Costa Firenze: the Renaissance on the sea
Costa Firenze, a Costa Cruises Vista-class ship designed for the oriental market, began its Mediterranean cruise business in July 2021 and brings all the Renaissance charm of Florence and its surroundings to the sea, from the Chianti hills to Versilia.
Dedicating a ship to the city of Florence inevitably involves taking your passengers on a virtual journey, as well as offering a real journey through the wonders of the sea. A journey into the Florentine Renaissance, where every corner is dedicated to the typical beauty of this fascinating period. The artistic and cultural richness of those years is reproduced on board with the right balance, so as to always remind us of the beauties of Florence but at the same time not to forget that we are on a large and modern ship, with every comfort and the highest technology available.
A look at Costa Firenze can only start from Piazza della Signoria, located amidships, as if in the center of the Tuscan capital, a meeting place par excellence, from morning coffee to evening aperitifs. The column with the lion and the lily also refers to the upper decks that overlook the large oval atrium.
Another place where it is always pleasant to stop is the Lounge Tuscany, dedicated to the Chianti hills and good wine. The Cantina Frescobaldi occupies the left side of the Lounge offering excellent wines and tastings, while in the center there is a dance floor for evening entertainment. The restaurant is served by a bar which also overlooks the external deck. The large LED screen offers a virtual visit to the most beautiful places in Florence and surroundings at any time of day: from the city at night to the neighboring hills, simulating an excursion on the typical Italian Vespas.
The Lounge della Moda is also always lively and popular, dedicated to the charm of clothing and characterized by a museum-style entrance with two wings of mannequins with different very elegant dresses. The inside has a small central dance floor and an elegant bar that also extends outside. In fact, right on the stern, we are on deck 5, there is a beautiful outdoor area that offers beautiful moments at sunset and is perfect for an aperitif overlooking the sea.
Shows and entertainment are also held at the Viareggio Lounge, dedicated to the masks of the famous carnival, particularly suitable for dancing until late in the evening. The Teatro Rosso is instead the place for real theatrical performances, always different and with beautiful varieties suitable for any type of audience.
But there are many smaller places on board Costa Firenze that allow you to enjoy the ship in more intimate and relaxing environments. The Lido deck area, for example, has a very nice space in the middle of the ship that overlooks the central swimming pool on one side, and on the other it has sun loungers overlooking the sea, ideal for reading and relaxing with a view of the horizon.
A lot of space is also dedicated to shopping, which is distributed in two main areas. Around Piazza della Signoria, on the two bridges above the atrium, there are the Shops of the Piazza, with clothing, perfumeries and items with the Costa Cruises logo. On deck 5 you have the Palazzo Vecchio Boutiques, a small shopping district in the center of which stands the statue of Dante, surrounded by the most fashionable brands. My Moments Photo Shop keeps the most beautiful images of your trip, easily traceable through the multimedia screens.
A ship like Costa Firenze offers a series of services that are now indispensable on modern cruise ships but also some unexpected peculiarities. Reception and Excursions Office are located on deck 3, close to Piazza della Signoria. The Solemio Spa offers a wide range of treatments and two suites for private use and free access to the spa area. The gym has state-of-the-art tools and develops in the shape of a semicircle in the bow area, allowing sea views even during your workout.
The Casino Dea Bendata is large and very elegant, consisting numerous tables and many slots. Separated by a corridor is also the casino’s VIP area, dedicated to baccarat and particularly wealthy players. A little further on, on deck 4, is the Card Room, particularly beautiful for its wood-colored furnishings and paintings reproducing Renaissance frescoes and canvases. The Art Gallery also opens on the same bridge, in fact organized along a large corridor, in order to also offer a pleasant furnishing function.
Catering is one of the strengths of the new Costa Firenze, which sees an increase in the gastronomic offer with innovative culinary experiences and a great variety of choices. There are two main restaurants, Ristorante Ponte Vecchio, on deck 3, and Ristorante dei Medici, which occupies two decks in the aft area. The first is elegant and plays on separations made of small arches and other divisions that make it particularly intimate and refined, despite its size.
