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Athenaeum Hotel 3.0

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

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Review Summary

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  • A short walk to Academy Gallery with the famed David statue
  • Beautiful outdoor courtyard with lush plants and a water fountain
  • Free breakfast with a spread of cheeses, cold cuts, and fruit
  • Bar and restaurant serving Italian cuisine on-site
  • Small fitness center with punching bag, treadmill, weight machine, and stationary bike
  • Parking available on-site for a fee (unusual for central Florence)
  • Small dogs welcome
  • Free Wi-Fi


  • Some rooms could use updating
  • Common areas feel bland and unstylish

Bottom Line

This 60-room boutique hotel is a six-minute walk to the Academy Gallery housing the famous David statue. As a mid-range hotel, the Athenaeum has unremarkable (at times unstylish) decor but more amenities than other properties in the area, including a bar and Italian restaurant, a beautiful outdoor courtyard, and a small fitness center. The hotel provides a free breakfast buffet with cheeses, cold cuts, and fruit (hot dishes are also available for a fee). Simple, minimal rooms have flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi, but guests reveal that some could use new carpeting. Guests may want to compare rates with Hotel Embassy, an upscale hotel also within walking distance to major attractions.

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Upper-mid-range hotel set in a former school with a beautiful outdoor courtyard

Housed within a squat, gray building that was once a high school, the Athenaeum Hotel has a functional look. Inside, the lobby has more than a passing resemblance to a doctor's waiting room, with recessed lighting and brown leather chairs, but its not unpleasant. Orange and brown linens dominate the dining room where the breakfast buffet is served. The effect is somewhat Halloween-y. A better option is the wooden bar; its big windows give an attractive view of the outdoor courtyard. But the best seating here is the rattan furniture and metal bistro tables and chairs in the courtyard, where guests can surround themselves with attractively landscaped tall pines, cacti, vines, and a square fountain. Overall the property can't quite pass as stylish, but it's a solid pick for quiet and basic lodging. 


Near the Academy of Fine Art housing the famous David statue

The Athenaeum Hotel is located in an area of Florence restricted to public transportation, residents, and hotel guests. It’s only a six-minute walk from the Academy of Fine Art, home to Michelangelo’s famous statue of David, and one of the top tourist attractions in the city. The Duomo is around a 12-minute walk away, and the Santa Maria Novella train station is under a 20-minute walk. Though plenty of attractions are in walking distance, this is a popular pick for guests with a car, as parking is available on-site. And the airport can be reached in less than 20 minutes driving. 


Plain, unstylish decor, but free Wi-Fi, and some with rustic balconies

Rooms at the Athenaeum have white walls and basic, uninspiring decor including oversized leather headboards, rattan chairs, and IKEA-like armchairs. Guests complain the burgundy carpeting has seen better days. Standard rooms come with the expected amenities for a mid-range hotel: flat-screen TVs, minibars, and free Wi-Fi. (Extras like coffee/tea facilities and universal chargers are only available in some rooms.) Bathrooms are equally simple with heated towel racks, hairdryers, and shower/tub combos. Those looking for more space should consider the Junior Suites with living rooms or rooms with balconies furnished with metal bistro tables. 


Restaurant and bar, free breakfast, and small fitness center

The hotel provides a free breakfast including a spread of cheeses, cold cuts, fruits, and juices. (Hot items can be ordered for a fee.) There’s also a more formal Italian restaurant on-site and a short bar with pleasant courtyard views. A small windowless room holds the fitness center. But for the size, it's outfitted with a range of equipment: a punching bag, treadmill, weight machine, and stationary bike. A work station with two computers and a 60-seat conference room are welcome resources for business travelers. Parking is available for a fee (a huge boon in this area), and small dogs are welcome. Wi-Fi is free throughout. 

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Via Camillo Cavour 88, Florence 50129, Italy

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