Butterflies was a great base for our six night stay in Florence. Located not far from the main sites, we were able to easily walk and nip back to the apartment if needed. The apartment itself was spacious and comfortable, with decorative quirks we really liked. We particularly loved the butterfly painting on the bedroom ceiling and the choice of artwork hung up around the apartment. There was no view from the windows, but this was not an issue as we were out and about a lot. It also meant it was lovely and cool and very private. Cristina was very welcoming and helpful. I was really impressed with her communication from the moment we booked to the moment we left Florence. Great stay, we would recommend Butterflies to other visitors.
This apartment has everything you need for a holiday in Florence. All the places of interest are within walking distance. The large bed is super comfortable and the painted bedroom ceiling is stunning. There is a small supermarket close by and a wine bar just a few doors away.The only downside is that there is no view from the windows but it is quiet at night and very secure.
What I liked so much about The Butterflies apartment was its general appointment and the centrality of its location to the main attractions of the city. Set only five minutes from San Lorenzo, and ten minutes' walk from the Duomo, it was perfect for me and my partner. Interestingly, it is also only ten minutes from the main station, Santa Maria Novella; however, there is none of the tackiness and sense of danger that seems to permeate streets around train stations. This is set on a quiet street and it is very safe. Happily, it is only one block from Via San Gallo, a busy, bohemian street which leads up to the Capelle di Medici (by the way, there s a wonderful bar called Le Menagere which is well worth checking out, as well as a great organic pizza place - 'SIMbiosis' - if you like pizza!)
The interior comprises a spacious bedroom with the most beautifully painted ceiling, as well as a very large and comfortable bed; a rather good shower and a (helpfully) separate bathroom, and a kitchen with a very accommodating sofa bed. While there is admittedly little natural light, or views of the city, this was in fact an advantage at times; Florence is so full of sights and monuments that the apartment offered a welcoming contrast in terms of view and temperatures (yes, it was March/April but the temperatures rose to the mid twenties Celsius even at that time!). All the cooking and cleaning amenities are modern, in excellent condition and easy to use, and Cristina, the owner, even replaced the kettle while I was there to give me a better one!
Having spent three weeks in this apartment, I thoroughly enjoyed the sense of independence it gave me, in contrast to staying at a hotel. If it has any disadvantage it is the lack of natural light, but that is only if you need to have a view or more light in your room. In every other way it is a great apartment.
What I was most impressed by, was the helpfulness and kindness of the owner, Cristina, who made herself easily available and who went out of her way to make sure that I and my partner had a lovely break, even offering to go to the pharmacy to help me buy medication that I suddenly needed. She was incredibly kind, and moreover, very knowledgeable about Florence's museums, history and art.
I am so grateful to her for all of her help.
I would happily stay here again. Thanks, Cristina!
A colleague stayed here last May and was so complimentary about the apartment that I decided to stay here when I came to Florence.
I'm pleased to say the apartment lived up to my expectations in every way.
We were a little early for check-in so we stopped for a drink at Bar Nabucco which is literally a hundred metres away from the apartment. We found The Butterflies reasonably easily although we were initially slightly confounded by the strange numbering of houses in Florence. Basically the original property has a blue coloured number and additional properties like annexes have a red number. It's a bit like 1a and 1b. Look out for a locked dark metal gate on the right with a buzzer labelled S.E.M. and you're there.
You go along a narrow little alley, turn right to another locked door and up some stone steps to another door which will get you into the apartment. There were a lot of locks but I definitely felt secure and safe in the apartment - not that I ever felt unsafe at any point during my entire week-long stay in Florence! That said, having your own private entrance is a real plus if you value your privacy.
The apartment is delightful and has every convenience you could possibly need during your stay. I have to say Cristina has thought of everything and was very responsive when we emailed her for a couple of things. I guess it might have been nice to have a dishwasher but it was very easy to wash up our crockery etc. and I was very pleased that there was a double sink in the kitchen.
The living area is large and well-furnished with a large settee and a table with four chairs as well as the usual kitchen equipment but no microwave. Watch out for the kitchen mosquito blind if you're a mozzie-magnet like me. It doesn't quite catch so I recommend you don't leave the kitchen window open. Once I realised this (the hard way, alas - I had a bite on my neck!), I had no further trouble.
The bathrooms are brilliant - it was great to have them split, one with loo, bidet and basin and the other, right next to the bedroom, with a shower and basin. The shower is excellent with plenty of hot water (there's a combi-boiler) and it's reasonably powerful. Don't flush the loo before you shower as it takes a bit of time to fill up and affects the water temperature a bit - not a major problem and I never got scalded or frozen when using the shower. There are plenty of hooks for towels and loads of shelves - I'm struggling to find any negatives, to be honest. In contrast with a lot of places I've stayed in, there was zero leaking from the shower, so no wet floor in the bathroom - excellent!
The bedroom is lovely and the butterfly mural on the ceiling is delightful. We spent more time in here relaxing on the bed than in the living room because it's such a pretty room. The bed is massive and comfortable if a bit squeaky but not enough to keep you awake at night unless you're a very light sleeper.
There was no noise at all on the weekend and, because we were tucked away in the middle of the building, we were completely insulated from road noise and pedestrians. It certainly wasn't completely silent outside but we weren't disturbed at all.
There's no air-con but plenty of fans if you get a bit hot. There's also heating but we didn't need to use this during our stay.
The only downside for me was the lack of direct sunlight through the windows. I like a lot of light and the apartment looks out onto an alley that's less than 1.5 metres wide and is the first floor in a five storey building. HOWEVER, this meant we were cool and could really relax so it doesn't detract from the overall experience of the place. Also, I can imagine in summer you would get really hot outside so it would be nice to get away from the sun. I think the lack of bright sunny windows is definitely an Italian thing because I noticed heavy shutters on many of the houses that did have a street view. Therefore I think most apartments and houses in Florence are dark by British standards.
In summary, like my colleague, I cannot recommend this apartment highly enough. If I returned to Florence, I would definitely stay here.
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