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New Year's Eve in Florence

New Year's Eve in Florence

Old Sep 17, 2015, 9:49 am
  #1  
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New Year's Eve in Florence

We'll be in Florence over New Year's Eve, and I'm wondering if anyone knows of restaurants or venues that do relaxed, low-key dinners/events for the occasion. No gala balls, no huge crowds, no loud techno/DJ's (live music is okay, but more of the jazz or classical variety)...just good food and a relaxed, social atmosphere. Thanks in advance!

(I've tried searching, but it looks like all mentions of this are from many years ago.)
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Old Sep 17, 2015, 12:32 pm
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I don't have anything specific but if I was going to spend New Year's in Florence, I'd contact the Lungarno (and their restaurant Borgo San Jacopo) to see what they are doing for New Year's.

I can't think of a nicer setting than overlooking the Arno & Ponte Vecchio on New Year's Eve.
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Old Sep 23, 2015, 8:15 am
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I can ask around for you. Are you looking for basically dinner and drinks that goes through midnight?

New Year's Eve should be nice. I'll be in Florence the week before Christmas. Dec-Feb is a great time of year to visit.
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Old Sep 24, 2015, 2:13 pm
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Originally Posted by JMN57
I don't have anything specific but if I was going to spend New Year's in Florence, I'd contact the Lungarno (and their restaurant Borgo San Jacopo) to see what they are doing for New Year's.

I can't think of a nicer setting than overlooking the Arno & Ponte Vecchio on New Year's Eve.
As I mentioned via PM, thanks for this! Have emailed BSJ.

Originally Posted by PWMTrav
I can ask around for you. Are you looking for basically dinner and drinks that goes through midnight?

New Year's Eve should be nice. I'll be in Florence the week before Christmas. Dec-Feb is a great time of year to visit.
Yep, that's exactly what we're looking for! Thanks, would definitely appreciate any leads you may have.

We're going to be spending a week in Paris, and then heading to Florence for 4 nights including NYE. It really does seem like a magical place around that time...I'm sure you'll have a great visit!
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Old Oct 7, 2015, 7:00 pm
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Would be curious to learn what you found so please post any further info.

While I don't believe that lists are good at defining ne plus ultra, it is interesting to see where T&L ranks the Lungarno.

http://www.travelandleisure.com/slid...best-hotels/10

Of course, a lot of this depends on ones priorities and tastes but I'm sure any of the hotels that made this list beats out the average Best Western.
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Old Oct 8, 2015, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by JMN57
Would be curious to learn what you found so please post any further info.

While I don't believe that lists are good at defining ne plus ultra, it is interesting to see where T&L ranks the Lungarno.

http://www.travelandleisure.com/slid...best-hotels/10

Of course, a lot of this depends on ones priorities and tastes but I'm sure any of the hotels that made this list beats out the average Best Western.
I sent some emails to some friends to see what they could dig up for a low key New Years. The thing is, most folks wanting that are likely to do it at home - maybe go out to dinner, then go home with family/friends and some snacks and drinks. What we're essentially looking for is a restaurant or wine bar that might be open late and serving drinks and snacks, but nothing bigger than that. I'm sure it's doable, but it's not really something that they'd advertise since it's by definition not a big new years event.

I love Hotel Lungarno. It deserves its place in the rankings. For a special occasion, I can't think of a better place to stay in Florence (I was there on my honeymoon).

However, for the second year in a row we're staying at Granduomo. I'd prefer to be in Oltrarno, but it's really hard to beat what's essentially a 1 BR apartment (with kitchen) with housekeeping services and breakfast delivered. In December, we booked a Superior Apt for ~$150 a night. And it's not as though the place is run down or anything, it's recently renovated and very modern (maybe a little too modern) in decor. Not saying one is better than the other, it's just a matter of whether you prefer a true hotel, with lobby, bar, restaurant, 24 hr service, etc, or an apartment with some basic hotel-type services.

