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A former palazzo and a onetime convent on a quiet, traffic-free square were combined to create a very spacious, comfortable property with many touches that appeal to American tastes (elevators instead of mandatory stairs, huge modern bathrooms, AC, and an outdoor pool in a walled garden—very rare for Florence). Room styles vary wildly from the dark colors and long lines of a contemporary look to a gold-and-black arrangement that's considered frilly and more typically Florentine, but all rooms are equipped with quality amenities such as plant-based shampoos. Breakfast is taken in the glassed-in verandah overlooking the garden. "Deluxe" rooms are the coolest, as they have balconies that face the city, with the Duomo dome in the distance (try for the fourth floor to see it best). We had some service issues; after an entire day, the concierge neglected to tell us he failed to secure our dinner reservation until we were walking out the door. It's also a good 15–20-minute walk to the heart of Florence, and not a very interesting walk at that, but the hotel does have a free shuttle van (though not at all convenient hours; it begins at 9:30am and takes breaks)—here, you trade distance for space, which comes rare in this city. The Santa Maria Novella train station is a convenient 8-minute walk away.