Exploring the timeless beauty of Florence

by Fay Mitcham
   
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Located in the heart of downtown historical Florence, with breathtaking views of Brunelleschi’s famous cathedral, is this luxury hotel – a perfect combination of tradition, elegance and impeccable service. Occupying a medieval Byzantine tower that was once a prison, the Hotel Brunelleschi embodies the cultural and historical soul of the city.

All 96 rooms and suites are individually designed in soft colours – ours was decorated in soft plums and violets, with lush fabrics, polished parquet flooring and modern furniture. Our bathroom with its jacuzzi tub was a tranquil space for relaxing and pampering. But what took our breath away was the view. From our window we could see the dome of the Santa Maria del Fiore and Giotto’s Campanile, and the rooftops of the city stretching to the mountains beyond.

The breakfast buffet was a joy – pastries, fruits, hams, cheeses and omelettes, along with the finest coffee, tea and fresh juices. The hotel’s two restaurants serve fine Italian cuisine.

When we weren’t sightseeing we were relaxing – and the Brunelleschi gave us ample opportunity. Reading a book in our room, enjoying an aperitif in the Lounge Bar, or soaking in the massive tub of our pool suite – we could rest our tired bodies before setting out and exploring the many delights of the city. Hotel Brunelleschi is perfect for sightseeing – especially if you are on a short break and don’t want to waste precious hours travelling. The hotel is in the historical centre – within walking distance of the Uffizi Gallery, the Academy of Fine Arts (home of Michelangelo’s David), the Bargello Museum and the Opera del Duomo.

You are also only a short walk from some of the most exclusive shopping in the world – Versace, Armani, Prada, Cavalli and a whole host of other fashion boutiques are practically on your doorstep. The hotel has a concierge service that will help you make the most of your trip. They booked our tickets for the Uffizi Gallery so we didn’t have to queue, and gave us maps. They also pointed us in the direction of some of the best eateries in the city.

Don’t miss
  • Museums, including the hotel’s own museum
  • Galleries
  • Florence’s dining scene

Florence is such a romantic city, and this hotel does it proud. Our room was beautiful, with the most stunning views we could have hoped for. The staff were discreet and attentive, and we felt we were being looked after at every turn.

We had a meal in both restaurants at the hotel. The Restaurant Santa Elisabetta, located in the Byzantine tower, is a beautiful space – perfect for a candlelit meal with some fine local wines. The hotel’s other restaurant, L’Osteria della Pagliazza, is the place to go for mouth-watering Tuscan dishes – everything is as locally sourced as possible, and the culinary team introduced us to some wonderful regional specialities.

We ended each evening in the Tower Bar – expertly made cocktails and a sophisticated atmosphere made this bar the perfect place to wind down after a busy day. Our tip: don’t leave without trying chef Simone Bertaccini’s award-winning ice cream – divine!

Facilities
  • Two restaurants serving regional and international cuisine headed by Simone Bertaccini
  • The Tower Bar
  • Gym with state-of-the-art Technogym equipment
  • HDSL wireless internet throughout

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