Girl in Florence aka Georgette Jupe

I started this blog as a writing outlet for me to share what it is I adore about the beautiful city of Florence and Italy also sharing travel tips and stories along the way. Now 'Girl in Florence' includes advice for Florence, artisan features, interviews with locals, tips for life in Italy and travel posts from all over Europe. I'd love to think of myself as a fearless badass but If I am keeping it 100% real on this blog a quote that I sort of live by is"I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." I hope you enjoy this journey with me.

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Palazzo Belfiore – Oltrarno At Your Doorstep



I often get emails from people traveling to Italy advising me on where to to stay when discovering Florence. Of course I try and do my best to give suggestions on what I would choose, but as I live here – it can be touch giving recommendations on where to stay. Personally one of my favorite ways to explore a city is by staying in an apartment, this way you can make your own ‘home away from home’, find a wine opener ;-), and feel whats its like to be a ‘local’ if even for a short time.

Life on the Oltrarno ‘Other Side Of The River’ is always better

I first heard about Palazzo Belfiore from my friend Molly, a local tour guide in Florence with whom I discovered Medieval food on a super cool tour not that long ago. She insisted that we visit and the best part was, it’s a hop, skip and a jump away from my apartment in the oltrarno in the most artistic area in town, on a street close to my beloved Piazza della Passera {the perfect date-night-location}. Palazzo Belfiore was once the prestigious home of an ancient Fourteenth century Florentine family {naturally} and only 3 minutes from the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge on  Via de’ Velluti, 8.

The bet part of town to stay in without a doubt, I obviously am completely biased but honestly this is where the real life Florentine area where artisans still work and you can see a dog  with a Gucci collar. Charming restaurants are at every corner and you are so close to all of the main attractions, the Uffizi gallery, Palazzo Vecchio, and the Piazza del Duomo. Crossing the bridge to this side always feels like you can take your first real breath of less-touristy air from the stuffy crowds on via calzaiuoli. We take our dog Ginger on walks to the Piazza Pitti nearby and it always feels like a beautiful soundtrack, music wafting into the air and people clinking glasses of wine together before dinner, I love it and encourage people to stay over here when possible.

An Apartment Stay That Takes You Back in Time

Each of the seven apartments at Palazzo Belfiore are named after famous Florentine figures, from “Lorenzo Il Magnifico” (one of the most famous Medici family members) to “Clarice”, a Roman noblewoman from the Rossini family, the bride of Lorenzo il Magnifico. Clarice is what Molly really wanted to show me because of an absolutely amazing fresco covering most of the main room from the 15th century, very reminiscent of the one we had seen at the house museum Palazzo Davanzati. They are in the process of getting a student from a local university to research and discover more details about this cool fresco, in the meantime, I will just gaze in wonder at its stunning beauty.

Can you imagine staying in a room like this on your next trip to Florence, heck I feel a ‘staycation’ coming up! 

Federico likes to leave presents apparently, in that case my address is via dello….


Federico, the man who does it all here is friendly and affable, you can tell this is someone who is proud to work here and it shows, messages left on the communal guest book often thank him personally and his smile brightens up your mood even after a 10 hour flight. He leaves notes for guests and will arrange any sort of special touch for those staying for a special occasion, a bottle of wine, fresh flowers – this is what REAL service is like (and yes it exists without paying tooth and nail, all of the apartments here range from around 115 – 220 euros per night. A big plus is that they leave information on the latest events in Florence along with a copy of The Florentine.

DSCF1786Also doing what I do best, peering out of windows to find that special view, here I spotted life in the oltrarno with picturesque scenes on the streets below. Plus from some of the places you can see the top of Palazzo Pitti or the Basilica of Santo Spirito.


I wish I would have known about this place a lot sooner when family and friends were coming, while Airbnb can be great at least it’s an actual business as opposed to someone’s rented second home. I asked Federico if they offer any tips for activities and luckily they seem to have an array of options for those seeking a little help planning their Florence vacation. Arte Al Sole, is one of them, a summer day camp focusing on art, food, culture and nature with week-long sessions for kids 6-12. I took a gander at some of the programs for kids and they include sketching in the city, making fresh pasta. Adults have options too, I love that they included some old ‘botteghe’ or artisan workshops located on their very same street where you can see centuries of handicrafts take place. I may meg Federico and Molly to give me a tour one of these days. They also recently created this super cute video featuring ‘Elly’ featuring one girl’s story of her stay in Florence, it makes me think a little bit about the stereotype of Italian men constantly hitting on American women but hey who doesn’t like to fantasize?!



If you want to experience Florence like a local, I highly recommend staying at Palazzo Belfiore, you literally can’t help but feel the history in these apartments and its close enough to all of the major sites which means you won’t need to take public transportation.


*Ps. contact them directly to book to save a little money, I asked Federico if they offer better rates for direct bookings (email address is below) and he assured me they do unless it happens to be high season or New Year’s Eve.

Palazzo Belfiore, Via dei Velluti, 8, Firenze
+39 055 264415, Email: [email protected] website

This article was sponsored by Palazzo Belfiore but all thoughts and opinions about this cool place are my own, these apartments are great! 


Georgette Jupe is a 'Tuscan Texan' digital social media marketing maven based in Zug, Switzerland and Florence, Italy. When she's not at her day job as editor at ITALY Magazine, she's creating social strategies for international clients and providing travel, foodie & life tips via her blog 'Girl in Florence'. Hobbies include plenty of reading, hiking, beagle cuddles, the hunt for the 'perfect' flat white and laughs with the girls.

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About Me

About Me

Hi There!

Ciao, I'm a curious American "Tuscan Texan" who has called Florence, Italy home for the past 13 years and now you'll find me between Firenze and Zug, Switzerland. Besides the blog, I am the editor at Italy Magazine and I also work as an established digital social media marketing strategist (5+ years) as well as a freelance writer. You might have seen my articles in Lonely Planet and a feature on my blog in Forbes. This space is my way to share what life is like living and working abroad, as well as provide up-to-date true advice on traveling, eating and living in Europe with tips for weekend trips. I'm married to a wonderful Frenchman and we have a Florentine beagle who rules the household. Keep in touch with our adventures with your favorite glass of franciacorta or espresso!


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