Fresco Palace in Florence

Romantic Lodgings - City-Center Hotel - History Lives Again - Authentic Italy

Character: Spectacular Florentine palace with breathtaking Historic Register frescoes in every room, embellished with 21st-century amenities and a warm down-home welcome from your hosts.
Advantages: Truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience what life was -- and still is -- like for wealthy Florentines.
Location: In the San Lorenzo area of the city, within easy walking distance of everything. Click here to see the map for Fresco Palace in Florence.
Size: Only 5 suites and 1 room. Each is huge, with soaring frescoed ceilings, gorgeous antique furnishings and accessories, soothing white fabrics and a luxurious private bathroom.
Features: Elevator, satellite TV, air conditioning, wireless Internet access, DVD and CD player, safe, mini-fridge, tea and coffee tray in each room, state-of-the-art fitness room, Internet point, hair dryer, bicycles on request. Price includes breakfast at one of the trendiest cafes in town, right next door.
Minimum stay: Two nights.
Disadvantages: Only 6 rooms, so book well in advance!
Car needed: No!

Normally, any building in any Italian city is referred to as a "palazzo." Few of them, however, are covered head-to-toe with spectacular 17th- and 18th-century frescoes that rival many you see in the churches and at the Uffizi (which is about a 10-minute walk away). Those that do are owned by families who jealously guard them for themselves and their intimate friends, so if we are not among that privileged group, we are not ever going to have a glimpse of what's inside those foreboding stone exteriors. For this reason, we were overjoyed to meet the warm, friendly, exuberant owner of this magnificent treasure, set right in the heart of Florence. Actually, you might even say we were like kids in a candy shop, because every single one of those exquisitely decorated rooms also has at least one table strewn with handmade chocolates for the enjoyment of the guests. This small touch is a clear indication of the thought and care that has gone into making this exclusive mansion a cozy home-from-home for the very lucky guests who book their suites in time.

When you arrive at the rather nondescript building and ring the nondescript doorbell, the gigantic front door will swing open and your hosts will appear to shepherd you toward the elevator that will whisk you to the piano nobile¸ the first floor where the aristocratic family originally resided. Here, soaring five meters above your head, you will literally see the heavens, brimming with mythological characters representing all the fine traits to which we tiny mortals aspire: truth, faithfulness, honor, love, justice and so on, each a magnificently depicted man or woman painted in the 1600s and perfectly restored in recent years. Pride of ownership has instilled your hosts with an enthusiasm that makes them happy to explain each vignette as they lead you from one common room to another, culminating in the massive salone, where a masterpiece from the school of Luca Giordano keeps watch over a battery of fitness machines that would put any Bally's to shame. Oh yes, did we mention that the 21st-century amenities are as exceptional as the 17th-century decorations?

You will find all these amenities in your lodgings. No matter which of the six air-conditioned rooms you occupy, you will find it enormous by European hotel standards, with a king-sized bed, a couch, luxurious white upholstery and linens, a large table or desk featuring a kettle and everything you need to make tea or coffee (plus a box of those chocolates we mentioned earlier), a flat-screen satellite TV with DVD player (European standard), safe, and mini-kitchen with a fridge and two burners in case you'd like to enjoy a light meal of cold cuts and cheese and wine instead of eating out all the time. Your room also offers Internet connectivity (which is also available at the shared Internet point), and as for the private bathrooms, well let us just say that, whether they offer a large stall shower or whirlpool tub or both, they were all designed by the lady of the house so you will find them wanting for nothing! There are three suites called Mirror, Cupids and Canopy; Bianca is a delightful double room for single use in which every item is white; and on the next floor up, Baroque 1 and 2 are identical double suites which share a sitting room, making them perfect for two couples. While it is possible to put a rollaway bed in any of the rooms except Bianca, we really consider this to be a romantic destination, absolutely perfect for an unforgettable honeymoon or second honeymoon or -- why not? -- the ideal spot to pop the question! Seated on the white couch beneath a fresco of frisky cupids, holding a chocolate in one hand and your ring in the other, how could she ever say no?


Your hosts leave everything you need to start the day in your room, and after you are ready to emerge into "the real world," you are invited to enjoy a complimentary cappuccino or hot chocolate and a world-class pastry at the café next door.

Click here for information about private transfers to the property.

Please note that it is not possible to guarantee Internet access at any property, because the property does not generate the service, it merely provides access from a server. If the server experiences any kind of problem at all, the property regrets it cannot be responsible for any inconvenience caused by subsequent lack of service.

As of July 1, 2011, a City Accommodation tax of 1-4 Euro/person/night will be charged by your lodgings at your departure.