I have not stayed at either, so I cannot comment on the facilities or services of either place, but since they are run by the same people, presumably they are somewhat comparable.
What I do know is the two locations.
The Johanna I is in a Via Bonifaccio Lupi, which is a nice street in a quiet neighborhood just at the northern edge of the historic center, which has a mixture of late-19th century offices and apartments. I know the building it is in, which is largely - if not mostly - used for offices.
The Johlea is in the Via San Gallo, maybe 5 to 10 minutes walk closer to the center of town. At its northern end, that street is largely residential and very quiet. As you get further south, it becomes very lively, with a number of buildings belonging to the University of Florence and a terrific variety of shops and restaurants. At its southern end is the magnificent, ancient Medici palace and the Medici church of San Lorenzo.
Just on the basis of location alone, I would lean towards the Johlea.
Better is subjective - what are you looking for? Will your Mum able to master stairs ? I don't know if there are, but if so, it would be better to enquire in advance.
Thanks for your inputs. I guess something that is closer to the city centre is better, and upto two flights of stairs is not a problem for my mom.
Can you gusy suggest something that is central and good value for money?
Pensione Alessandra is a good central choice. Hermitage too if it fits your budget.
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