Riva Lofts Florence

  • Location: City
    Restaurants: In walking distance
    Historic centre of Florence: 25 mins walk or 10 mins by bike
    Boboli Gardens: About 2.5 kms
    Salvatore Ferragamo Museum: About 2.5 kms
  • Florence Airport (FLR): By tramway
    Pisa Airport (PSA): 78km (55 mins by car)
    Airport transfer available on request
    Good public transport
    Free parking

Riva Lofts apartments feel like straight out of a catalog for high-end modern design. We love that!
You’ll be away from the crowds, in a more quiet area yet can walk or bike to all the big sights.
Alice, your host, is glamorous, loving and very knowledgeable about Florence, all at the same time.

It is a comfortable 30-minute walk or a short bike ride to famous Ponte Vecchio and the sights.

Contact the owner directly for the best rates
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An introduction to Riva Lofts Florence

How would you describe Riva Lofts Florence in a nutshell?

Riva Lofts Florence are 9 luxury apartment rentals on the Arno riverbank with a private garden and white sandstone pool. Period stone walls and arched windows meet understated 20th-century furniture and create a very pure, minimalist and airy collection of chic studios. These designer lofts were created by famous architect Claudio Nardi and are managed by his charming daughter Alice. Together they kept an excellent balance between the look of the contemporary architecture and furniture, the refined antiques and the touch of the warm and historic building. Riva Lofts is pure metropolitan lifestyle in a traditional atmosphere, and in one of the most enchanting cities - Florence.

The property used to be your father’s studio. What was the inspiration to transform it into a small boutique hotel?

There were two things. My father, who is an architect, always dreamt of doing something where he was the architect, but also the person commissioning the work. And I always wanted to work in tourism — actually I wanted to be travelling the world.

We thought that maybe opening a hotel would be the best solution for both of us. My father could design the place and the world would come travelling to us, which is almost like seeing the world. Another thing was, Florence is a very busy city with a lot of people from abroad, but it’s really hard for us locals to get to get to know these people. The Florentines like to have separate lives from the tourists. For me and my father it’s the opposite. We want to get in touch with these foreigners coming to Florence. And now we have the chance to get to know them. So that’s our way of sharing Florence with the world.

Please tell us a bit about the history of Riva Lofts.

When my father bought the house in the mid-90s it was abandoned and quite ruined. Well, it looked much worse than it actually was. The walls and the roof were still in very good condition, so we only had to restore it from an aesthetic point of view.

We believe that it used to be a farm because in our living room we have a signature of the mason who built it that says “Giovanni Paolo the mason with his sons in 1873”. Later on, I think a group of artisan workshops used the house because we found a lot of traces of ceramic pieces in the garden and there are these very big windows where we think they used to dry leather.

And from 1996 it was my father’s architecture studio until 2004, when we renovated it and opened Riva Lofts in 2006.

You said that you travelled a lot to find much of the furniture. What are some of the places you bought them?

Well, we mostly looked in flea markets but also online. For example, we have a big, beautiful amazing French counter in our living room where we serve breakfast. My father bought it online. We paid more for the shipping than for the counter itself. But we loved it so much and it is really beautiful.

The abat-jours are different in all the rooms; it’s the same with cups – excuse me, I’m crazy about cups – so when I go to a flea market I buy 6 or 12 cups and they’re all mixed up. So every morning, you might have coffee in a different cup, and they’re all so beautiful. A few things also were in my father’s house already, so we moved them to the hotel.

The only thing we bought from a real hotelier company are the beds. They are Simmons beds, probably the best beds for hotels. But all the rooms at Riva Lofts are different, we have different chairs, different tables, different kitchens, different lamps...

What has been the biggest reward renting it out to guests?

The biggest reward are the people... you know, we had never done any advertising – nothing. The people were coming to us. My father as an architect is quite well-known, so when we opened the hotel there was a sudden curiosity from an architecture point of view.

And all the people who come here tell us that it’s even more beautiful than the pictures — usually it is the opposite. They say the place is beautiful and the feeling you get here is really homey. It’s a big reward because none of us has ever had a hotel, or thought about becoming a hotelier.

