What We Love
- Designed by the owner, so everything in the rooms has been hand-picked
- Communal living room has a fireplace, honor system bar and library of books and DVDs
- Free WiFi
- Vintage bicycles available for guest use
What To Know
- It’s 10 to 15 minutes from central Florence by tram, or a 30-minute walk; tram tickets are sold at reception
- Most rooms have stairs, and some have bathrooms on the ground floor, so not ideal for families
- Reception is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., although late arrivals can be accommodated
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
A modern hotel in the Renaissance City? Thanks to local architect Claudio Nardi, that’s not an oxymoron. Among the faux-Renaissance palazzos, with their heavy draperies and ornate furnishings, Riva Lofts is a breath of fresh air. Nardi converted the complex — a former artisan workshop — into a nine-room hotel in 2006, along with his daughter Alice, who now runs the property. It offers a glorious new take on Florentine style, and Alice’s meticulous eye for design is evident, from the antique theater trunk that’s been customized into a wardrobe to the 1960s bedside lamps.
Bed & Bath
The rooms are simple but well dressed, and each is different, both in layout and design. They’re furnished with a seamless mixture of antiques and one-off pieces, from Louis XIV vintage chairs and an original door that bears carpenters’ graffiti, to shelving designed by Nardi and photographs by a friend of the family. White-on-white walls give a modern feel, while fluffy rugs over bare floorboards and open-beam surfaces add a touch of warmth. Large windows look out at the garden, the Arno and even an occasional glimpse of Brunelleschi’s famous Duomo. Some of the bathrooms come with Jacuzzi bathtubs and Carrara marble sinks adapted from a traditional Tuscan template by Claudio.
There’s no restaurant as such (all but one of the rooms has a kitchenette in it), but don’t miss breakfast in the adjacent barn; the spread includes homemade yogurt and oil and honey from the Nardi family’s nearby farm. The barn also houses an honor system bar, fireplace and projection screen. A white sandstone swimming pool dominates the garden, and free vintage bikes are available for guests to borrow to swing into town in style. Cycling along the Arno and seeing the spires, towers and bridges of Florence come into view is unforgettable.
In the Area
The south side of the Arno is swiftly becoming Florence’s answer to Paris’s Rive Gauche, and Alice Nardi is its custodian. Ask her for advice on places to hit, including the superb 4 Leoni, a trattoria founded in 1550. While you’re on the south side, check in on the Brancacci Chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine. Its fresco cycle by Masaccio and his master, Masolino, is considered the first masterpiece of the early Renaissance. Opened in 2006, the Museo Nazionale Alinari della Fotografia is one of the few showcases for modern art in Florence. There’s a permanent exhibition on the history of photography, as well as rotating exhibits of contemporary photography. To get out into the Tuscan countryside, take the Via Cassia, an ancient Roman road linking Florence and Rome, and pass through the Val di Pesa area, 20 miles south of Florence, on the border of the Siena and Chianti regions, where the Nardi family farm is located.
How to Get There
Our friend helped us find this place through Mr and Mrs Smith. It was fantastic, a really nice complex, classy decor and facilities. The ladies on reception were a brilliant help with arranging tickets for things and making recommendations. This place is perfectly located just outside the main throng of the city. We could easily walk in to town or the tram was also very easy to use.
My only niggles would be in relation to security and noise. The complex is is theory secure and safe, there is a locked entrance door and reception overlooks that entrance. However, some of our fellow residents failed on occasion to pull the entrance door securely shut. This wouldn't have been so bad except we returned from our wanderings one day to find that the housekeeper hadn't pulled our room door securely to lock it so it was left adjar all day. Fortunately nothing had been interfered with. I let reception know on finding it. Our room safe also did not work at first but reception came to sort it out immediately. As to noise, if there are young families on site it can be noisy in the mornings as you can hear people pass by to go to breakfast. We also found neighbouring children sat using the sofa which was outside our room one day.
A lovely little Hotel very nearby the center of Florence - just a few tram stations away from the crowdy but beautiful City Center. Rooms are big, beautiful and clean. There is a court yard & a huge garden where our kids could play soccer and other games. Lovely pool but it was too cold to swim when we stayed there. Amazing, beautiful, big and cosy living room for all the guest, where breakfast is served, cake all day and great place to sit by the fire with a glass of wine in the evening. Breakfast very nice. The staff was super helpful, friendly, really perfect! For our sons birthday they even baked an absolutely delicious chocolate cake! Great with kids but also for couples, will certainly come back next time we are in Florence!
Just outside the maddening crowds, Riva Loft is a wonderful quiet respite on the outskirts of the center of town.
Loved the access to bikes for exploring the parks nearby. Close to the tram so that you can get to center easily. We enjoyed being the on this side of the river. Closer to a local neighborhood with more boutique shops and restaurants than in the tourist zone.
We loved our immaculate and spacious suite and the beautiful and inviting common areas (pool and "living room" lobby).
Breakfast was simple lovely.
Staff and service was excellent!!
We loved our stay especially the location , next to the river ( hence the bugs,). The staff are extremely friendly and helpful. There are plenty of bikes that are there to use free of charge. You can walk into Florence or take the tram 2 mins walk away. I loved the kitchenette as it gave the option to make lunch and pasta. You can laze by the pool or just lie in the hammocks. So quiet ,only saw a few guests, which is how we like it.Also excellent value and great breaksfasts
Stayed here for 4 nights and really enjoyed it. Breakfast each morning was lovely. The hotel is ideally placed for the tram stop or takes about 25 minutes to walk in. We get get eaten alive by bugs but this was not the hotels fault, I just mention it so you can pack bug spray.