Because Florence is one of the most visited cities in Italy, advance booking is highly recommended.
The center does have a good number of hotels, and they'll put you within walking distance of just about everything. Staying in the center of the city will obviously be the costliest option, but even Florence's suburbs are expensive. The hotels on the hillsides at the outskirts of the city are relaxing, but your trip into the city may be slowed by traffic.
Note that most hotels in the center do not have parking areas, but instead have agreements with private garages that charge about 25 euros per day, on average.
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