Continentale: A Boutique Hotel Overlooking the Arno River in Florence

Inspired by 1950’s Italian style yet built with modern taste & design, Continentale lives up to its reputation as a chic hotel in the center of Florence.


Florence is the kind of city that you can’t get enough of, no matter how many times you visit. Its personality is magnificent and multi-faceted with its world-class contributions from history to art to style. We love its historic energy and the way romance seems to drift from street to street. It’s a city always worth exploring and unveils something new and different every trip. Plus, it’s close to Tuscany so it makes for a perfect base to explore the countryside and get some fantastic wines.

So when we discovered there was a design-focused, boutique style hotel founded quietly by the Ferragamo family (yes that Ferragamo), we were intrigued. When we heard it had views of Ponte Vecchio, we were sold! Hotel Continentale is one of the four hotels in Florence that are a part of the Lungarno Collection, a small group founded by the stylish family.  

Even though Continentale is right around the corner from one of the most popular spots of Florence, but yet the hotel feels secluded and private. Last year, we stayed at an apartment around the corner and never even knew Continentale was there. The hotel is remarkably quiet and completely un-obvious, located in a peaceful little square...making it perfect for those looking for something special and private.


The rooftop bar at Hotel Continentale overlooking Florence, Italy


Vintage Contemporary Style

Just across the busy Ponte Vecchio, a trademark, medieval style bridge, Continentale awaits guests in a simple yet stylish manner. The design is exactly how I expected modern Italian to look—marble touches, intriguing textures, rich Florentine leather, and simple adornments. Designer Michele Bonan designed Continentale with 1950’s Italian fashion in mind, emphasizing ideals of beauty and elegance. A lot of the design consists of shades of white, with flirty color play and fabulous, vintage black and white photographs. Most of the pictures are of famous people, but some are specialty shots from the Ferragamos private collection of photos. It was like walking into that perfect coffee table book - smart, edgy and timeless.


The small lobby area of Hotel Continentale

One of the many spaces available for guests to relax in at Hotel Continentale


The lobby was small and featured an elevator with a very comfortable sofa inside of it, so you could ride up to the next floor in comfort. The regular elevator had an iPad on the wall, which took automatic pictures, so guests could take selfies as they rode up and became more fun as the night grew later. The style of Continentale blends contemporary and vintage influence with the kind of charm that made us feel we were staying somewhere truly special. When you notice the way the craftsmanship, artistic details, and wonderful service come together, you know it is a product of the Ferragamo influence.

The style of Continentale blends contemporary and vintage influence with the kind of charm that made us feel we were staying somewhere truly special.

Breezy, Romantic Rooms

During our stay, we were in a Junior Suite, that completely exceeded our expectations. Our room had an Arno view and tons of space to relax into, which is unexpected for a quaint boutique hotel in the center of Florence. Breezy, white curtains hung around the bed and windows, adding to the airy, fresh romance of the space. We worked happily in the little sitting area with a snug chaise lounge and leather desk setup. Although the windows looking out to the Arno were small, the views were stunning.

Looking back, it’s the little details that made this stay so memorable; like the yoga mat and mini weight station in the room, so I could practice my yoga and attempt some vigorous exercise. The toiletries were all Ferragamo, and the bottles were 75 ml instead of 40, so we didn’t have to ration. The even had miniature face mask sheets!   


Our room at Hotel Continentale


Thoughtful Amenities for All Guests

Continentale is a hotel full of thoughtful spaces that made our stay memorable and comfortable. We particularly enjoyed one little area, which was full of comfy couches and spectacular floor to ceiling views of Ponte Vecchio. They even have an easel set up so you can test your hand at drawing the landscapes. If only they had a bar area set up in this room, we might not have left!

As a guest, you receive access to any of the hotels in the collection, which are all located nearby and can enjoy breakfast at any of the locations. Continentale doesn’t serve breakfast, so we ate at Portrait Hotel, which was just across the square, every morning.  It’s fun to check out the stylistic differences between the gorgeous hotels, especially if you’re interested in design the way we are, so definitely make sure to pop by the other hotels.


A relaxing room at Hotel Continentale with views of Ponte Vecchio

Breakfast at Portrait Hotel, right across the street from Hotel Continentale


Best Views in Florence

We didn't expect one of the views of Florence to be on the rooftop of our hotel, so when we sauntered to La Terrazza, we were surprised to see 360 degree views of the city. As the sun set and cocktails were delivered, it was easy to understand why this bar was a favorite amongst the locals. A few tourists mingled around, but for the most part all you could hear were clinks of glasses and the laughter of groups of people, chatting in Italian.

Views aside, La Terraza has some pretty good craft cocktails. The bartenders take their task seriously and their drinks like Mez Boulevardier and a Passion Mojito pay homage to the craft of bartending. Every night, we made sure to head up, grab an aperitivo and attempted to get those picture perfect shots of the Arno, Brunelleschi’s Dome, San Miniato, Ponte Vecchio, and Forte Belvedere.


Cocktails at La Terraza, the rooftop bar at Hotel Continentale


The Heart of Florence is Just Steps from the Hotel

There is so much to do and see in this amazing walking city, that it’s pretty easy to get lost in the beauty of it all. Our recommendations are pretty simple. Do the touristy stuff, because they’re probably the best in Europe and definitely make sure to pre-book a trip to the Uffizi Gallery. Then grab a bottle of wine and a panini from All’Antico Vinaio (the best in the world), get a seat on the steps of the Uffizi Gallery, and eat lunch as you watch artists perform and sing. You can also picnic on Ponte Vecchio, which is especially amazing during sunset.

The hotel is remarkably quiet and completely un-obvious, located in a peaceful little square...making it perfect for those looking for something special and private.

For more information about Hotel Continentale, visit their website: