Cheap hotels in Santa Croce, Florence
Named for the Santa Croce cathedral, which marks the center of this neighborhood, the south end of Santa Croce borders the Duomo and swarms with tourists. The piazza itself is actually a popular spot for Florentines to meet, chat and then head elsewhere for to eat. The parallel streets behind the church are relatively quiet, and slightly more residential.
Head north-east to Sant'Ambrogio, where Florence feels hipper, younger, and much more real. Via dei Neri, a cross street on the other side of Via de'Benci, the south-western border of the piazza, is lined with wine bars, specialty food shops and a few great osterias.