North Vancouver, British Columbia
June 7, 2006
A good bed-and-breakfast operation can add quality to a visitor’s experience. For most of our lives, my wife and I avoided these facilities, assuming that comfort and privacy would be compromised. That attitude changed when we serendipitously stayed at a mountain lodge B&B in the Kicking Horse Pass of the Canadian Rockies. This was like a 5-star resort, at a fraction of the typical cost. Additionally, we met owners who put sincere and complete effort into making their property attractive to guests.
Since then, quality B&B's have been our first choice when travelling for leisure. In central Florence, we were hosted by Gabriella and Massimo at Il Bargello B&B. This fine lodging has many recommendations on various travellers’ websites and those are deserved.
The location is fine, in fact next door to one of our favourite sites, the Bargello National Museum. Here you will find a remarkable art collection housed in a building erected in mid-13th century.
Il Bargello B&B has a rooftop terrace with tables and chairs where visitors gathered with bottles of wine, fresh snack foods, and tales of travel. Even in autumn, it was pleasant to watch the sun set from the rooftop as the changing light and shadows played on surrounding buildings.
Although not lavish, our room, with private bath, was comfortable and roomy. Breakfast was fine and another opportunity to swap stories and tips with other travellers.
The location of this B&B is a few minutes walk to many of the sites that visitors will have on their must-see lists. The names themselves bring back indelible memories: Uffizi, Accademia, San Marco, Duomo, Piazza della Signoria, etc., etc. Of course, restaurants abound in the area and you can dine simply or in luxury. Gabriella will give you advice so check with her before you venture out.
We did take a small test in finding the place when we first arrived. We were not aware that two street numbering systems exist in Florence, one for private residences and another for businesses. An additional Italian trick is to give different names to one street. Here it might be one but, walk up the boulevard, and you might find another name posted. Oh well, walking around Florence is an object of our visit there.
One small caution for visitors: At Il Bargello, you may notice that there is no elevator and the rooms are on the third floor. However, if you need assistance, Massimo, a high energy guy, will carry your bags upstairs.
From journal A Week in Florence