A repurposed medieval church complete with a Byzantine tower façade listed in the city’s register of historical edifices
City | History & culture | Relaxation
Located in a pedestrianised area just around the corner from the red-tiled cupola and marble façade of that great Tuscan cathedral – the Duomo – Brunelleschi is ideally sited for exploring the city. Indeed, the Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio, a 14th-century enclosed bridge, are all just a few steps away, knitted together by excellent shopping streets. For travels further afield, the hotel is just a five minutes’ walk from the central rail station and six kilometres from Peretola Airport.
Comprising the ancient Tower of Pagliazza, one of Florence’s oldest buildings, interiors are suitably enriched with notable works of arts and local antiques. It’s even had a mentioned in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. Some rooms overlook the lively street-life of Via dei Calzolari while others still offer views of the Piazzetta del Giglio and even the fabled Duomo. Along with contemporary style – realised best in the designer four poster beds canopied in taffeta, high velvet headboards and luxurious Italian bed linen – high-speed WiFi and satellite LCD TVs bring the hotel back into the 21st century.
Hidden away in a quiet corner of the original tower, Santa Elisabetta is the hotel’s signature restaurant. Here, a carefully prepared four-star menu from Giuseppe Bonadonna presents Italian cuisine at its creative best. Adjacent to its older brother, Osteria della Pagliazza serves a full complement of Tuscan delicacies with dishes such as local beef, and dried salt-cured cod garnished with tomato and red vinegar sauce. Come the morning, wake up to soft music and a decadent breakfast buffet featuring a range of cold cuts, seasonal fruits and freshly baked pastries and bread. Those staying in the suites will enjoy private dining lit by stained glass windows.
From the high ceilings and oak floors of the rooms to the individualised Home Fragrances by Dr Vranjes that permeate the hotel, you can be sure that every step of your stay has been carefully thought through. More tangibly, the Tower Bar presents a persuasive opportunity to try your nose and tongue at wine and ice cream tasting while there’s also a state-of-the-art fitness centre complete with city views. The three are not usually mixed.
Stay here on these holidays
With included luxury hotel stays, first-class rail travel and private, expert-led tours in both cities, this five-star break is the ultimate introduction to the historical delights of two Italian greats – Florence and Rome.
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