It means that we had good intuition doing something that we didn’t know very well. I think it is the combination of a beautiful place — where you normally expect the staff to be very stiff — and this informal, very warm feeling. For us it was a gamble and it was a challenge. We said, “Okay, that’s the way it should be in our opinion” and it worked. That’s the biggest reward we could have had.

Riva Lofts is not in the center of Florence, it is a bit on the outside. Please tell us a bit about this part of the city.

This is a very interesting neighbourhood because it was created from nothing in the sixties. This area used to be moorland and the mayor at the time decided to build a thousand houses for people who used to live in huts.

When they started having houses, schools and a church, it became a very strong and tight community. Until about ten years ago, it was known as rather poor part of the city; it was residential but not interesting.

Now they are re-evaluating it. Because this part of town didn’t have the massive building boom, we don’t have any tall buildings or skyscrapers. It’s just small houses with a lot of parks, gardens, and green areas. We are actually just in front of both the park and the river. I was born here and I’ve always loved this neighbourhood.

Having been away for some time, is there a particular place that you go to that makes you feel like you are back home?

Yes, the Santo Spirito square is what I love the most. It’s in the heart of the Oltramo, the local area. It’s a beautiful square with a beautiful church that was designed by Brunelleschi. It’s a very simple design, a very simple facade – very clear. And there are a couple of good restaurants and bars. Not like those at Piazza Michelangelo on the other side of the river. I always tell our guests to avoid restaurants there. They treat you like a wallet with two legs. I wish that these places would close because it’s an offence to tourism.

Anyway, at Santo Spirito square you have all sorts of people hanging around — it’s a sample of real life. In the summertime, there are concerts there and some organic food markets. And there’s a flea market – every Saturday there is a different one. It’s a place where every time I go there, I meet someone I know, or there’s something interesting to see or I eat good food. For me, my idea of Florence is Santo Spirito.

Riva Lofts lounge
Riva Lofts pool and garden
Loft Studio
Standard Studio Loft
Loft Studio
Loggia
Living area
Superior Deluxe Studio
View of Riva Lofts
View from opposite riverbank

Riva Lofts Florence rooms & rates

My father is a great architect and interior designer, everything that was done here has been designed by him. We didn’t change much of the structure of the house. For the outside we just used some really beautiful Venetian stucco on the main building, which has a very shiny and warm look. On the inside, he decided to use a lot of vintage furniture. So we went all over Italy and France looking for armchairs, tables, lamps, abat-jours, wardrobes etc. And my father also designed a lot of the furniture as well.

The 9 lofts are all unique in their space and design. There is a different atmosphere for each one. They have private entrances, some apartments are split over two or three levels, the studios are on one floor and almost all of them have a kitchenette. The views are of Arno river, the duomo or our beautiful courtyard garden. We do have several common spaces, sitting rooms with bookshelves full of good reads, stone fireplaces, and of course the garden that is open to everyone.

  • Standard Studio Loft 1 for 2-3 people / 30 m²
    225 / night
    • 1 Double bedroom
    • 1 Shower room (ensuite)
    • 1 Kitchenette
    • 1 Extra bed (on req.)
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)

    Loft with 35 sqm, kitchenette, bedroom, little private terrace, bathroom with shower and bath tub.

    All studios feature: telephone, TV, CD/DVD player, Internet connection, kitchenette with tea and coffee, adjustable air conditioning and heating, hairdryer, mini bar (free soft drinks), safety box.

  • Standard Studio Loft 10 for 2-3 people / 35 m²
    225 / night
    • 1 Double bedroom
    • 1 Shower room (ensuite)
    • 1 Kitchenette
    • 1 Extra bed (on req.)
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)

    Loft with 35 sqm, design kitchenette, toilette with shower, entrance from alley, little veranda.

    All studios feature: telephone, TV, CD/DVD player, Internet connection, kitchenette with tea and coffee, adjustable air conditioning and heating, hairdryer, mini bar (free soft drinks), safety box.

