Accommodation in Florence

flats in Florence
Updated 2023-04-16 12:49

Florence is world-famous for works of art by Michelangelo and Botticelli, as well as architectural spectacles such as the Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio, and prestigious institutions such as the University of Florence and the Uffizi Gallery.

To settle in Florence is to benefit from culture, history, artistic training and fashion, but also from its strategic position in Italy. Florence is an ideal starting point to discover the Tuscan coastline but also the wine route in the Chianti region. It is no wonder that Florence and Tuscany are popular destinations for expatriates.

Florence is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful cities to live in the world. It is a medium-sized city (unlike Rome or Milan); it is quiet, stimulating and romantic, and also offers ideal solutions for families looking for accommodation close to green space. That said, Florence is also a city that attracts many students and young workers, which gives it a certain dynamism.

The housing market in Florence

According to a study carried out in November 2022 by Idealista, a leading real estate portal, the price of a square meter for rent in Florence would be, on average, €16.7 (an 11% rise compared to 2021) with a difference according to the districts, such as the historical center which is the most prestigious and the most expensive (€20/m²).

According to the Idealista study, the average price per square meter for sale in the city is €3,969 per square meter, with variations depending on the area you wish to buy in, with prices in the city center reaching €4,724 per square meter.

Florence's neighborhoods

Florence has something for every visitor and resident. The Tuscan city is particularly compact, and most areas are within walking distance, which makes it easy for you to find accommodation. During your search for accommodation in Florence, we recommend that you choose your area of residence according to your place of work. If you want to avoid the morning traffic, but also if you have to use your car frequently, it is best to avoid the historic center, which is mostly a Limited Traffic Zone (LTZ). If you enter one of these zones without the required authorization, the fine can be quite high. Parking and driving are much easier in the rest of the city, such as the outlying areas of Isolotto and Bolognese. Find out more in our article "Driving in Italy".

Florence is divided into two areas by the river Arno, which separates the traditional historic center from the so-called Oltrarno (literally "beyond the Arno") and the surrounding areas. Some of the most popular districts are:

  • Campo di Marte: located to the northeast of the city center of Florence, it is a quiet area with beautiful liberty villas. It is relatively close to the center without the tourist flow and is well-served by public transport. Prices are relatively affordable.
  • Centro storico: the historic district of Florence, which needs no introduction, has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1982. This area is touristy and sought after mainly by travelers passing through for their stay in the Tuscan city as the accommodation, such as hotels and flats, are close to the city's historical attractions. However, if you want to invest, the place is ideal even if the prices per square meter are the highest in the city. Here you will see some of the wonders of Florence, such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo), the Church of Santa Maria Novella (and Florence's homonymous Santa Maria Novella train station), the Uffizi Gallery, the Church of San Lorenzo, Palazzo Vecchio, Basilica Santa Croce, etc. If you are a market lover, don't miss the Mercato Centrale of Florence in this area.
  • San Marco: this elegant area just north of the Centro Storico is a mini historical center in itself. It has a fine selection of shops and restaurants. Added to this are the botanical gardens of the Santa Croce University, home to the Sant'Ambrogio market, the Santa Croce church, the Basilica San Marco, and pretty gardens such as the Giardino della Gherardesca, the largest private garden in Florence open to the public.
  • Rifredi: located in the northwest of the city, this is the largest district in Florence and one of the oldest in the city. Today it is the seat of the Faculties of Medicine, Engineering, Mathematics and Biology. You will also find a renowned university hospital, the Careggi. The area is also rich in shops and shopping centers. It is an area where many students choose to live due to the proximity of the many athletic facilities. This area is well-served by public transportation.
  • Poggio Imperiale - Bandino: this area is located south of the historic center and is popular with families. It is a green, quiet, elegant area that borders historical centers of interest, such as Palazzo Pitti, the Boboli Gardens and Piazza Santo Spirito. If you have a large budget, this is one of the most expensive areas of Florence, pleasant and composed mainly of houses, villas and small apartment buildings.
  • San Frediano: very trendy today, this area of the Oltrarno is appreciated for its local life, its small craftsmen, its shops and its numerous bars and restaurants. Small alleys, pretty squares, market gardeners and other typical shops add to the folklore of the area. In addition, you will find places of great historical interest, such as the Basilica di Santa Maria del Carmine and its richly decorated chapel.
  • Bolognese: on the map of Florence, this pleasant and green district is located in the north of the city, on a hill, and is made for those who like the proximity to the city without the inconveniences like traffic jams, parking issues, noise and other annoyances. There are many gardens and a huge botanical garden, gli Orti del Parnaso, which offers a beautiful city view and a refreshingly green setting. You should know that this area is one of the cheapest in the city. This is also the reason why some students have chosen to live here, especially in the area around Bolognese. Here you will find houses and flats in beautiful buildings surrounded by gardens.
  • Isolotto: This area to the west of the city was built around the 1950s and sought after by many families. It is a very good option because it has many parks, residential areas and easy parking.
  • San Niccolò: a neighborhood south of the historic center, at the foot of Piazzale Michelangelo, which looks like a bubble preserved from the daytime tourist bustle. This dense neighborhood is made up of charming little streets and tends to come alive in the evening, thanks to its bars and restaurants.

