Recently in Florence, Italy as I was rushing like a crazy person to a meeting, I came across this goofy dog on the sidewalk. I didn’t see anyone with her, so of course I had to stop because I thought she was lost (although I had no idea what I was going to do about it). After I stood there for a minute or so, she laid down and flopped open, what a ham! Then I realized (doh!) I was right in front of the fancy Lord Bau dog boutique. So I guess her job was to work the sidewalk, model stuff and look charming to lure people inside. Yes. I went in. But that got me thinking: if a women’s boutique did the same thing…sending out a sweet young thing to wiggle and work the sidewalk. Um, no. I guess then it would seem more like a strip club (or worse). Yep, dogs get away with everything.
On a quick trip to Florence, Italy (I know…who makes a quick trip to Florence?) I stayed at a hotel called Villa Antea that I just happened to find by chance. When I checked in, hotel owner Diletta Lenzi’s little dog Marta was playing with some toys under the desk and of course immediately I felt right at home. Which is good because this hotel used to be the home of Ms. Lenzi’s family, going back to the late 1800’s when they built it. I’m thinking that hotels that have a dog on the premises should list it with their services as a benefit to travelers who miss their own dogs: “We offer laundry services, cable tv, wifi, room service and a dog.” Or something like that.
Villa Antea has a lot of other good things going for it. For one, it’s located in a regular neighborhood, not inside the crazy center of Florence but you can walk there in a few minutes. There’s also parking, which I was glad about since I had been driving all over the place in a little Fiat 500 and wanted to use my legs for a while. When staying there you can pretend that it’s your family’s home from the late 1800’s, the high ceilings and decor help that fantasy along. The rooms are spacious, the bathrooms are gigantic. They provide you with a helpful (and well designed, imagine!) little guidebook with local restaurants, bars, sights, bus info, etc. It’s not crazy expensive, which is a really good thing when it’s business travel and it’s your business. So I would highly recommend Villa Antea if you’re going to Florence and prefer a smaller well-appointed hotel. If you do make the trip, please tell Marta I said hello!
Villa Antea : Via Puccinotti 46, 50129 Firenze, Telephone +39 055.484106 http://www.villaantea.com/