  • Deluxe Studio Loft 3 for 2-3 people / 35 m²
    255 / night
    • 1 Double bedroom
    • 1 Shower room (ensuite)
    • 1 Living room
    • 1 Extra bed (on req.)
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)

    Loft with 35 sqm, no kitchenette, bedroom on a lovely mezzanine, little private terrace, toilette with Jacuzzi, entrance from rose garden.

    All studios feature: telephone, TV, CD/DVD player, Internet connection, kitchenette with tea and coffee, adjustable air conditioning and heating, hairdryer, mini bar (free soft drinks), safety box.

  • Deluxe Studio Loft 7 for 2-3 people / 35 m²
    255 / night
    • 1 Double bedroom
    • 1 Shower room (ensuite)
    • 1 Living room
    • 1 Kitchenette
    • 1 Extra bed (on req.)
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)

    40 sqm loft, design kitchenette, toilette with shower, entrance from garden.

    All studios feature: telephone, TV, CD/DVD player, Internet connection, kitchenette with tea and coffee, adjustable air conditioning and heating, hairdryer, mini bar (free soft drinks), safety box.

  • Deluxe Studio Loft 11 for 2-3 people / 35 m²
    255 / night
    • 1 Double bedroom
    • 1 Shower room (ensuite)
    • 1 Living room
    • 1 Kitchenette
    • 1 Extra bed (on req.)
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)

    35 sqm loft, design kitchenette, bathroom with shower.

    All studios feature: telephone, TV, CD/DVD player, Internet connection, kitchenette with tea and coffee, adjustable air conditioning and heating, hairdryer, mini bar (free soft drinks), safety box.

  • Superior Deluxe Studio Loft 5 for 2-3 people / 42 m²
    295 / night
    • 1 Double bedroom
    • 1 Shower room (ensuite)
    • 1 Living room
    • 1 Kitchenette
    • 1 Extra bed (on req.)
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)

    40 sqm loft, design kitchenette, high ceiling, toilette with shower and door to the garden.

    All studios feature: telephone, TV, CD/DVD player, Internet connection, kitchenette with tea and coffee, adjustable air conditioning and heating, hairdryer, mini bar (free soft drinks), safety box.

  • Superior Deluxe Studio Loft 6 for 2-3 people / 42 m²
    295 / night
    • 1 Double bedroom
    • 1 Shower room (ensuite)
    • 1 Living room
    • 1 Kitchenette
    • 1 Extra bed (on req.)
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)

    45 sqm loft, design kitchenette, high ceiling, toilette with shower, entrance from alley.

    All studios feature: telephone, TV, CD/DVD player, Internet connection, kitchenette with tea and coffee, adjustable air conditioning and heating, hairdryer, mini bar (free soft drinks), safety box.

  • Superior Deluxe Studio Loft 9 for 2-3 people / 42 m²
    295 / night
    • 1 Double bedroom
    • 1 Shower room (ensuite)
    • 1 Living room
    • 1 Kitchenette
    • 1 Extra bed (on req.)
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)

    40 sqm loft with mezzanine, design kitchenette, toilette with shower, entrance from garden, view over garden and pool.

    All studios feature: telephone, TV, CD/DVD player, Internet connection, kitchenette with tea and coffee, adjustable air conditioning and heating, hairdryer, mini bar (free soft drinks), safety box.

  • Loft Studio 4 for 2-3 people / 75 m²
    585 / night
    • 1 Double bedroom
    • 1 Shower room (ensuite)
    • 1 Living room
    • 1 Kitchenette
    • 1 Extra bed (on req.)
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)

    Loft on 3 levels, 75 sqm, design kitchenette, toilette with shower, view over park and river, entrance from private lemon alley.

    All studios feature: telephone, TV, CD/DVD player, Internet connection, kitchenette with tea and coffee, adjustable air conditioning and heating, hairdryer, mini bar (free soft drinks), safety box.

  • Loft Studio 8 for 2-3 people / 100 m²
    585 / night
    • 1 Double bedroom
    • 1 Shower room (ensuite)
    • 1 Living room
    • 1 Kitchenette
    • 1 Extra bed (on req.)
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)

    100 sqm loft, huge open space, kitchen, shower, silken four poster bed, wide terrace, wall windows, view of the park and the river, entrance from garden.