Types of accommodation in Florence

Most of the accommodation in Florence is in buildings called palazzi, and is, therefore, flats, especially if you decide to live in the central areas or those where the urban density is high. Apartments in the city center are usually small or medium-sized, so go to the outlying areas to find larger flats. Some of these buildings are served by a lift, except for the historic buildings, which are protected by the Ministry of Culture, Ministero dei Beni Culturali. Often the flats have balconies or small terraces, which Florentines like to flower abundantly. Unsurprisingly, affordable accommodation is located far from the historic city center. Also, if you are looking for a house, head for the southern parts of the city, for example.

The different types of flats you will find in Florence are:

  • Monolocale: studio apartment (from 25 - 40 m²)
  • Bilocale: two-room flat (from 50 - 60 m²)
  • Trilocale: three-room flat (from 80 m²)
  • Quadrilocal: four-room flat (from 100 - 120 m²)
  • Attico: penthouse with usually large terrace

Good to know:

The Italian real estate market has its own habits, and this is the case for most regions. Some flats are rented furnished or semi-furnished. This is known in Italian as an “arredato” or “semi-arredato” flat. In the case of a sale, it is possible that owners decide to take their kitchen (including appliances) with them. If you wish to keep it, you will have to buy it in addition to the flat.

Be careful with the calculation of square meters in Italy. In Italy, there is a difference between living space and commercial space. Commercial space includes any balconies, cellars, etc. When you visit a flat, do not hesitate to ask the real estate agency/owner what the square meters in the advertisement include.

Finding accommodation in Florence

The internet is a good place to start when looking for accommodation in Florence. Go to the "useful links" section at the end of this article for real estate specialists. Some agencies such as Remax, Engel & Volkers, Tecnocasa, Immobili Toscani, Arrigo Brandini, Italiana Immobiliare and Lloyds Casa. Alternatively, you can also go to your favorite search engine and type in the keywords "Affitto immobiliare a Firenze" to find other sites. Idealista or Immobiliare are generally the two most used search engines for finding accommodation in Florence. Visit also websites like Trovacasa or You can also create an account in your name and indicate the characteristics of the property you are looking for to receive alerts every time new properties are available.

If you are an international student looking for a flat in Florence, check with your institution to see if they offer rooms. Alternatively, the websites of study or exchange programs such as Erasmus can suggest networks that can help you find available rooms. Room sharing is widespread in Italy. Search tools such as Dotstay, Stanza Semplice, and Roomtastic have many listings of rooms and studios for rent.

Real estate agents are also ideal if you are having difficulty finding a place to live in Florence. These professionals will offer you rentals before or as they come on the market. However, if you decide to use this service, you will have to pay a fee.

Rental agreements in Florence

Leases for a flat or house in Italy are valid for a minimum of four years. However, Tuscany has a large influx of foreigners and students, so landlords offer shorter-term contracts, and more rentals are available. Beware, however, that a short-term flat rental can be expensive.

The most common rental contracts you will find in Italy, and particularly in Florence, are the following:

  • Contratto a canone libero, also known as the 4 4 contract, renews automatically after four years. However, you can terminate it earlier by informing the owner in advance and agreeing to a departure date. You will probably be asked to accept visits from potential new tenants.
  • The Contratto di affitto a canone concordato allows the rent to remain more or less stable within predefined economic bands. These are set by the region and/or the municipality, but you must agree with the landlord on the bracket that applies to the flat you wish to rent. This depends on the type of building, flat or the facilities and services provided (lift, garage etc.).
  • Contratto di affitto convenzionato is a three-year contract that automatically renews for two years unless you want to interrupt it before. It allows you to benefit from more moderate rents, but this must be authorized by the municipality in which the property is located (according to law n°431 of 1998).

The first two types of contract can be done in "Cedolare Secca" mode by prior agreement between the tenant and the owner. Thanks to this option, the tenant benefits from certain tax advantages, such as being exempt from contract registration fees and not having to pay the annual indexation of the rent. More information on this subject is available on the website of the Agenzia delle Entrate, the Italian tax agency.

Good to know:

When leaving a rented flat, tenants must return it to the same condition as when they arrived. This means they must either do the work themselves or agree to pay for the refurbishment work, such as cleaning and painting the walls. Note that some landlords include a clause in the contract that obliges the outgoing tenant to carry out the work at their own expense.

In the contract, you may also find other types of costs in addition to the rent. These are the condominium charges, which are sometimes included in the rental price, although the norm is to pay them in addition. In Italian, this is called "spese condominiali". These charges are related to the common areas of the condominium, such as maintenance and cleaning of the building, electricity, lift (to be paid whether you are on the ground floor or on a floor), the possible condominium garden, the concierge service and sometimes even cold water. It is important to check this with the landlord or estate agent. All other household costs, such as electricity consumption, hot water, heating, or internet connection, are to be paid to the provider you choose individually.

Useful links :


Engel & Volkers

Immobili Toscani




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