Room 26
Our corner room (Room 26) faced south and west, had small balconies on each side, and a sitting area in an adjoining room (Room 25). The bathroom was huge and included a bidet, large tub with hand-held shower wand, and a hair dryer. The dryer was a little, shall we say, "different" than those in North America, so if you're particular, you may want to bring your own dryer (with an appropriately-sized voltage converter, of course).

Adjoining sitting room, Room 25

Our room rate included breakfast and, like many nicer hotels, the Hotel Florence includes not only traditional European breakfast items like cheese, sausage, and muesli, they also offer American favorites like bacon and eggs. And the coffee... wow! Not a bad cup our whole time there.

Coffee at the Hotel Florence

In addition to the indoor restaurant, the hotel also has an American bar (which is to say, indoors), an outside terrace across the street, and several tables on the sidewalk under the eaves where one can get a coffee or a cocktail. (Note: The term "al fresco," which means "outdoors" in America, is slang for being "in jail" in Italy.) There are also numerous other restaurants, bars, trattorias, osterias, and pizzerias within a stone's throw, so choices abound.

The view from our room

The Hotel Florence is about five minutes from the ferry terminal and is an easy walk with no stair-climbing involved. With this view from our room waiting for us, when we return to Bellagio, we'll definitely return to the Hotel Florence.

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Photos by Carl Dombek
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