    All studios feature: telephone, TV, CD/DVD player, Internet connection, kitchenette with tea and coffee, adjustable air conditioning and heating, hairdryer, mini bar (free soft drinks), safety box.

Included in the rates
Rates include breakfast, soft drinks, coffee and tea in the living room, and WiFi.
Optional extras
Services on request: in-room massages, yoga classes, babysitting, dry cleaning and valet parking. Pets are allowed at EUR 12 per night.
Extra charges payable at the property
City tax of EUR 4.80 per person per night payable at the property.
Children & Extra beds
Children are welcome. Cots: free of charge. Extra beds children from 4 to 12 years EUR 30, children 13+ and adults EUR 50.
Minimum stay
1 nights
Check in time
after 15:00
Check out time
before 11:00

Facilities & services

  • Children welcome
  • Swimming pool
  • WiFi
  • Air conditioning
  • Terrace
  • Maid service
  • Concierge service
  • Babysitting on request
  • TV
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Music system
  • Central heating
  • Honesty bar/Minibar
  • Iron & Board
  • Pets welcome
  • Laundry service
  • Safe box
  • Bicycles
  • Hair dryer

Unfortunately, I have to use a sentence which is overly used by all the hoteliers but... all of our guests, when they sign our book, write that it is really like a home away from home. The place is very elegant and beautiful, but very welcoming and homey at the same time. I want to share my insight of the city and the areas which are less touristic with them. And they really appreciate that we have bikes available for them to use.

So that’s the essence: it’s very elegant but informal. Some of the lofts have a private terrace or patio, all of them have access to the beautiful garden and the swimming pool. You see people passing barefoot here in the morning, going to the garden. Everybody feels at home. The reception also closes at 8pm, so they can just pretend it is their house, make coffee, take a DVD, go to the garden to have a drink – and nobody says anything because it’s theirs – they’re alone.

Things to do in Tuscany & Florence

  • Art / Culture
  • Shopping / Markets
  • Wine tastings
  • Cooking classes
  • Massages / Treatments
  • Yoga classes
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Cycling
  • Horseback riding

I don’t need to tell you about the Uffizi and the Academia, which are very well known — once in your life you have to see them. Something that I love is going to the Piazza de Michelangelo, because especially at sunset you see this reddish light all over the city and it’s so beautiful.

Florence is divided by the river. There’s one side where the Uffizi and everything touristic is and the other part, the Oltramo, where the locals are. Here you can eat and drink very well and be where the locals hang out. I would really suggest the Capella de Medici, which are the tombs of the Medici family with reclining statues by Michelangelo. They are amazing. I would also recommend the Capella Brancacci, which has a fresco about Adam and Eve being chased out of Eden. It’s a very old church that was restored recently and the colours are just stunning.

The location of Riva Lofts Florence

Riva Lofts is in a very quiet neighbourhood but also very close to the city centre. We have a tram that that passes just 200 metres from here and takes you directly to the train station. And we have bike lanes that take you directly to the centre.

To me it is added value that we are not directly in the centre because it has become very, very crowded, noisy, and stinky. People who know Florence well come here to us because they like the fact that we are not in the centre. We’re very close but we also have the garden and the pool, so after you spend a few hours in that crazy place with all the tourists, you cannot wait to come back and relax in the hammock reading a book.

When is the best time to visit Tuscany?

April, May, June and September. In July and August, the climate here is not really good, it’s super hot. And because we’re in a valley and there is the river in the middle, it is really humid and the air doesn’t move; so it’s really oppressive. And it’s packed with people.

September and October is nice because the air is cleaner and fresher and the colours are very bright. Springtime when the flowers blossom and there’s this beautiful spring smell in the air is also wonderful.

Winter is also not bad because it’s much less crowded. It’s cold and rainy but there is good wine and good food, so it’s nice to just hide in a very nice osteria and get some good red wine. It’s one of my favourite activities in wintertime. (laughs)