Hotel at a Glance: Villa Florence
San Francisco’s Little Italy is located a mile away in North Beach, but Villa Florence knows better. The boutique hotel is quite content with its location in Union Square, home to some of the best shopping and theaters in San Francisco.
- Union Square Park just half a block away
- Across the street from Aldo, Swarovski, and Lush
- Northern Italian cuisine made with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients at Kuleto’s Restaurant
- Creative cocktails and wine at Bar Norcini—see the wine list here
- In-room amenities include 42-inch TVs, fully stocked mini bars, and free WiFi<p>
San Francisco’s Union Square: Luxury Shopping District with Off-Broadway Shows
Located in the heart of downtown San Francisco, Union Square is a shopper’s paradise. Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macy’s anchor its namesake plaza, and a shiny new Bloomingdale’s was just installed at the Westfield San Francisco Centre. You’ll find smaller boutiques and independent clothiers tucked away on narrow alleyways. Sift through vintage books at family-owned antique shops, or admire iconic French fashion labels on pedestrian-only Maiden Lane.
Union Square is also famous for its eclectic arts scene. At Tix Bay Area, you can score half-price tickets to some of the best shows in town. The American Conservatory Theater produces Tony Award–winning dramas and cutting-edge comedy shows in a stunning Beaux-Arts building. A handful of art galleries and museums—most notably the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art—display world-renowned works from artists such as Henri Matisse, Andy Warhol, and Edward Hopper.
To see other parts of the city, hop on the Powell Street cable car, which makes its turnaround right outside the hotel. Nearby North Beach, known as San Fran’s Little Italy, has held to its Italian heritage since fishers from Genoa immigrated to the area more than a century ago. Just east of here, Telegraph Hill ascends to the base of Coit Tower, a 210-foot monument that some think looks like a giant fire-hose nozzle. Visitors can buy an elevator ride up to the observation deck for panoramic views of the bay, Alcatraz Island, and the Golden Gate Bridge.