Big tangent, but I see the Inn at Little Washington at #30 on that T+L list. FWIW, I found the restaurant to be very good, but a little bit overrated. Nice to have done it once, but dinner for two all in was in the neighborhood of $800. In my absolute unbiased opinion, as I made the direct comparison before moving to Maine (and was still living in the DC area) was even on our radar, I think a chef's menu at Hugo's in Portland, Maine, is a superior experience - and $800 would probably cover airfare for two in addition to the ~$400 dinner. And while I get that the ranking is based on the IALW and not specifically the restaurant, it's honestly the restaurant that draws people there in the first place.
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Old Oct 8, 2015, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by PWMTrav
I sent some emails to some friends to see what they could dig up for a low key New Years. The thing is, most folks wanting that are likely to do it at home - maybe go out to dinner, then go home with family/friends and some snacks and drinks. What we're essentially looking for is a restaurant or wine bar that might be open late and serving drinks and snacks, but nothing bigger than that. I'm sure it's doable, but it's not really something that they'd advertise since it's by definition not a big new years event.

I love Hotel Lungarno. It deserves its place in the rankings. For a special occasion, I can't think of a better place to stay in Florence (I was there on my honeymoon).

However, for the second year in a row we're staying at Granduomo. I'd prefer to be in Oltrarno, but it's really hard to beat what's essentially a 1 BR apartment (with kitchen) with housekeeping services and breakfast delivered. In December, we booked a Superior Apt for ~$150 a night. And it's not as though the place is run down or anything, it's recently renovated and very modern (maybe a little too modern) in decor. Not saying one is better than the other, it's just a matter of whether you prefer a true hotel, with lobby, bar, restaurant, 24 hr service, etc, or an apartment with some basic hotel-type services.

Big tangent, but I see the Inn at Little Washington at #30 on that T+L list. FWIW, I found the restaurant to be very good, but a little bit overrated. Nice to have done it once, but dinner for two all in was in the neighborhood of $800. In my absolute unbiased opinion, as I made the direct comparison before moving to Maine (and was still living in the DC area) was even on our radar, I think a chef's menu at Hugo's in Portland, Maine, is a superior experience - and $800 would probably cover airfare for two in addition to the ~$400 dinner. And while I get that the ranking is based on the IALW and not specifically the restaurant, it's honestly the restaurant that draws people there in the first place.
Thanks for the update. Looks like a great deal at the Granduomo. As I've gotten older and experienced enough expensive dinners, my tastes have gravitated towards well executed but more casual/traditional dining. Having dropped >$500 for two many times, I have come to the conclusion I can eat just as well at under $300 for two and be quite happy.

Good luck on finding the right place for NYE.
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Old Oct 8, 2015, 11:23 am
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Originally Posted by JMN57
Thanks for the update. Looks like a great deal at the Granduomo. As I've gotten older and experienced enough expensive dinners, my tastes have gravitated towards well executed but more casual/traditional dining. Having dropped >$500 for two many times, I have come to the conclusion I can eat just as well at under $300 for two and be quite happy.

Good luck on finding the right place for NYE.
I'm just helping OP find something for NYE - we'll be there before Christmas for a week. Gotta get back to the US to visit family and all after that

I'm with you on expensive dinners. I could do just fine for $20 or $50. I do occasionally enjoy going out for something super creative, but I'm noticing the interval between my desire to do those sorts of things increasing over the years.
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Old Oct 8, 2015, 6:17 pm
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Originally Posted by JMN57
Would be curious to learn what you found so please post any further info.

While I don't believe that lists are good at defining ne plus ultra, it is interesting to see where T&L ranks the Lungarno.

http://www.travelandleisure.com/slid...best-hotels/10

Of course, a lot of this depends on ones priorities and tastes but I'm sure any of the hotels that made this list beats out the average Best Western.
Interesting, indeed!

I did reach out to the Lungarno as you suggested, and they sent me details for their NYE dinner...



Sounds lovely, but probably more of a production than what we're looking for (not to mention, quite pricey, though I suppose that's to be expected on NYE...certainly in line with what the FS is offering).

