When looking for a place to stay in Florence, a traveller wants to have it all – a place that is both luxurious and cozy. A place that is centrally located but not too noisy. Spacious . And most importantly, the one thing that money can’t buy are the people you’ll meet that will welcome you into a side of Florentine life you can’t experience without the locals.
Meet Umberto and the hidden gem that is his boutique Hotel.
The hotel is run by a family and you can feel it right away. It’s different. These aren’t polite-but-impersonal staff at a big front desk or a stranger hired to let you into an Airbnb from an owner you’ll never see. At this boutique Hotel, you’ll meet family members who own the palazzo and have devoted themselves to making it a welcoming place as well as staff members who have worked there for years and are considered a part of the Palazzo family.
Signoria Square. The very heart of Florence. From some windows you can see the Palazzo Vecchio, and the statues of Cosimo and Neptune in the square. From the other side you can spot the golden orb atop Brunelleschi’s dome. You’re next door to the Gucci museum and the restaurant by famed Italian chef Massimo Bottura and on the other side you have a winding alleyway, beckoning you to lose yourself in Florence.
Luxury meets Comfort
It’s the little details I appreciated so much in this hotel. Four poster beds. Frescoed ceilings, books left behind by travellers and brought by the family from home. The little corner bar where you can have a cocktail after a day of sightseeing. The full length table where you can gather, family style, to share a meal. You can also sign up for a cooking class where you’ll visit the local market to gather ingredients before heading back to the hotel to prepare a meal together in the big kitchen (you can see the large stone fireplace in the video!).
All about the details
In this hotel, you feel like you’re in a stately but cozy home. And the stories of the place unfold slowly. There are no display cases trying to draw your attention. You are invited to curl up with a book on the sofa, look around, chat with the owners. Through conversation, the best stories of the place emerge from the frescoes they found underneath the modern paint job, a grate that suggests one room may have been a prison to the Renaissance shoe they found when exploring the palazzo. Boutique Hotel is an oasis of history and comfort that is sure to leave a lasting memory in the minds of any who stay here.
*Note on reviews: I am always on the look out for more places that I can recommend to Unlock Italy guests that might be booking a tour with me or Luca or working with me to plan their Italy trips. If you know a great place you think I’d like, send me an email! If you own a place in Italy that you’d like me to review, feel free to contact me. I only review places I truly love and that I think will be a good fit for Unlock Italy guests.
A little known secret is the one-person lift to the top floor for those unsure of their ability to climb the stairs. Our main concern is which room to select. Fabulous video, Lauren. Especially noteworthy is the exciting interplay between Lauren and owner.