Walking from the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore towards Piazza della Signoria, you might not notice this small hotel in Via della Condotta, a narrow, medieval street lined by stone buildings. A plaque on the wall reassures you that you’ve come to the right place. Ring the bell and ask reception for a hand if you’re carrying heavy luggage – there’s a flight of stairs, then a lift takes you up to the first floor of the historic palace.
     Sympathetically renovated by the Avuri family, hoteliers by profession and previous owners of the Hotel Magenta on Via Montebello, the Renaissance is small and stylish, with nine bedrooms. The Deluxe Art Room was remarkably carved into the ancient Sacchetti’s tower - a wealthy family of traders and bankers who strongly opposed the De’ Medicis in the 14thC. With sandstone portals, a fireplace and historic frescoes revealed during the renovation, it is elegant and simple, oozing charm. In the remaining bedrooms, muted tones and black/white colour schemes work well together, and there are upscale touches such as whirlpool baths and showers (the Spa Rooms also have their own Turkish baths) and lovely balconies. Rooms facing the internal courtyard are quietest.
     Breakfast is taken in your room (free, until 10am) or in the minimalist fireplace room with fresh flowers on your table. Perhaps it is not the most varied of breakfasts, but the quality is excellent. If you’re one for traditions, don’t miss the afternoon tea at 5.30pm, served with sweet treats made in Florence.
     The central location means that as well as the Renaissance being highly accessible, most sights are within walking distance. The Avuris will give you the inside track on local eateries.