Originally Posted by PWMTrav
I sent some emails to some friends to see what they could dig up for a low key New Years. The thing is, most folks wanting that are likely to do it at home - maybe go out to dinner, then go home with family/friends and some snacks and drinks. What we're essentially looking for is a restaurant or wine bar that might be open late and serving drinks and snacks, but nothing bigger than that. I'm sure it's doable, but it's not really something that they'd advertise since it's by definition not a big new years event.

I love Hotel Lungarno. It deserves its place in the rankings. For a special occasion, I can't think of a better place to stay in Florence (I was there on my honeymoon).

However, for the second year in a row we're staying at Granduomo. I'd prefer to be in Oltrarno, but it's really hard to beat what's essentially a 1 BR apartment (with kitchen) with housekeeping services and breakfast delivered. In December, we booked a Superior Apt for ~$150 a night. And it's not as though the place is run down or anything, it's recently renovated and very modern (maybe a little too modern) in decor. Not saying one is better than the other, it's just a matter of whether you prefer a true hotel, with lobby, bar, restaurant, 24 hr service, etc, or an apartment with some basic hotel-type services.

Big tangent, but I see the Inn at Little Washington at #30 on that T+L list. FWIW, I found the restaurant to be very good, but a little bit overrated. Nice to have done it once, but dinner for two all in was in the neighborhood of $800. In my absolute unbiased opinion, as I made the direct comparison before moving to Maine (and was still living in the DC area) was even on our radar, I think a chef's menu at Hugo's in Portland, Maine, is a superior experience - and $800 would probably cover airfare for two in addition to the ~$400 dinner. And while I get that the ranking is based on the IALW and not specifically the restaurant, it's honestly the restaurant that draws people there in the first place.
Appreciate the research! I figured as much re: folks preferring to stay at home. To be honest, that's our MO when we're at home, too...just didn't want to spend the whole evening in a hotel room.

It sounds like we're looking for similar things (a more casual affair), though I'm ok with more "NYE-themed" festivities, as long as they're low-key.

Originally Posted by JMN57
Thanks for the update. Looks like a great deal at the Granduomo. As I've gotten older and experienced enough expensive dinners, my tastes have gravitated towards well executed but more casual/traditional dining. Having dropped >$500 for two many times, I have come to the conclusion I can eat just as well at under $300 for two and be quite happy.

Good luck on finding the right place for NYE.
Agree, for the most part, with both of you re: dining. A couple of years ago in Paris, we spent >$600 on a tasting menu for two, and the following evening dined for less than $100 at a wonderful local bistro. I'll let you guess which meal was more satisfying

With that said, we've also had very memorable meals at the higher price points, too. But only when we feel like we're paying for an inimitable experience/cuisine, rather than just the brand name of a well-known chef or prime location.

Interesting to hear re: the Inn at LW above, as it's been on my list for some time. Thanks for sharing!

Originally Posted by PWMTrav
I'm just helping OP find something for NYE - we'll be there before Christmas for a week. Gotta get back to the US to visit family and all after that

I'm with you on expensive dinners. I could do just fine for $20 or $50. I do occasionally enjoy going out for something super creative, but I'm noticing the interval between my desire to do those sorts of things increasing over the years.
Again, appreciate the help!

And will update here as I learn anything new.
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Old Oct 9, 2015, 7:21 am
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Meant to ask, where are you staying?

Regarding IALW, it is a great meal. It doesn't live up to its price point, IMHO. I'm glad we did it once, but I wouldn't return.
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Old Oct 9, 2015, 9:23 am
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So after posting about how I am more oriented to low key trattorias, my wife had to go to the tailor on Madison Ave (we're back in our NY home for the autumn) yesterday.

Gorgeous day and we're walking be Nello which is expensive (the real estate there is a fortune) but pretty good. Said what the heck and we sat for lunch outside on the sidewalk. Split grilled langoustine for app and then we had them do the "florentine" steak for two tagliata with arugula and pomodori. Had them make me an affogato for dessert. Of course, the "simple" lunch there was $450 (while a pretty expensive lunch, I have to admit it was pretty good too).
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Old Oct 24, 2015, 9:47 am
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Oops duplicate post

Last edited by LM225; Oct 24, 2015 at 4:48 pm
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