Both sides overlook the sea and have a double entrance from the stern and from Piazza della Signoria. Ristorante dei Medici is certainly the most spectacular and welcomes guests in a beautiful hall based on black and white, as if to remind us of the tones of a Duomo, with elegant seats, arches and paintings. The stern part overlooking the wake offers an additional thrill to the lucky diners who overlook it.
However, the alternatives are many. One of them is the Versilia Restaurant, the buffet on board on deck 10, which is open for all meals and offers an informal and lively environment where you can eat in peace and enjoy the buffet served, always available. In the stern area of the Versilia Deck there is the inevitable Pizzeria Pummid’Oro on one side and on the other the Salty Deck Street Food, open also at night, with excellent focaccia, burgers and mouth-watering sweet Campania. Oriental lovers will often be at Dim Sum, specializing in ravioli and other Asian recipes, while at the Lanai BBQ you will find classic snacks such as chicken wings, roasted corn, kebabs.
The Teppanyaki, located on deck 5, is also now a must, offering an acrobatic cooking show while tasting specialties cooked on the spot. The Hot Pot dishes are also cooked on the spot … but here you will have to prepare them yourself. You choose the menu (meat / fish / vegetarian), you choose a cooking broth and you start cooking your own dinner!
Sushino at Costa, one of the most recent additions to the fleet, is located in the same area as specialty restaurants and offers an all you can eat menu with top quality sushi and sashimi. La Fiorentina Steakhouse is another stop not to be missed. Not only Fiorentina on the menu: many different cuts of meat, excellent fish and amazing desserts! The neighboring Ristorante Casanova is reserved for guests of the Suites but is accessible for everyone upon reservation for a fee. The Bella Bar acts as a link for specialty restaurants, positioning itself in the center and offering the ideal setting for an aperitif with friends.
On deck 10, the Burger Bar currently offers seafood specialties such as lobsters and lobsters, while the Gelateria Amarillo also offers excellent ice creams and more, to finish a great meal on a sweet note.
Young guests and children will find themselves equally at home on Costa Firenze. Squok Club e Teen Club have large spaces, both indoors and outdoors, to offer entertainment dedicated to all ages. The Garden Rope, the Mini Golf and the Sky Track are fun activities also dedicated to adults, as is La Laguna, an area with slides and various water games that will refresh you on summer days.
On the Costa Firenze there are two swimming pools, one with a movable cover amidships and the other in the stern area of the Versilia bridge. The first served by the Bar del Conte and the second by the Versilia Pool Bar are not particularly spacious, but very beautiful and, especially the central, particularly scenic. Spaces for loungers and sun areas are distributed throughout the ship’s external decks.
On the forward deck there is the Giardino dei Fiori, a large area dedicated to solarium with flower decorations, small alcoves and the Aperol Spritz Bar. A fitness area is located aft and includes a multipurpose sports field and some equipment for physical exercises in the open air. The jogging track for running lovers also passes through here.
The accommodations on board Costa Firenze satisfy every need. From the comfortable inside cabins to the cabins with veranda, up to various classes of Suites, they all allow you to enjoy basic comforts and a room service always available.
Costa Firenze represents a true tribute to the Tuscan city, trying to reproduce the beauty and art of the places in Tuscany in a modern key without distorting their value and meaning. For lovers of modernity and elegance with a classic and Nordic feel, very popular at the moment, Costa Firenze could appear to be a return to the sumptuous furnishings of the nineties. But in reality, looking at every detail, one perceives how he has never exceeded and trodden his hand, despite the difficulty involved in choosing to name a ship after a Renaissance city.
The latest generation services, a lot of attention to on-board entertainment with great innovations also on a technical level, and the desire to stand out more and more in the catering sector and in its quality are then an added value to the mere aesthetic aspect of the new ship by Costa Cruises .