The Grand Hotel Minerva was a fantastic experience and one of the best hotel rooms I have ever stayed in. I don’t stand anymore because it’s too expensive. It’s on the western side of the Piazza di Santa Maria Novella in Florence, just around the corner from the Santa Maria Novella station and next to the Santa Maria Novella Basilica. The Square has had a makeover and is open and pleasant although there are a lot of tourists and touts. The area is quite interesting with winding little streets down to the river. Via de’ Tornabuoni is not far away where you can shop at Valentino, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ermenegildo Zegna and suchlike. The Duomo is about 500 m away and you can see it from the balcony. The Grand Hotel Minerva has six fully-equipped rooms available for guests who use wheelchairs. All major common areas including the Rooftop Terrace are reachable by elevator. Unless they changed the rooms since they renovated, the room I stayed in was at the front looking over the square. I’m pretty sure it was on the third floor and the balcony was actually accessible by wheelchair! The number of “accessible” rooms I have stayed in with a balcony I couldn’t get onto has been a source of annoyance over the years. The room was very large and roomy with a nice timber floor. The rooftop terrace was not accessible in 2009 so that’s a great improvement.

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